Mar 14, 2024

PREVIEW | Thorns open 2024 season at Kansas City Current

Thorns and KC kickoff at 10am PT from CPKC Stadium. Stream on ABC, ESPN, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes.

The 2024 NWSL season kicks-off this weekend in Missouri as Portland Thorns FC and Kansas City Current face-off at CPKC Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 10am PT, and can be watched on ABC, ESPN, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes.

  • ⚽️ Matchcenter: Current vs. Thorns
  • 🖥️ How to Watch: The NWSL is more accessible than ever before, don't miss any of the action. Click here for more details.

Familiar and New Faces

At the conclusion of their participation in the 2023 NWSL Playoffs, the Thorns went straight to work on their offseason to-do list. Since then, General Manager Karina LeBlanc has orchestrated a series of contract extensions and signings that will once again bring Portland to the front of the championship contenders list.

The Familiar

Hina Sugita's extension was announced back in mid-December. In January, the contracts of midfielder Gabby Provenzano and veteran defender Becky Sauerbraunn were also extended to keep them in the Rose City through at least the upcoming season. The reigning U.S. Young Female Player of the Year is also here to stay, with Olivia Moultrie extending through 2026. Free agents and club legends Christine Sinclair and Meghan Klingenberg both inked new deals to stay another year.

The New

Through the 2024 NWSL Draft, the Thorns have signed three of their picks to professional contracts thus far – Payton Linnehan, Olivia Wade-Katoa, and Kat Asman.

Portland has also imported talent, diving into the transfer pool during the offseason. Danish defender Isabella Obaze (from FC Rosengård in Sweden) was unveiled early in the year. Soon after, Canadian international Jessie Fleming (from Chelsea FC in FA Women's Super League), Austrian defender Marie Müller (from SC Freiburg in the Frauen-Bundesliga) and Nigerian international Nicole Payne (from Paris Saint-Germain in France) were announced.

Here are stats and notes to know ahead of the season opener in Kansas City:

66%

In nine total matches between the Portland and Kansas City (including playoffs and Challenge Cup), the Thorns have come out on top in six of them, collecting all three points in 66% of their battles thus far.

15 to 4

Not only have the Thorns been superior in the all-time series with KCC, but they've also netted a whopping 15 goals to KCC's 4 – good for a +11 goal differential.

Déjà vu?

No you didn't dream it, you actually have experienced this before – for the second season in a row, the Thorns play their first away game of the season at Kansas City. Last March, Portland came out victorious, in a 4-1 win at Children's Mercy Park (with THAT Soph hat-trick). This year the stage is different as the Current host Portland at brand new CPKC Stadium.

10y 11m 3d

Portland, Kansas City, and season openers are no strangers to one another. In fact, the two cities gave the league its debut 10 years, 11 months, and 3 days ago once the starting whistle is blown on Saturday. Back in 2013, the Thorns took on FC Kansas City (who would later become the Utah Royals) at Shawnee Mission District Stadium in Overland Park, Kan.

8-1-1

The Thorns are 8-1-1 all-time in season opening matches. Of those 10 games, three of them were on the road (2013, 2018, 2019), earning a respectable 1-1-1 record in those away openers.

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