It’s been a good week for the Portland Thorns.
Their recent match against the Houston Dash brought out the second largest crowd in the history of the National Women’s Soccer League — and they won, 5-0.
On Wednesday, the City Council declared July Portland Thorns FC month.
Nine Thorns players are back in Portland after competing in the Women’s World Cup in France. Four Thorns played for the winning U.S. national team.
Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch told the City Council that the highlight of the World Cup was seeing loyal Portland fans and supporters in France.
One of those fans at the final was Commissioner Amanda Fritz.
“It was just brilliant,” Fritz said. “I watched it three times since I got home again.”
Forward Tobin Heath deadpanned when the Council asked her to share a highlight from France.
“Um, I would just say winning the World Cup was the best part,” she said, to laughter.
The City Council also recognized the players for their part in gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation.
The suit alleges the women’s national team is paid less, plays more often on inferior turf fields, and is less well promoted than the men’s team, in spite of their winning record.
U.S. Soccer’s president, Carlos Cordeiro, addressed the lawsuit in an open letter this week. In it, he says that a direct comparison of pay is difficult, but a financial analysis of the past 10 years shows the federation has paid the women’s team more than the men’s team in salaries and bonuses.
A spokeswoman for the players responded by accusing the federation of releasing “false” numbers, saying it had inflated the women’s pay by including their National Women’s Soccer League salaries.