Portland Thorns set a new National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) attendance record with 21,144 spectators attending their match against local rivals Seattle Reign on Wednesday.
The best supported team in the USA’s professional league announced they had sold-out Providence Park earlier on Wednesday prior to gates opening. The figure beat the Thorns own NWSL record but fell short of the highest domestic crowd recorded Stateside in 2001 when 34,148 spectators attended Washington's RFK stadium where 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ superstars Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain were the star attractions.
On this occasion in Portland fans witnessed multiple Canada 2015 stars line up for the local team including World Cup-winning midfielder Tobin Heath, plus her Stars and Stripes’ team-mate Megan Rapinoe for Seattle. However, it was to be the visiting Portland who came out on top thanks to a lone goal from prolific Scotland striker Kim Little.
The result keeps Seattle in second a point shy of leaders Chicago Red Stars who won 2-1 at Boston Breakers earlier in the day. The two northwest sides will meet again in Seattle on Sunday with that match also close to a sell-out.
The record crowd in Portland follows last weekend’s NWSL round where three of the four matches attracted capacity crowds, while the previous week saw a club record sell-out crowd of over 13,000 for Houston Dash's home fixture.
There have also been strong crowds in various league across the globe since Canada 2015 concluded earlier this month, notably in Japan and England.