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.

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Nicole Douglas heads overseas to the London City Lionesses

The Washington Spirit have made another interesting player move by sending forward Nicole Douglas to the London City Lionesses. Douglas goes to the Lionesses with no transfer fee, as both the Spirit and the Lionesses are owned by Michele Kang. Douglas only spent one year with the Spirit, making 16 appearances for DC after they selected her as the 26th overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft. The Spirit will be supplementing their frontline with an influx of rookies, as they spend another season betting on fresh blood over experience for the time being. 

Becky Sauerbrunn resigns with Portland for a one-year contract 

In the most Sauerbrunn signing video ever, Portland announced that USWNT defender and veteran centerback Becky Sauerbrunn had signed a one-year contract with them for 2024. Sauerbrunn was an unrestricted free agent this year, and keeping her in Portland will be very important for the Thorns this season. Even though she was in and out with injury last season, Sauerbrunn still has a profound impact on the team in the locker room and on the sidelines, well known for her wisdom and leadership in the league. She’ll be headed into her twelfth season this upcoming year when she’ll likely be competing for a spot on the USWNT Olympic roster after missing out on the World Cup last year. 

The two-time World Cup winner has been with the Thorns since 2020, going to Portland after the Utah Royals folded. She’s one of the most accomplished defenders in the league, having won the NWSL championship three times and the NWSL shield once. Her time on the USWNT is impressive, with over 200 appearances, and she sits ninth in all-time caps with 217. 

Sauerbrunn’s experience will be vital to the Thorns this year, and she will be a leader for the team alongside other veterans Christine Sinclair and Meghan Klingenberg.