PTFC Spotlight - June Edition | Zac McGraw, Sam Coffey, and senior team debuts!
For our June edition of Spotlight, it's time to show love and appreciation to Zac McGraw and Sam Coffey. We also give props to Noel Caliskan and Victor Griffith on their first ever starts.
Welcome back to Spotlight where we acknowledge and celebrate huge accomplishments from both Timbers and Thorns.
It’s mid-July, but it’s never too late for looking back into June!
This is everyone’s chance to take a deep breath and find the bright spots during the long MLS and NWSL seasons.
Zac McGraw - Canadian International
The Portland Timbers backline was a major question mark going into the season, but one player who was expected to have a massive season was Zac McGraw.
He has not only delivered, but his play has been rewarded with his first international call-up with the Canada Men’s National Team.
McGraw is one of the top center backs in Major League Soccer. He ranks near the top of almost every metric for defenders. So The call up to represent Canada in the Gold Cup is well deserved.
Could he make the roster for the 2026 Men’s World Cup?
Although Canada lost to the USMNT in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup, this experience will pay dividends for Zac McGraw. Losing in PKs to the USMNT will sting, but he’s going to have more opportunities.
Captain Sam Coffey
Vlatko Andonovski found a way to leave the best number six in the league off of the 2023 WWC roster. In a season where she has raised her game to another level, her dream of playing in the World Cup were crushed.
Sam Coffey is the best defensive midfielder in NWSL and has all the metrics to prove it. As a 6, she is leading the league in assists and in the top echelon of many important metrics.
During the last two games, she has been named the captain for the Portland Thorns. For a second-year player it is the testament to who she is on the pitch and as a person off of it.
There is no doubt she will be on every WWC squad in the future, Sam Coffey is too talented to ever be left out ever again.
And here’s the words of her teammates:
Sophia Smith on Sam Coffey:
"Sam off the field is one of the best people I know. She has the most pure heart and is genuinely happy for everybody. I just love her and we are so lucky to have her on this team. On the field, obviously, she's just amazing. She gets the job done at a level you don't see too often. I know Sam has the brightest future in this league and also with the national team. I told her, after she got her phone call, I said 'this is literally just the beginning, all you can do right now is continue to be yourself and prove to everybody why it was a mistake.' That's the only thing you can do and I think she's doing that. She'll continue to do that. Her time will come, I have no doubt. I fully believe she'll be the holding midfielder on the national team for a very long time."
Christine Sinclair on Sam Coffey:
“The future for her is whatever she wants it to be.”
The Best Presser of All Time?
If you did get a chance to see the postgame presser after the Portland Thorns 4-2 win over Washington Spirit with Sophia Smith and Christine Sinclair, here is your chance to join in on the fun.
Timbers Regular Season Debuts!
Congrats to both Noel Caliskan and Victor Griffith on their first senior-team starts for the club. Caliskan started at Minnesota United going the full 90 and Griffith played the entire game (both before and after it got rained out) against the Colorado Rapids.