Record against Sky Blue: 2-3-2
Last Meeting: 2-1 W
Facing Sky Blue FC for the second-straight game, Portland Thorns FC travel to New Jersey Saturday night after beating Sky Blue 2-1 last Friday at Providence Park. With the result, Portland snapped a seven-match winless streak after Allie Long and Sinead Farrelly tallied second half goals in the come-from-behind win. Now the team will look to make it two wins in-a-row, while welcoming back some old friends.
After going a goal down in the first half, the Thorns rallied to a 2-1 win over Sky Blue last Friday on the back of a Long penalty kick in the 70th minute and Farrelly’s second goal of the season off an Alyssa Kleiner cross in the 79th minute. Kleiner, making her second NWSL start, tallied her first assist for the Thorns with the game-winning cross. Long’s penalty kick goal marked her 17th Thorns goal, moving her ahead of Christine Sinclair on the all-time goalscorer’s list.
The team welcomed back Kaylyn Kyle to the starting lineup, fresh from her World Cup adventure with the Canadian National Team. Defender Stephanie Catley was also in attendance, though she didn’t feature. It may be likely that she’ll feature in her first match for the Thorns this season Saturday night.
Sky Blue’s rough patch continues, as they slumped to their third-straight defeat and have scored just one goal in that span. The team currently sits bottom of the table on seven points, four points behind the Boston Breakers just above them. However, they still hold an advantage over the Thorns, having won three of their matchups as compared to Portland’s two victories.
The Thorns jumped to seventh in the table with Friday’s win and could jump to fourth with a win on Saturday, pending other results. Such a jump up the table would be a welcome sight for the returning internationals, who are likely to be set to take the field in next week’s fixtures. Many players who participated in the World Cup have already rejoined their squads, though players that took part in the third place or final may not feature this weekend.