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NWSL Challenge Cup Team Preview: Portland Thorns FC

Photo Copyright Lewis Gettier for The Equalizer

This is not your usual Portland Thorns team. Heading into the 2020 National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup, that could mean several things.

Portland is the league’s most recognizable team and a perennial contender. This offseason, however, brought a mixed bag of wins and losses in roster management, and some key pieces who could have otherwise steadied the ship might have minimal impact in Utah due to injury. Every team will make the quarterfinals. After that? There are no guarantees.

2019 record

11-6-7 (40 points), 3rd place

Roster churn

Head coach Mark Parsons made the point throughout the offseason that his team lost its identity late in 2019, evidenced by some ugly results — none worse than the 6-0 shellacking at home at the hands of the North Carolina Courage.

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