NWSL News: Sources tie Fleming to Portland, Sauerbrunn resigns with the Thorns, Stoney staying in San Diego

In today's NWSL news, Becky Sauerbrunn re-signs with Portland and Canadian midfielder Jessie Fleming is also connected to the Thorns. Casey Stoney locks down three more years with the Wave, while the Washington Spirit sends forward Nicole Douglas to the London City Lionesses.

Australia v Canada - International Friendly
Australia v Canada - International Friendly / Craig Mitchelldyer/GettyImages
1 of 3

NWSL rumors: Jessie Fleming connected to the Portland Thorns

Tuesday morning started off with a bang when the Telegraph reported that the Portland Thorns are in advanced talks to sign Jessie Fleming from Chelsea for an NWSL record transfer fee of around £250,000. The Thorns have been struggling with the offseason a bit, not having nailed down quite the amount of impressive signings they might’ve hoped for. This would be a major move for Portland, who have big ambitions to make it back to the championship stage this year. 

Fleming has been with Chelsea since graduating from UCLA in 2020 and has over 100 appearances with the club in her four years there. Her tenure there has also included three WSL championships, 3 FA Cups, and second place in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. While Fleming has not played professionally in the United States, it would be hard to imagine she wouldn’t fit in well with the Thorns given their Canadian ties.

Fleming has been on the senior Canadian national team for over 10 years, with all of that time including time sharing the captaincy with Christine Sinclair, who resigned for another year with the Thorns this week. Janine Beckie, another Canadian star, is also set to return for the Thorns this season after being out all last season after a torn ACL. 

It’s hard to imagine any downsides to Jessie Fleming linking up with Sam Coffey in the Portland Thorns midfield unless, of course, you’re the opposing team. With one of the best defensive midfielders in the league in Coffey, adding Fleming as an attacking mid who can find space and pass through to Sophia Smith will create a deadly combo for backlines to grapple with. 

The club has yet to confirm the transfer, with the news expecting to drop in the coming days.