Two female soccer players who played against each other in a key game in last year’s Olympics will now be teammates in Portland.
Christine Sinclair led the Canadian national team to a bronze medal in last year’s Olympics. Her performance included scoring three goals in a losing effort against Team USA.
Scoring the winning goal in that game for the Americans was Alex Morgan.
Now they’re both Portland Thorns.
On a conference call with reporters, Alex Morgan gushed about being assigned to Portland.
“You know, I’m really excited to be here, today, I’m excited to get this started off with the Portland Thorns," Morgan said. "[The] Northwest is a really great soccer area – I had firsthand experience with that last year.”
Canadian, Christine Sinclair was a crowd favorite at the University of Portland. Another Portland Pilot, Megan Rapinoe, landed with the Seattle Reign.
Those are just three of the 55 players with ties to the US, Canadian, and Mexican national teams that were distributed among eight pro franchises.
But the heavy dose of serious goal scorers in Portland has given rise to complaints among soccer fans elsewhere, according to ESPN soccer correspondent Leander Schaerlaeckens.
“People are already crowning Portland the 2013 champions, on Twitter, it seems," Schaerlaeckens said. He asked, "Can we talk a little about how the difficulty of putting together this allocation, and how you tried to achieve balance?”
League officials say they considered player and team preferences, and kept an eye on balancing talent and player roles.
Next up is a draft of eligible college players, next Friday.