PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Thorns have signed Australian international Stephanie Catley from Melbourne Victory of Australia’s W-League.
A speedy back from Melbourne, Catley, 20, has been a member of the Matildas since 2012, earning 15 caps, while scoring 1 goal. Beginning her professional career in 2009 with the Victory, Catley appeared in 50 matches, scoring 7 goals.
“Steph will be a massive addition to our squad,” said Thorns head coach Paul Riley in a press release. “She will bring added speed to our back line and has the ability to go end line to end line. She can provide width on the field and has great delivery and provides a physical presence. She is a fantastic signing for the club and her international experience will be extremely valuable in our quest for the title.”
Catley has picked up several accolades in her young career. She was named Captain for the Victory for the 2013-2014 season, was a finalist for Professional Football Associations Female Footballer of the Year in 2013, won the Football Federation of Australia Women’s U20 Player of the Year twice (in 2011 and 2012), was named the 2012-2013 W-League Young Player of the Year, and was named 2011-2012 Female Footballer of the Year at the Australia Football Fan Awards.
Catley will be added to the Thorns’ roster following the receipt of her P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
Her Melbourne Victory side will face new Thorns teammate Nadine Angerer’s Brisbane Roar on February 23 in the W-League Grand Finale.
The Thorns begin preseason training on March 10. The 2014 NWSL Season kicks off April 12, when the Thorns travel to face NWSL newcomers Houston Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.