When the Portland Thorns drafted forwards Sophia Smith and Morgan Weaver, as well as defender Meaghan Nally, in the NWSL Draft in January, the team’s future already looked bright.
Now, a long-rumored deal for Becky Sauerbrunn has come to fruition, bringing tremendous leadership and experience to the Rose City.
The Thorns announced Tuesday the acquisition of Sauebrunn, a two-time World Cup winner, via a trade with the Utah Royals. The Royals received defender Elizabeth Ball and $100,000 in allocation money as well as future compensation considerations in the deal.
Sauerbrunn’s lived in Portland over the past five years despite playing for the Royals and now defunct Kansas City FC, now she gets to return home for good.
“As a player, I’ve lived my life in two parts, where my life with my team has been away from where I (otherwise) lived,” Sauerbrunn said in a statement via the team. “Going to Portland at this point in my career, having lived there for five years, that changes. This move allows me to play at home.”
Sauerbrunn’s career began with Kansas City, where she won two NWSL championships in 2014 and 2015. She’s a four-time NWSL Defender of the Year, two-time league champion, Olympic gold medalist, and seven-time all-NWSL defender.
Sauerbrunn shared a message for Thorns fans in a post on Twitter:
“I’ve fallen so much in love with the city of Portland and I can’t wait to represent all that is good about it and playing in front of you will be such an honor,” Sauerbrunn said in a video on the Thorns’ Twitter account.
Welcome home, Becky.