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MATCH PREVIEW: Portland Thorns FC vs Boston Breakers

Thorns take strong midfield play on the road to face the Boston Breakers

Midfielder Allie Long has been a solid foundation for the midfield heroics of Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan
Midfielder Allie Long has been a solid foundation for the midfield heroics of Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan
Stacey Neve

Portland Thorns FC (1-0-1, 4pts) follow up a 1-1 road draw against FC Kansas City with a trip to Boston to face the Breakers Sunday afternoon.The match will be the 10th meeting between the two clubs.

Portland rallied from a goal down to rescue a point in Kansas City. FCKC took the lead through Shea Groom before goalkeeper Michelle Betos saved a penalty kick and Groom was sent off minutes into the second half. Late heroics from Lindsey Horan tied the game at 1-1 when the midfielder headed in a corner kick from Tobin Heath.

Boston (0-2-0, 0pts) hosts the Thorns after consecutive losses to open their 2016 campaign. Most recently, the Breakers fell 3-0 to Seattle Reign FC. Despite acquiring U.S. Women’s National Team defender Whitney Engen in the offseason, Boston has conceded four goals in two games without response. Former Thorn midfielder Sinead Farrelly will be unavailable to face her former club, though Louise Schillgard and Libby Stout are probable to return for the Breakers.

Thorns FC will hope for continued excellent play from the midfield as Horan has scored in both matches so far this season and Heath currently leads the league with three assists. Portland has been unable to keep a clean sheet so far this season and will be without defensive leader Kat Williamson (right meniscus) for the contest. The forward line will still be without team captain Christine Sinclair (left achilles), though forwards Nadia Nadim, Mallory Weber, and Hayley Raso, who stood out in the draw against Kansas City, will all look to take advantage of the Breaker’s porous defense.

Portland will also still be without midfield Kendall Johnson. But in midweek, Portland bolstered its defensive line with the signing of defender Meg Morris, who most recently played for Sky Blue FC, making five starts in 12 appearances.

Kickoff between the Thorns and Breakers is scheduled for 2:00pm (Pacific).