Christine Sinclair reaches historic goal-scoring mark as Thorns kick off NWSL season

Christine Sinclair of Burnaby, B.C., and her Portland Thorns teammates won the NWSL's second annual Challenge Cup on Saturday, prevailing 2-1 on penalties with Morgan Weaver's goal in Round 7 of sudden-death in Portland, Ore.

Portland skipper becomes 3rd player to reach 50 regular-season goal plateau

Canada's Christine Sinclair, seen in this file photo from July, became only the third NWSL player (behind Sam Kerr and Lynn Williams) to reach the 50-regular season goal plateau during the Portland Thorns' 5-0 thrashing of the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Christine Sinclair and the Portland Thorns kicked off the 2021 NWSL season at home with a bang on Sunday.

Sinclair, who already holds the record for most career international goals, celebrated yet another milestone during the Thorns' 5-0 thumping of the Chicago Red Stars at Providence Park. 

The Portland skipper netted her 50th NWSL regular-season goal after teammate Meghan Klingenberg was taken down in the area.  Sinclair coolly stepped up to take the penalty, beating the outstretched arm of the keeper with a low shot to the left side. 

It was Sinclair's 15th career goal against Chicago, making the 37-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., only the third NWSL player (behind Sam Kerr and Lynn Williams) to reach the 50-goal plateau. 

WATCH | Christine Sinclair scores penalty kick in Portland's blowout win:

Christine Sinclair scores penalty kick in Portland's blowout win

2 years ago
Duration 1:01
The Canadian soccer great converted a penalty kick in Thorns FC's 5-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars.

Sinclair's goal, the second of the game, helped set an early tone, with Portland scoring a total of four in the opening 30 minutes. 

A Chicago own goal in the fourth minute, however, kicked off the goal-scoring frenzy. 

After Sinclair made it 2-0, Sophia Smith struck twice to record the first brace of the 2021 season. 

Chicago never recovered and in the second half, Portland's Tyler Lussi added the final dagger to make it 5-0. 

Red Stars captain Julie Ertz suffered a scary midfield collision in the 29th minute. The American international was subbed off and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on her right knee on Monday. 

In earlier action, the Orlando Pride and Washington Spirit played to a 1-1 draw. 

Alex Morgan's late equalizer for Orlando cancelled out Ashley Hatch's 76th-minute opener.

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