Tegan McGrady hasn’t had much time to adjust to her new situation. She was traded to the Portland Thorns on July 25, arrived in the city shortly after, briefly trained with the team, and left with them for a road trip to Louisville.
McGrady, a defender, played 45 minutes against Racing Louisville FC on Friday after being replaced by defender Madison Pogarch as part of the San Diego Wave FC contract. She took advantage of the road trip to get to know her new teammates, some of whom were familiar faces from former football teams.
“It’s been good,” McGrady, 24, said after training at Thorns on Tuesday. “It was a period of rapid adaptation. I was only in Portland a few days before leaving for Kentucky, so the trip away really helped me get to know the team. It was a way of forcing myself out of my shell sooner, and being in a whole new environment makes it harder, so I’m really grateful for this trip to Louisville.
McGrady played with Thorns forward Sophia Smith during her senior year at Stanford when Smith was a freshman. Their roles are now reversed, McGrady said, as Smith — an NWSL MVP contender — is the one showing him the ropes in Portland. McGrady also knows Meaghan Nally from training with the Washington Spirit. And Taylor Porter, whom McGrady met at training camp in San Diego, is his new roommate in Portland.
She made a promise to Thorns fans:
“Most players say that in the league, but even if I have a tough day on or off the field, I’ll give 110 per cent and everything I have,” McGrady said. “Even though my touch is off, I’ll work as hard as I can on the pitch. I love hearing the crowd in Portland, and it’s definitely going to be interesting to play here where they are for me rather than against me. That energy helps everything that, and we’re lucky to have the fans that we have.
Although McGrady hasn’t explored Portland much in the whirlwind since her trade, she hopes to do so in the coming weeks. One of her off-court passions is coffee, and she plans to seek out the best cafes in town, as recommended by teammates and Thorns fans.
One thing she came to Portland without her dear friend: a one-year-old Cavapoo puppy named Gus. His dog is staying with his grandmother and grandfather for the remainder of the 2022 NWSL season, and McGrady is looking for a way to fill the void for his furry friend in Portland.
“I have a dog, he’s a puppy, but he won’t be with me the rest of the season,” McGrady said. “So if anyone has dogs or knows of places to see them, good cafes where people bring their dogs, let me know. I love interacting with dogs and I will miss Gus very much for the rest of the season while he is with my parents. I will definitely need my dog while I’m here.
–Ryan Clarke, [email protected]