Roster News

…in the form of a press release detailing the squad status:

“Portland has a total of 16 players on the current roster that are under contract entering next year.

“Janine Beckie, Hannah Betfort, Bella Bixby, Sam Coffey, Izzy D’Aquila, Shelby Hogan, Kelli Hubly, Lauren Kozal, Emily Menges, Olivia Moultrie, Meaghan Nally, Reyna Reyes, Rocky Rodríguez, Sophia Smith, Hina Sugita and Morgan Weaver are all under contract for the 2024 season. The team is currently in ongoing contract negotiations with Gabby Provenzano, who is out of contract.

Natalie Beckman is out of contract and has not been extended a bona fide offer. Beckman will be eligible for selection on the NWSL Re-Entry Wire. Additionally, Rikke Sevecke will not return to the club in 2024.

Michele Vasconcelos’s mutual option for the 2024 season has been declined and she is now an unrestricted free agent. Crystal Dunn, Meghan Klingenberg, Tegan McGrady, Becky Sauerbrunn and Christine Sinclair are all unrestricted free agents, while Natalia Kuikka and Taylor Porter are restricted free agents.”

~ “Thorns FC announce roster status ahead of 2024 season” 11/20/23


Only one, for me: Sevecke.

Prime-age (27), tall, (5’11”) centerback with international experience? When your CB corps consists of 1) an older free-agent, 2) a now injury-prone veteran, 3) a mid-career squad player who regressed dramatically last season, and 4) some rookies?

Why sign her in late mid-season, never play her, and now waive her?

Does she juggle live grenades for fun? Keep a full-grown tiger as a pet? Why? I don’t get it.

My only guess is that she was signed as a “in case of emergency break glass” CB backstop for the playoffs, and now that’s over and the team is being sold Peregrine doesn’t want to lay out the money for her. But that’s purely a guess; I’ve never been able to figure those jokers going back to the GW days.

Seems like a waste.

The others?

Given her shenanigans in San Diego Dunn is gone.

Given that her option was declined I don’t see this organization throwing free agent money at Vasconcelos, so she’s either 1) gone, or 2) re-signed at bargain prices. I’m betting Door #1.

Of the other FAs I’m guessing Kuikka might get an offer.

If Brunn, Sinc, and Kling don’t retire the club will tender. If they don’t get a better bid they will be re-signed.

McGrady? Dunno. Given her lack of minutes I wouldn’t bet on it. Depends on what she’s asking; like Vasconcelos, if she’s looking for more than the minimum for her experience level? I think she’s outta here.

Porter? Hmmm…to me she’s on the bubble. I don’t think that much of her. But right now she’s the only backup for Sam Coffey we have. If she’s not asking for much, she might just get back in. But if another club comes and throws silly money at her, why would the Thorns want to match it?

Provenzano? Meh…deep depth. If she’s asking for more than her cohort minimum? She’s kidding herself. If she’s not, she’s fine as garbage-time minutes depth.

Before you add your thoughts, here’s mine – a response to Friend of the Rivet! ABell4 who is hung down, wrung down, and brung down about the State of the Thorns:

“Here’s the thing before going Full Sylvia Plath: this league was a carnival ride last season. Freaking Formerly Sky Blue WON THE LEAGUE!

So could Portland stumble over the sale, fail to get a strong GM/HC in quickly, and have an off year next season? Sure.

But the club had solid ownership, was coming off a championship, bagged an HC reputed to be one of the best in the game, had a roster stuffed with talent…and in 2014 and 2015 sank like a fucking stone.

In the NWSL After Dark? There is nothing Written. There is no Tomorrow. There’s just Today.

So…one day at a time. Let’s see what happens. Could be peaches, could be meatloaf…but we won’t make any difference getting depressed about Doom and Gloom that hasn’t happened yet.

If it does? Well, then that’ll suck.

But sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

So, okay, now – thoughts?

John Lawes
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