Canada’s Janine Beckie signs 3-year deal with NWSL’s Portland Thorns FC | CBC Sports

Canada’s Janine Beckie is headed back to the U.S.-based National Women’s Soccer League.

The 27-year-old forward signed a three-year deal with the Portland Thorns FC, the team announced Friday. She will join fellow Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Christine Sinclair.

Beckie had been with FA Women’s Super League club Manchester City since 2018. She scored 23 goals in 90 matches across four seasons to help the British side win two Women’s FA Cups and and two League Cups.

“It’s not easy moving your whole life having no idea what was waiting for you on the other side, but what I found was a club that very quickly became close to my heart,” Beckie said about her former team in a Twitter statement. “It has been an absolute honour to wear this kit … Once a blue, always a blue.”

A dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., Beckie scored two goals in the Canadian women’s national team gold medal campaign in Tokyo 2020.

She was also part of the 2016 Olympic team that won the bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Overall, Beckie has 34 goals in 85 international matches for Canada.

Beckie spent two seasons with the Houston Dash after being selected eighth overall by the club in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. She was then traded to Sky Blue FC, where she played the 2018 season.

The interaction between Beckie and Sinclair has already started.

Sinclair, who serves as the team’s captain, took to Twitter to welcome Beckie to Portland, commonly known as the “City of Roses”.

Sinclair signed with Thorns FC in 2013, becoming the club’s all-time leading goal scorer.

‘Excited to have her here’

Beckie was praised by both Thorns FC’s head coach Rhian Wilkinson and general manager Karina LeBlanc for her tactical commitment, talent, experience and work rate.

“Bringing Janine to this club is an important step as we continue to build our roster for this season and into the future,” LeBlanc said.

Wilkinson, who collected 181 caps for Canada during her playing days, echoed the sentiment.

“Janine is a versatile player who can play across multiple positions,” she said.

“She works hard defensively, something I value very highly, and with her engine, athleticism, speed and finishing ability, will bring a lot to our attacks. She is a team-first type of person, which will allow her to seamlessly fit in with this team and group of players. We are excited to have her here.”

Thorns FC, the NWSL Challenge Cup defending champions, currently boast a 2-1-0 unbeaten campaign in the 2022 edition of the tournament. They’ll host OL Reign on Saturday at 10 p.m.

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