The midfielders, currently on international duty at the SheBelieves Cup, have each received three-year contracts
Midfielders Lindsey Horan and Crystal Dunn, both currently competing for the U.S. women’s national team in the SheBelieves Cup, have signed three-year contracts with the Portland Thorns.
Both Horan and Dunn are former MVPs of the NWSL and should be integral to the Thorns’ ambitions, just as they are for their country on the international stage.
They will join the club’s preseason camp after the SheBelieves Cup, which concludes Wednesday night for the USWNT against Argentina.
What did the Thorns say about the signings?
“Lindsey and Crystal are key pillars to our future,” Thorns coach Mark Parsons told the club’s website.
“Their role on and off the field is crucial to our identity and the collective goals of the club. I am inspired by their dedication to the team and our vision to take this important step forward as a club.”
General manager Gavin Wilkinson added: “Having the ability to sign two of the top players in the game to contracts with Thorns FC is an important move for our club that highlights our commitment as well as the growth of the NWSL in the global soccer landscape.”
Where have Dunn and Horan been playing?
Horan is about to enter her sixth season with the Thorns, having joined the club in 2016. One of the top players in the NWSL in recent seasons, Horan earned NWSL Best XI honors in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Dunn, meanwhile, has starred for the North Carolina Courage in the past three seasons, and was acquired by Portland in a trade last fall.
The bigger picture
Both contracts are into six-figures and include NWSL allocation money, according to The Athletic, representing a new pay structure for the league that could help it retain top talent.
NWSL teams can purchase up to $400,000 of allocation money from the league that enables them to pay individuals not being contracted by the USWNT beyond what the normal salary cap would allow.
Because Horan and Dunn turned down their traditional USWNT allocated contracts, the Thorns were able to dip into those allocation funds and provide the multi-year security and salary that comes with it.