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MATCH PREVIEW: Portland Thorns FC vs Seattle Reign FC

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With six U.S. internationals away, Thorns put unbeaten streak on the line against the Reign

Portland Thorns FC captain Christine Sinclair made her first start of the season last weekend and will lead the line against Seattle Reign FC on Sunday.
Portland Thorns FC captain Christine Sinclair made her first start of the season last weekend and will lead the line against Seattle Reign FC on Sunday.
Stacey Neve

Portland Thorns FC are putting their team-record six-game unbeaten run to the test when Seattle Reign FC come to the Rose City Sunday afternoon. The Thorns are facing their Cascadia rivals for the second time in three weeks and for the second of four meetings this season.


Portland (3-0-3, 12pts) comes into the match after a dominant 4-1 win over the Washington Spirit last Saturday. Midfielder Tobin Heath bossed the game with a goal and an assist, while midfielder Lindsey Horan tallied her team-leading third goal of the season. Portland also welcomed the return of captain Christine Sinclair who assisted Heath’s goal and substitute Meg Morris scored her first Thorns goal late in the match. Former Thorn Alyssa Kleiner gave up an own goal for Portland’s second goal as Portland handed the Spirit their first loss of the season.


Seattle (2-3-1, 7pts) played a midweek friendly against Arsenal Ladies which ended in a 1-1 draw. In the NWSL, the Reign are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, their third loss of the season. Seattle will be looking to continue their good form at Providence Park, where they have won their last two visits, outscoring Portland 3-0. However, Thorns FC will be boosted by its 1-1 draw in Seattle two weeks ago, its first point at Memorial Stadium. Forward Nadia Nadim opened the scoring for the Thorns before Beverly Yanez tied the game minutes later.

For the second-straight match against the Reign, Portland will be without Week 6 Player of the Week Heath who is on U.S. Women’s National Team duty. Heath also earned NWSL Goal of the Week for her goal against the Spirit and leads the NWSL with five assists. Goalkeeper Michelle Betos is off the injury report, and just in time as Adrianna Franch will join the U.S. Women’s National team as well, along with Horan, midfielder Allie Long, and defenders Meghan Klingenberg and Emily Sonnett. Defender Kat Williamson continues to nurse a right knee meniscectomy, while midfielder Kendall Johnson has not been medically cleared to play. Goalkeeper Hope Solo, forward Manon Melis and midfielder Megan Rapinoe will be missing for Seattle.

Thorns FC have called up three amateur players for the match. Midfielder Maureen Fitzgerald, goalkeeper Emily Kruger, and forward Shade Pratt will all join the squad against Seattle.

Portland remain the lone unbeaten club in the league and have outscored opponents 6-2 at Providence Park so far this season. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. (Pacific). A live-stream of the match will be available at portlandthornsfc.com.