CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League Monday announced that Portland Thorns FC has won the 2020 Verizon Community Shield, after finishing 3-0-1 in the NWSL Fall Series.
The Houston Dash took second place and Washington Spirit earned third place and finished first in the Northeast pod.
“Congratulations to Portland, Houston and Washington on finishing this unprecedented year in fantastic fashion, and thanks to Verizon for making this fall series about something bigger than just wins and losses,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said in a statement. “Each club’s community partner was a great opportunity for our league to play a small role in showcasing important causes and organizations, and I’m really proud of the role that each of our clubs play in the city’s where they live and play.”
Led by captain Christine Sinclair, Portland outscored its opponents, 10-3, in four games, with Sinclair connecting for six goals including a hat-trick against OL Reign Sept. 30 to secure first place and the $25,000 grant. Thorns FC chose to play for Mimi’s Fresh Tees, a Portland-based t-shirt company that amplifies tough social justice conversations.
“I am so excited that we had the opportunity to partner with Mimi’s Fresh Tees. We love what Mimi’s stands for and how they want to continue the race conversation in our community by allowing people to wear their truth,” Thorns FC forward Simone Charley said in a statement. “To be able to help a local business that empowers individuals to stand up for what they believe in was an opportunity we could not pass up. I think for us as a team, it is special being able to support our community because that is such a big part of the Thorns identity, and we are thrilled that we are able to give back to a community that supports us so much.”
Coming off its first league title in club history at the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, the Dash continued to be a threat on the pitch going 3-1-0 in the Fall Series. Midfielder Kristie Mewis helped lead the way with two goals and five assists, securing a $15,000 grant for the team’s partner NAACP Houston. The NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the country.
“We discussed a foundation that we wanted to choose based on a lot of research we did in the Houston community,” Dash captain Jane Campbell said in a statement. Being such a diverse city, we knew there was a lot out there, but the NAACP stood out to us because it dives right into the community in a smaller aspect and then branches into a bigger cause.”
With a 2-1-1 record, seven points and a plus-one goal differential the Washington Spirit topped Sky Blue FC and the Chicago Red Stars in the Northeast pod and clinched third place and the $10,000 grant. The Spirit chose to play for DC SCORES throughout the Fall Series. Founded in 1994, DC SCORES utilizes a unique combination of soccer, poetry, and service-learning to create neighborhood teams that give kids in need the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life.
“We are proud of our partnership with DC Scores. They are an amazing organization doing great things for young people in D.C.,” Spirit defender Paige Nielsen said in a statement. “We are thrilled that we were able to support them with our play during the Fall Series. We look forward to the work we will continue to do together that will have a positive impact on our community.”
The Community Shield was created to provide the league with an opportunity to support small businesses and programs in National Women’s Soccer League communities. As part of the Shield, each of the nine clubs played on behalf of local small businesses throughout the series.