Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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HomeWomen's FootballJessie Fleming explains why she left Chelsea for Portland Thorns

Jessie Fleming explains why she left Chelsea for Portland Thorns

Portland Thorns midfielder Jessie Fleming explained how the NWSL team’s possession-based style persuaded her to depart from Chelsea.

In an interview with TSN.Ca, the attacking midfielder discussed her ambitious goals for 2024, both with her club and national team.

Fleming aims for Canada to compete for a podium finish at the 2024 Paris games and secure a Women’s Gold Cup title, while also striving for success with the Thorns. Recently, the 25-year-old completed a high-profile transfer to the NWSL side from the European giant Chelsea in England.

Speaking on how the Thorns progressive system helped draw her over from Chelsea, she said: “I think in some cases, it’s a bit more transitional, definitely still very physical and very fast,” she said. “I think within the NWSL, Portland’s definitely one of the teams that tries to play more of a possession style, and I’m really excited to play with the other midfielders there. I think that kind of suits me.”

Jessie Fleming explains how Europe’s football is evolving

The 25-year-old noted that as the league has expanded, she has observed an increasing influx of talent from Europe, both on the field and in coaching roles.

“I do think the style of play in the league is evolving,” Fleming said. “You see a couple of Spanish coaches [Gotham’s Juan Carlos Amoros, Houston’s Fran Alonso, Washington’s Jonatan Giraldez] coming into the league and players moving from overseas.”

During her time with the Blues, Fleming achieved remarkable success, winning the WSL and FA Cup titles three times each, along with capturing the League Cup and Community Shield. Additionally, she contributed to Chelsea’s journey to the 2021 UEFA Champions League final. Transitioning to the Thorns, she will join forces with USWNT stars Sophia Smith, Olivia Moultrie, and Sam Coffey.

Currently representing Canada in the Women’s Gold Cup, Fleming and her team are set to face Costa Rica on Wednesday evening. Leading their group with six points from wins against Paraguay and El Salvador, Canada aims to maintain their momentum. Meanwhile, the Thorns will kick off their 2024 NWSL season against the Kansas City Current on March 16.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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