There is a lot of talk about The Thorns winning the allocation with Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair, but there’s more to the team than top scorers.
This past week the Thorns added technicality and sophistication to their team with draft pick Angie Kerr.
Kerr, a former University of Portland player, joins former teammate and Portland alum Christine Sinclair. Kerr and Sinclair played one season together at Portland in 2005, taking the Pilots to win the NCAA Championship.
“I’m glad to see both of them here, because this is where they want to be,” University of Portland women’s soccer head coach Garrett Smith said.
Kerr, 27, knows what it’s like to be part of new team. Her freshman year at UP in 2003 saw six senior starters graduate, ten freshman arrive, and came in the wake of former head coach Clive Charles’ death.
“It was a roller coaster of a year for sure,” said Smith.
A three-time All-American at the University of Portland, Kerr was a piece to the success for the next four years and appreciated for her unique style of play.
“Angie Woznuk is a creative ball player,” Smith said. “How she sees the game, how she plays the game is different than most. She doesn’t overwhelm you with her size or her power. She gets things done because of how she reads the game and how she plays the game.”
Kerr and Christine bring two very different skill sets to the Thorns, but both bring a level of professionalism and knowledge of the game that they learned while at UP. Do their experiences playing together at Portland on a championship team give them an early edge?
Smith believes that their thoughtful approach to the game and ability to make decisions is what makes them different and successful.
From Kerr, fans can expect a technical and skilled player who reads and manages the game quickly and knows where the ball should be played.
“Angie Woznuk doesn’t possess that physical attribute that Christine has, but yet they’re both great thinkers of the game, and I think that’s what makes them the great players that they are,” said Smith.
As a player, Sinclair is known for her change of pace, powerful game and scoring ability. As a person, the word synonymous with Sinclair is humility.
“More impressive than her being the top in the world is just the person she is and how humble she is,” said former University of Portland teammate Lisa Chambers. “She’s an unbelievable player, but an even more unbelievable person.”
More than anything else, this pair knows what it takes to make a team succeed both on and off the field. According to Smith, it’s what a team does off the field to bond with the community that leads to success.
“It’s not being an unapproachable athlete that nobody can have access to,” Smith said. “They’re going to sign every little kid’s autograph that you bring to the game and that in and of itself will make the franchise successful.”