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MATCH PREVIEW: Portland Thorns FC vs FC Kansas City

Thorns begin stretch of four-straight road matches against the defending champions

Allie Long will look to help the Thorns secure the club's first win at FC Kansas City in the regular season.
Allie Long will look to help the Thorns secure the club's first win at FC Kansas City in the regular season.
Stacy Neve

Following a comeback 2-1 over the Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC (1-0-0, 3pts) face a difficult task of traveling to FC Kansas City (0-1-0, 0pts) for the first road match of the 2016 NWSL season.

Goals from forward Lindsey Horan and midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir secured a season-opening win for Portland after the Pride had taken an early lead through former Thorn defender Steph Catley. Portland rallied, tying the game before halftime and scoring the winner in the 82nd minute. Midfielder Tobin Heath assisted both goals, surpassing her assist total from 2015 in her first start of 2016. Heath also captained the Thorns in the absence of Christine Sinclair.

Kansas City is coming off a surprise loss to open their campaign as two-time defending champion. The Western New York Flash kept Kansas City from their first-ever season-opening win with the 1-0 result. Midfielder Heather O’Reilly had a chance to salvage a point for Kansas City in the dying minutes, but missed from the penalty spot. Despite being the first repeat champion in NWSL history, Kansas City is 0-2-2 when opening their NWSL campaign.

On the flip side, the Thorns have won all four of their season openers. Five Thorns players earned their first starts for the club: Horan, Brynjarsdottir, along with Emily Sonnett, Nadia Nadim, and Meghan Klingenberg. Brynjarsdottir, Sonnett, Horan and Mallory Weber all made their league debuts as well.

Portland is looking to win for the first time at Kansas City in the regular season. In four trips, FC Kansas City has won three, with the only draw coming in the inaugural NWSL match back in 2013. Thorns goalkeeper Michelle Betos will come into the match especially inspired having won the NWSL Save of the Week for Week 1.

Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (Pacific).