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Thorns acquire rights to Lianne Sanderson

Lianne Sanderson

Lianne Sanderson

The Breakers have shipped Lianne Sanderson’s rights to Portland–with a little help from Seattle. (Photo copyright Linehan Photography for

Lianne Sanderson is heading to the Portland Thorns. After more than a week of speculation that the Englishwoman would land in the Rose City, the Thorns acquired her rights on Thursday as a part of a three-way trade with the Boston Breakers and Seattle Reign. Sanderson has green card status and will not count against the international limit.

The Reign shipped a 2nd round pick to Boston for Sanderson’s rights and then flipped those rights south to Portland. In that trade the Reign and Thorns exchanged 1st round picks and the Reign also acquired the Thorns’ 3rd round pick. All of the traded draft picks are for 2016. The Reign continue to hold the Flash’s 1st round pick.

Sanderson spent two seasons with the Boston Breakers but did not return to the club this year, instead joining Arsenal Ladies ahead of the World Cup. She appeared in two of England’s seven World Cup matches helping the Three Lionesses to a 3rd place finish. Sanderson has 49 overall appearances for England. She has scored 15 goals.

In Portland, Sanderson will be reunited with Paul Riley who coached her for two seasons with the Philadelphia Independence. The Independence lost in the WPS Championship Match in both of those seasons.

“Lianne is a bona fide creator with ability to hurt you with a final ball or beat you on the dribble,” Riley said in a team release. “Having had the pleasure of coaching her before I understand what she brings both on the field and in the locker room.”

The Thorns have won two consecutive matches and are within a point of the fourth place Houston Dash. Also Thursday the club placed Rhian Wilkinson on the disabled list.

Thorns acquire: Rights to Lianne Sanderson; Reign 1st round pick in 2016
Breakers acquire: Reign 2nd round pick in 2016
Reign acquire: Thorns 1st and 3rd round picks in 216


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