New teams, veteran players in NWSL

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Lauren Cheney of FC Kansas City made her debut with the national team on Jan. 26, 2007.

Portland Thorns FC kicks off the NWSL season at FC Kansas City on Saturday. It may be the league's inaugural match, but the players are no rookies. The five allocated U.S. women's national team players -- Rachel Buehler and Alex Morgan for Portland and Lauren Cheney, Becky Sauerbrunn and Nicole Barnhart for Kansas City -- have a combined 343 caps at the international level. KC also has up-and-comer Kristie Mewis, the third draft pick who made her first full-team appearance in February, and Portland has Tobin Heath, who is on loan to Paris Saint-Germain but should be back in the middle of the season.

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