Thorns are season ready

Portland Thorns have a stacked line-up.

Cliff Pfenning
April 9, 2021

The Portland Thorns host Kansas City NWSL on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the second match of the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup and both teams’ first match.

The game will be streamed on Paramount+.

It will be the first match with fans at Providence Park since March of 2020.

Portland Thorns FC will be without U.S. internationals Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Becky Sauerbrunn and Sophia Smith. Christine Sinclair will also miss the match against Kansas City due to her international call-up from Canada. Kansas City will be without forward Mariana Larroquette (with Argentina National Team), Jordyn Listro (Canadian National Team), and Desiree Scott (Canadian National Team).

The Thorns will host a Kansas City team in flux. The Utah Royals were relocated to Kansas City and went through an ownership transfer this offseason. Dell Loy Hansen, the previous owner of Utah Soccer LLC (which included the Utah Royals, an MLS and USL team and academy programs), was forced to transfer ownership to MLS after reports of racist language and a toxic work environment.

Angie and Chris Long of Palmer Square Capital Management became the new owners and an NWSL team returned to Kansas City.

Cliff Pfenning

Cliff is the publisher of, and has decades of experience in writing, photography, videography and graphic design. He's been a sportswriter in Oregon for more than three decades and has even taught sports broadcasting in Portland. He lives in North Portland in a house built in 1912 that has a backyard deck easily turned into a 'Top Golf' set-up for wiffle golf balls ... and cornhole.