USWNT Rewind: Thorns Crowned 2022 NWSL Champions

Portland Thorns FC were crowned 2022 NWSL Champions on Saturday evening, defeating the Kansas City Current 2-0 at Audi Field to close out the league’s 10th season. The victory marked the third time the Thorns have won the NWSL Championship – the most by any club in league history – and their first since 2017.

Portland took control of the match in the early goings as 2022 NWSL MVP Sophia Smith scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in just the fourth minute. Smith, who at 22-years-old became the youngest MVP in NWSL history, got on the end of a through ball played in transition, outran her defender and beat Current ‘keeper Adrianna Franch one-v-one to net her first career NWSL playoff goal and 28th goal across all official competitions for club and for country in 2022. Smith finished second in the NWSL Golden Boot race with 14 goals in the regular season and led the league in both total shots and shots on goal. Smith was also named the MVP of the NWSL Championship Game.


Boosted by the early goal from Smith, the Thorns controlled play throughout the match, outshooting Kansas City, 18-9 on the evening, including a 6-0 advantage in shots on target. Portland’s persistence in the attack was rewarded with some additional assurance in the 56th minute when it forced the Current into an own goal after a dangerous cross was played into the area. Along with Smith, Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn and Sam Coffey, all whom have featured for the USA in 2022, saw action for Portland in the championship match. Dunn, who made her return to the field this season after giving birth to her son Marcel in May, captured her third NWSL Championship, having won titles with the North Carolina Courage in both 2018 and 2019, while Sauerbrunn, who was a finalist for NWSL Defender of the Year, also captured her third league championship and first since winning back-to-back titles with FC Kansas City in 2014 and 2015. This is the first NWSL Championship for both Smith and Coffey, who was a finalist for NWSL Rookie of the Year.

Former Portland Thorn star Lindsey Horan, who joined French powerhouse Olympique Lyon in January, continues her stellar start to the 2022-23 European campaign. Horan logged 90 minutes in each of her appearances over the week, scoring in Lyon’s midweek Champions League group stage matchup against Juventus and adding an assist in OL’s 1-0 win over Fleury in league play. In the Champions League matchup against Juventus, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Horan opened the scoring in the 23rd minute as she corralled a driven ball into the area in impressive fashion and turned and finished for her first Champions League goal since signing with Lyon. In Sunday’s league win over Fleury, Horan played a pinpoint cross into the area in second-half stoppage time, which was headed in for the game’s only goal.


Broadcast information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.


Saturday, November 5

D1 Féminine: Guingamp vs. Olympique Lyon

9:30 a.m.

Ata Football


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