Thorns schedule announced; is big trade next?
Tuesday was a big news day for Portland Thorns fans.
The 2020 schedule was announced and a report from Equalizer Soccer indicates that U.S. Women's National Team defender Becky Sauerbrunn will be traded to Portland
If that report is accurate, Sauerbrunn's first game as a member of the Thorns will be the April 18 season opener when the Utah Royals visit Providence Park.
Again this season, the 24-game regular season will feature three matches against each of the other eight National Women's Soccer League teams. Portland will play host twice to Reign FC, Orlando, Utah and Sky Blue. Visiting Portland once are defending champion North Carolina, 2019 runner up Chicago, Houston and Washington.
The regular season ends on October 18, with the second visit from Utah.
The semifinal matches will be on November 8 and the championship game will be played on November 14.
Rival Reign FC will visit Portland on May 16 and May 30, part of a stretch of five of six games at home for the Thorns. Portland visits Reign FC in Tacoma on August 29.
Portland is home only once in almost two months between June 13 and August 8.
Acquiring Sauerbrunn, who turns 35 in June, would fill a hole at center back left by the trade that sent Emily Sonnet to Orlando. The Equalizer report indicated at least one unnamed player will be sent to Utah in the deal, though the allocation money is apparently the centerpiece of the package.
Sauerbrunn has been named the NWSL Defender of the Year three times and has been named to the league's Best XI after each of the league's seven seasons.
The Thorns open training camp on March 9. They will play host to preseason action at Providence Park on March 29, April 1 and April 4, with Reign FC, Chicago and the U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team joining Portland for the round-robin event.
PORTLAND THORNS 2020 SCHEDULE
Times are Pacific
Saturday, April 18 vs. UTAH, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25 at Chicago, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, April 29 at North Carolina, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, May 6 vs. ORLANDO, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 9 vs. HOUSTON, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 16 vs. REIGN FC, 1:30 p.m.
Friday, May 22 at Utah, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 30 vs. SKY BLUE FC, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 12 vs. REIGN FC, 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 20 at Washington, 4 p.m.
Sunday, June 28 at Houston, 4 p.m.
Sunday, July 5 at Orlando, 2 p.m.
Saturday, July 11 vs. SKY BLUE FC
Saturday, Aug. 1, at North Carolina, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 9 vs. CHICAGO, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 15 vs. ORLANDO, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29 at @Reign FC, noon
Wednesday, Sept. 2 at Chicago, 5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 6 vs. NORTH CAROLINA, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 12 at Washington, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26 at Sky Blue FC, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3 vs. WASHINGTON, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 9 at Houston, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 18 vs. UTAH, 12:30 p.m.
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