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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Canada midfielder Jessie Fleming set to join Portland Thorns from Chelsea

Portland Thorns is set to complete the signing of Canada midfielder Jessie Fleming from Chelsea.

The 25-year-old joined Chelsea in the summer of 2020 following her four-year college career at UCLA Bruins.

Fleming has won seven major trophies during her three-and-a-half years at Chelsea but has struggled to nail down a regular starting spot this season and was not included in the squad for Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

After being largely restricted to substitute cameos during her debut season in the Women’s Super League, Fleming played an important role in Chelsea’s 2021-22 title-winning campaign, providing six goals and four assists in 21 league appearances. However, she has seen her game time limited this term, starting just four times in the WSL.

Her Chelsea contract had been set to run until 2025 after she signed fresh terms in November 2022.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, who brought Fleming to the club in 2020, is departing at the end of the season to take the USWNT head coach role.

The move will allow Fleming to play her club football alongside former Canada captain Christine Sinclair for one season. The world’s all-time leading international goalscorer announced on Monday she would play one more year with the Thorns following her retirement from international football in December.

The Thorns finished second in the 2023 NWSL regular season before being beaten by NJ/NY Gotham in the semi-finals of the play-offs. Its sale to RAJ Sports was announced in January.

Fleming has been capped 123 times by her country since making her senior debut at the age of 15 and played a pivotal part in Canada’s gold medal success at the Tokyo Olympics.

(Daniela Porcelli/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

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