Playing their fourth-straight road match, Portland Thorns FC return to the west coast to visit Seattle Reign FC Saturday night. The Cascadia rivals will square off four times in 2016.
The Thorns come into the match off a tough 0-0 draw with the league-leading Washington Spirit. Midfielder Tobin Heath was sent off late in the second half, receiving a second yellow card of the match in the 88th minute.
Seattle (2-2-0, 6pts) is coming off a 2-0 loss to the Orlando Pride. The Reign, who have dominated the NWSL regular season the last two years, have already lost two matches in 2016, including the surprise 2-1 loss to Sky Blue FC on opening day. The loss to Sky Blue marked Seattle's first home loss since the team started playing at Memorial Stadium in 2014.
Portland's last trip to Memorial Stadium came as the second leg of back-to-back matches against the Reign, with Seattle winning the home clash 3-0. The Thorns last win against the Reign was on the final day of the 2014 regular season, with forward Alex Morgan scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 win to secure Portland a spot in the postseason.
Portland (2-0-2, 8pts) is unbeaten through its first four games for the fourth consecutive season, but have struggled against the Reign in recent seasons, having lost four of the last five meetings with their Pacific Northwest rivals. In that run, Seattle has outscored the Thorns 10-1.
Portland remains without goalkeeper Michelle Betos (right shoulder), midfielder Kendall Johnson, and defender Kat Williamson (right knee). Heath will also be serving her red card suspension, which will be Portland's greatest hole to fill. Heath has assisted on every Thorns goal this season and leads the NWSL with four assists. Forward Christine Sinclair is listed as probable, while the Reign are missing key pieces of their offense with both Megan Rapinoe and Jessica Fishlock out injured.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm (Pacific) and can be live-streamed at portlandthornsfc.com