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Canadian midfielder Jessie Fleming has joined the NWSL’s Portland Thorns from England’s Chelsea.

British reports pegged the transfer fee at £250,000 ($425,785). Fleming has signed a contract with the Thorns that runs through the 2026 season.

The 25-year-old from London, Ont., joins fellow Canadians Christine Sinclair and Janine Beckie in Portland.

“As we continue to pursue championships, it is important for us to bring in players with championship mindsets, which Jessie has, both with club and country,” Thorns general manager Karina LeBlanc, a former Canadian international goalkeeper, said in a statement. “After speaking with Jessie it became very clear that the Thorns are an organization she has admired from afar, she understands how uniquely rare and special this community, fan base and team is.”

Fleming scored 12 goals in 111 appearances over four years with Chelsea, helping the London side win three Women’s Super League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and a Community Shield.

She was also part of the side that reached the 2021 UEFA Women’s Champions League final.

“I am very excited to be joining the Portland Thorns. More than anything, I am looking forward to being a part of the incredible community surrounding the team that is so often talked about with Portland,” Fleming said in a club statement. “I feel honoured to represent these people and this city, and cannot wait to get started.”

The move came on the eve of the Women’s Super League transfer deadline.

Fleming has won 123 caps for Canada and is seen by many as the successor to Sinclair as Canada captain.

Sinclair retired from international football in December. Fleming has captained the 10th-ranked Canadian women in the past when Sinclair was unavailable.

Fleming joined Chelsea from UCLA where she was a two-time MAC Hermann Trophy finalist and three-time all-American, recording 25 goals and 22 assists in 75 matches for the Bruins.

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