Portland to be named Thorns FC

Jeff Kassouf December 13, 2012 19

The new women’s professional soccer team in Portland, Ore., will be named Portland Thorns FC, the team announced on Thursday. Merritt Paulson owns the team, and he also owns the Portland Timbers of MLS.

Brent Diskin of the Timbers Army designed the club crest.

“I tried to stay away from any imagery that would be considered too ‘girly’ or ‘cartoony,’ ” Diskin said in a Q&A on the Timbers website. “The combination of symbolism and simplicity is meant to inform all that this is a team that this is a professional team that means serious business.”

Paulson said the name was a natural fit for the Rose City, as Portland is known.

“Portland Thorns FC quickly emerged as a natural choice that was appropriate for the city and the culture of Soccer City, USA,” Paulson said in a team release. “And a nice side benefit of the name is the Army’s P-T-F-C chant doesn’t need much re-scripting for the women’s team.”

Here’s video unveiling the new crest:

Timbers/Thorns ownership has been taking refundable season ticket deposits since U.S. Soccer announced the creation of a new yet-to-be-named women’s professional soccer league on Nov. 21. The majority of Thorns FC home games will be played at JELD-WEN Field in downtown Portland, although Paulson said during halftime of the U.S. women’s game against Ireland there on Nov. 28 that Merlo Field on the campus of University of Portland is also under consideration to host some matches.

Current U.S. star Megan Rapinoe and 2012 Canadian Athlete of the Year Christine Sinclair went to University of Portland. Rapinoe won an NCAA national championship in 2005 with the Pilots, which was Sinclair’s second title, having won one in 2002 also.

Abby Wambach recently purchased a home in the Portland area, so all three are prime candidates to call the new club their home.

Liviu Bird contributed to this report.

  • Steglitz49

    Nickname: the “Thornbirds”. Did they think that one through?

    • TsovLoj

      Not getting the joke here. Care to explain?

      • Steglitz49


  • Elizabeth

    I like it; I’m glad they are actually called something rather than just a city and FC. The logo is really nice too.

    • Steglitz49

      Great logo, agreed. Would not “Real Portland” sounded good?

      • Bryan Evans

        I think you misunderstand the naming convention for “Real”. Real is supposed to show a royal connection. Spanish Real teams given the moniker by the King of Spain. Real Salt Lake only uses it because they have a relationship with Real Madrid. Portland lakes either of those things, so using that would be silly.

        • Steglitz49

          There are indeed several Spanish clubs with the right to use “Real” though not all do. The men play for the Copa del Rey while the ladies compete for the Copa de la Reina.

          The lady was bemoaning that old Europe tended to have dull and unimaginative club names. Indeed, many are named after their town except where there are many clubs, as in Göteborg and London, when the name comes from a local feature. There are, of course, exceptions, such as Ajax and Arsenal, though there are others. Generally nicknames have grown up organically, such as Angels, Magpies, Mackerels, Wolves and Canaries. American soccer, with names like Red Stars and Dynamos, seems to be a hotbed of communism.

          The legendary club Benfica has an eagle on its crest with the words “E Pluribus Unum” while AC Milan uses the English spelling to honor its founders — but they have dropped the “Cricket” from their name.

        • TsovLoj

          RSL’s use of the name predates their ties to Real Madrid if memory serves

          • Steglitz49

            I must confess that I was ignorant of SLC considering themselves Royal, the USA being a country that disdains royalty. Their association with Real Madrid sounds ominous for the women’s game because that club, like Man Utd, does not have a ladies division. Real Sociedad have a women’s side as does Atletico Madrid. Initially AM were very successful, but the ladies’ side was disbanded though recently it has been restarted. They have one, possibly two, Japanese players, else all are Spanish.

  • StarCityFan

    Certainly more creative than “Spirit.” And still ties in well with the city’s nickname.

    • TsovLoj

      I was hoping for “Rose City FC” but this really ain’t bad.

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe the domain “RCFC” already being registered, including for several soccer clubs around the world, could have played a part. “FCRC” is also taken.
        Although it ought to have been RCLFC to have been consistent, though “ffCRC” would have been a ring to it.

  • Steglitz49

    Were Rapinoe, Sinclair and Wambach to play for this team, would not “International Portland” — shortened to “Inter”, obviously — be fitting? The trio could be nicknamed the “Sinwraps” derived from Sin-W-Rap as in the fabled Gre-No-Li line though they played for AC Milan, not Inter.

  • Great name for new Portland women’s soccer team

  • whoa…if Pinoe, Abby and Sinclair decide to stay and play in Portland, their tea will be real serious thorns in the side of their competition for years to come. Portland will be a great city to support and grow women’s professional soccer.

    • Steglitz49

      Alex Morgan no doubt would want to pull that thorn. One can expect that she will attract good players around herself and make them even better with her great passing skills.

      Judging by the money put up by the three federations, each team can be expected to have at least one Mexican, one Canadian and three American players. We wait with bated breath.

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  • Greg_G

    Good name, great crest. Hopefully other new franchises follow suit. Thorns > Spirit.

  • Steglitz49

    Allegedly Keelin Winters has been let go by Potsdam. It will be interesting to see if she gets to play in this new north-American league.