Becky Sauerbrunn signs one-year contract with Portland Thorns

(Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Becky Sauerbrunn has re-signed with the Portland Thorns on a one-year contract.

“We are so excited to sign Becky for another year. The leadership, experience, professionalism and quality she adds to the team is invaluable,” said GM Karina LeBlanc. “Becky is a competitor at heart and her mentality toward always striving to be better every single day is something that aligns perfectly with the meaning of being a Thorn.”

Sauerbrunn was traded to Portland from Utah Royals FC ahead of the 2020 NWSL season. The USWNT captain has appeared in 26 matches for the Thorns, helping them win the 2020 NWSL Community Shield, the 2021 Challenge Cup and the 2021 Women’s International Champions Cup. The defender also won her first career NWSL Shield with Portland in 2021.

In 2021, her first regular season with the club, she played in 16 games, logging 1,326 minutes. Along with the rest of the Thorns’ back line, she helped set an NWSL single-season record with 13 shutouts.

Sauerbrunn has been named NWSL Defender of the Year four times and she has been named to the NWSL Best XI seven times. The 2022 season will mark her 10th in the NWSL after she began her career with FC Kansas City in 2013. She helped Kansas City win back-to-back NWSL Championships in 2014 and 2015. In total, she has amassed 138 appearances, tallying four goals and three assists.

Sauerbrunn has been a staple on the USWNT since 2008, making 199 international appearances. She has won three Olympic medals (two gold, one silver) as well as two World Cups (2015, 2019). With her next appearance, Sauerbrunn will become just the 12th player on the USWNT to reach 200 caps.

“Becky is an icon of the women’s game and a role model to many through her professionalism and longevity, having her in the Portland Thorns jersey is a privilege any coach would want,” said head coach Rhian Wilkinson. “Her leadership on and off the field, her tactical understanding, her ability to understand and adapt to what an opposition is doing, all of these things help make her one of the best center backs in the game.”