Reigning champs Portland Thorns preparing for NWSL season-opener

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 6:49 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - It’ll be a doubleheader in soccer city this weekend and you can catch the Thorns and Timbers both on FOX 12 and FOX 12 Plus.

The reigning NWSL Champion Thorns will raise the title banner to the rafters of Providence Park for the third time in a decade on Sunday.

Portland enters season eleven and captain Christine Sinclair has been around for all of it.

The club’s all-time leading goal scorer is one of five players who remain with their original club from the inaugural season.

This will be a big one, not just for the Thorns who are looking to repeat as champs but it’s world cup summer for players like Sinclair for team Canada and reigning league MVP, and budding US superstar, Sophia Smith.

SEE ALSO: One-on-One with the Thorns’ Sam Coffey

“We can’t rest on what we did last year, we are looking to improve on that, be the first Thorns team to win the championship and the regular season, but you’ve got to start somewhere, and the team is ready to go, raring to go and obviously individually, it’s going to be a busy year but that’s why you play,” Sinclair says.

“Obviously, we celebrated last year but I think this is a new start for us. We want to carry over a lot of the things that worked for us but at the same time, make changes and adapt because every other team is going to be doing the same,” says Smith. “It’s not going to be easy, this league is not easy in any way so I think we are just excited for another challenge and a new season to hopefully win it all again.”

Kickoff is at 2 p.m. Sunday against Orlando and you can tune in to the match on FOX 12 Plus with live coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. with Countdown to Kickoff. Stick around for our live postgame show with new head coach Mike Norris and the stars of the game after the match at 4 p.m.

The Timbers have been missing a lot of players and return home Saturday afternoon with a 1-and-3 record. FOX 12 will broadcast the match against the L.A. Galaxy live at 1:30 p.m.