On Saturday, Christine Sinclair will embark on her second season with the Portland Thorns. The club will begin their title defence against the Houston Dash, the league’s first expansion team. She answered a number of questions during an NWSL media preview call.
On preseason and looking ahead to her team’s first match:
“I think a lot has changed in Portland since this time last year. With the addition of Paul [Riley], it’s been an incredible preseason. We’ve got this new energy to our team and a new style of play. Along with that, we’ve got the addition of a lot of new players. During pre-season, we experienced a great trip down to Arizona, something we didn’t have last year. It’s been a long preseason and the team is just looking forward to competing against someone other than ourselves. As a player, it’s always exciting being part of a team’s first ever game in the NWSL. It’s going to be exciting time to get down to Houston and open up their franchise.”
On what it was like playing with Alex Morgan in 2013 and Morgan’s current injury:
“Last year, with Alex and I playing together, it actually didn’t click very well to be honest. Part of that was because I dropped down into midfield toward the middle of the season. Obviously, any time you’re missing a player like Alex, your team is going to suffer. We’ve experienced the whole preseason without her and we’re very confident heading into this season that we’ll be able to perform and score goals without her. Obviously, we’ll welcome her back when she finally gets healthy, but we’re very confident with the group we have.”
On switching from club to country:
“It’s something that all of us have had to do for many years. With the short professional season on the women’s side, you go back and forth very often. It’s easy. You’re friends with your teammates on your club team, but when you play each other internationally they’re the enemy. Then the next day or two, you’re back again. It’s something that’s very easy.”
Randy Waldrum, Houston Dash head coach on GK Erin McLeod:
“No doubt, having Erin in net is a huge plus. She’s a huge calming effect for not only our young players in the back, but our entire team. You know you’ve got one of the best goalkeepers in the world tending your nets, it certainly gives you some confidence.”
– GK Erin McLeod was named captain of the expansion Houston Dash. She is the second Canadian captain in the NWSL, following in the footsteps of Sinclair.
– Lauren Sesselmann remains out of the Houston lineup indefinitely, due to an injury.
– The Chicago Red Stars have four Canadian players, the most in the NWSL: GK Karina LeBlanc, D Rachel Quon, F Adriana Leon and F Melissa Tancredi. All four of them are allocated.
– Defender Carmelina Moscato is the lone Canadian on the Seattle Reign.
– In total, 14 Canadians are taking part.
About the author:
Sandra Prusina is a journalist and broadcaster based out of Calgary, Canada. She has covered women’s soccer since 2010. She’s also a segment reporter for Olympic Broadcast Services, traveling to Vancouver, London and Sochi to work for the host broadcaster.