When it comes to winning footy championships in Soccer City USA, it's ladies first for Portland.
Tobin Heath and Christine Sinclair scored goals and the Portland Thorns withstood playing a woman down for 34 minutes to capture the inaugural National Women's Soccer League Championship with a 2-0 victory over the Western New York Flash on Saturday night.
The Thorns arrived at PDX this morning to a teeming crowd of supporters after handing the Flash just their second home loss and capping a four-match winning streak to end the season. They entered the NWSL playoffs as the No. 3 seed and beat Western New York for the first time in three tries to earn the hardware.
"When our back's up against the wall, I think that's when this team shines," Heath, who earned MVP honors, told espnW.
History will also shine on the Thorns: They're Portland's first pro sports champions since 1977, when the Trail Blazers took home their lone NBA title. To celebrate the end of that dry spell, the team's traveling supporters were treated to an open bar tab by Thorns/Timbers owner Merritt Paulson, who noted he'd buy Timbers Army a bar if Portland's men could match the Thorns' success.
UPDATE (6:05 pm): The Thorns will hold a championship celebration at noon on Wednesday at The Jelly. The event is free and open to the public. From the Thorns:
All fans are invited to attend the free event, which will be hosted by Thorns FC radio announcer Ann Schatz and highlighted by messages from head coach Cindy Parlow Cone and select players, an NWSL championship trophy presentation and autograph signing.
Due to national team call-ups and prior commitments, select Thorns FC players will not be in attendance, including U.S. Women’s National Team members Rachel Buehler, Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan, midfielder Allie Long and forwards Christine Sinclair and Tiffany Weimer.
Check out the Thorns supporters' official hashtag (#BAON) for more sights and sounds from the match and airport arrival. And click past the jump for highlights from last night's action.