Thorns Crowned NWSL 2017 Champions

In a tense, full-on game played at a frenetic pace at the Orlando City Stadium on Saturday (14th October), Portland Thorns held strong against North Carolina Courage and triumphed in the NWSL Championship Final, 1-0, in front of 8,124 fans.


Their victory came via a well-taken volley struck at the far post in the 50th minute, by the game’s MVP midfielder Lindsey Horan (below), calmly finishing after Amandine Henry’s slightest flick on from an Emily Sonnet free kick. It is the Thorns’ second NWSL title, having lifted the trophy in the league’s first season in 2013.

Lindsey Horan celebrates scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Courage’s Makenzy Doniak and Thorns’ Hayley Raso during the NWSL Championship match between the North Carolina Courage and the Portland Thorns FC at Orlando City Stadium.
Christine Sinclair & Sam Mewis challenge for the ball.

Having lost out in the semi-finals to Kansas City last season, there was very much a feeling that this final was ‘unfinished business’ for the Thorns. Their British coach Mark Parsons (who coached Chelsea Ladies from 2004-2010) was honest but hardly bothered by the lack of finesse on show, as his side maintained their excellent defensive record, describing it as:

“Maybe the most beautiful ugly game I’ve ever been a part of.”

Thorns fans always travel in numbers & make for a great atmosphere.
Tobin Heath & Christine Sinclair lift the silverware!
Lindsey Horan, Emily Sonnett celebrate after winning the NWSL Championship match between the North Carolina Courage and the Portland Thorns FC at Orlando City Stadium.
Mark Parsons, Portland Thorns FC coach gets a soaking with some fizz as his team celebrate their National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Championship win.