Portland's newest top-level professional team, the Thorns are charter members of the National Women's Soccer League, which began play in April 2013. The NWSL season runs from April to August except in FIFA Women's World Cup years (such as 2015), when it extends to September. The Thorns are owned and operated by the Timbers, making them one of four NWSL teams with a formal MLS affiliation (the other three are the Houston Dash, owned by the Houston Dynamo; FC Kansas City, affiliated with but not owned by Sporting Kansas City; and the Orlando Pride, owned by Orlando City SC). While not quite as popular as the Timbers, they've drawn over 10,000 per game in all of the league's first four seasons, something no other team in the league has even done once. In 2016, they averaged more than 16,000 per home game, surpassing the University of Utah gymnastics team as the biggest crowd draw in U.S. women's sports.
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Portland Thorns FC
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