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Becky Sauerbrunn re-signs with Portland on one year deal

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(Michael Thomas Shroyer/USA TODAY Sports)

Becky Sauerbrunn is returning to Portland.

The free agent re-signed with the Thorns on a one-year deal. In a statement, Sauerbrunn said she is “thrilled” to be staying in Portland.

“I’m thrilled to be continuing my career with the Thorns as we enter a new era for the club,” Sauerbrunn said. “And as we welcome new ownership and investment, I’m thankful for the opportunity to play for the city and supporters that have always made being a Thorn such an unrivaled experience.”

Her return comes after Christine Sinclair signed a one-year deal to remain with the club also through 2024. And it also comes after the Thorns were sold to RAJ Sports for $63 million, a company that is led by the Bhathal family, which also holds ownership stake in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

Sauerbrunn is an 11-year NWSL veteran who has established herself as one of the top defenders in the league. Four times she’s won Defender of the Year – a league best – with her most recent award coming in 2019. She’s also been named to the NWSL Best XI and Second XI a league-best eight times.

A three-time NWSL champion, she’s helped Portland to the 2020 NWSL community shield, the 2021 NWSL challenge cup, 2022 NWSL shield and 2022 NWSL championship. She’s one of just a few players in league history to have won every possible title.

She’s also a key member of the USWNT, having captained the team and helped them to the 2015 and 2019 World Cup titles, as well as one Olympic gold and one Olympic silver medal.

“We are delighted to be able to bring Becky back to Portland for this upcoming season, her leadership, on and off the field, her professionalism, and quality on the pitch will be paramount to what we are hoping to achieve this year as a team and in this new era as a club,” general manager Karina LeBlanc said in a statement.