Australian defender Ellie Carpenter has signed with Portland Thorns FC, the club announced Tuesday. The deal is pending receipt of her P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
Carpenter made her international debut at the age of 15 during Australia’s Olympic qualifying in 2016. She has 13 appearances and one goal with the senior team. She will join the Thorns after Australia takes part in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup from April 7-22. The tournament is the AFC’s qualifying tournament for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Thorns said Carpenter’s contract will begin on April 28 — which is also her 18th birthday.
“This is an exciting move for us and for Ellie,” Thorns coach Mark Parsons said in a Portland news release. “We are signing a powerful, attacking fullback that can help us now and also has huge upside in the long term. Ellie has strong technical ability with an attacking attitude that will add to our play out of the back. Her winning mentality to improve and compete makes her a great addition to our group.”
Carpenter most recently played for Canberra United in the W-League. Last season, she scored two goals and two assists in ten games.
“Ellie is regarded as one of the top young players in the world and we are delighted by the opportunity to further her development,” Thorns GM and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson said. “She fits a positional need and we look forward to her joining the club after she turns 18.”
Carpenter joins fellow Australians Hayley Raso, Ashley Sykes and Caitlin Foord with the Thorns. Foord was injured in the W-League semifinals last weekend.