While the actual regular season for the NWSL and the Portland Thorns FC is getting ready to kick off next month, a few weeks prior will see the team take on another familiar face in Portland area soccer: the University of Portland. According to the press release the game is scheduled to take place on March 30th at 7:00 pm at Merlo Field.
Though the match does come dangerously close to overlapping with the Portland Timbers' road game against Colorado Rapids, there is one huge benefit to going, it's cheap! Well technically it's "free" but really it's a donation driven event to help out the Providence Heart and Vascular Institutes program for youth. Great soccer, great cause, and one gorgeous field.
No telling who will feature in the friendly just yet, but for those of you kicking yourself for missing the last time the Portland Timbers played at Merlo, now will probably be a great chance to see the Thorns play there.
What do you think of the Portland Thorns' first ever preseason friendly?
Full press release:
PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Thorns FC today announced that the club will play the University of Portland women's soccer team in a preseason friendly on Saturday, March 30, at Merlo Field on the university's campus; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific).
The match will be a free, ticketless event sponsored by the University of Portland and is open to the public with a suggested donation at the door to benefit the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute's Play Smart Young Heart Screening program. The program offers free heart screenings for youth ages 12-18 along with informational resources about sudden cardiac arrest and heart disease prevention.
Under the direction of head coach Garrett Smith, the Pilots have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons. Dating back to 2000, Portland has reached at least the second round 13 consecutive times. Overall, the University of Portland women's soccer program has qualified for the postseason 20 of the last 21 seasons, won two NCAA National Championships (2002, 2005) and developed some of the best women's soccer talent at the collegiate level, including current Thorns FC players Christine Sinclair (2001-02, 2004-05), Danielle Foxhoven (2008-11) and NWSL Supplemental Draft pick Angie (Woznuk) Kerr (2003, 2005-07).
Thorns FC are preparing for the start of the inaugural National Women's Soccer League season on April 13 against FC Kansas City at Shawnee Mission District Stadium in Overland Park, Kan. Thorns FC face rival Seattle Reign FC on April 21 at JELD-WEN Field in the club's home opener.