Despite missing six starters to U.S. Women's National Team duty, Portland Thorns FC put in a composed defensive display to earn a 0-0 with Seattle Reign FC Sunday evening in front of 18,114 fans at Providence Park. Portland remains the lone unbeaten club in the NWSL and the result marks the second draw with Seattle in a three-week period.
The best chance of the game came in the 74th minute off a Reign corner kick. The lofted cross was misjudged by goalkeeper Michelle Betos, who made her return to the starting lineup with Adrianna Franch away with the U.S. Women's National Team. With Seattle players lurking for the loose ball, Katherine Reynolds made an acrobatic clearance off the line to preserve the 0-0 scoreline.
Portland (3-0-4, 13pts) was frequently dangerous on the counter attack, with midfielder Hayley Raso racing up and down the left flank. However, it was a counter attack speared by second-half substitute Shade Pratt that nearly gave Thorns FC a late winner. Skipping away from a Reign defender on the right wing, Pratt looked for midfielder Mana Shim at the far post, but the chance was cleared away by Seattle.
A game of few chances saw Seattle (2-3-2, 8pts) struggle to muster a consistent offensive threat, with Jessica Fishlock visibly frustrated at times. Kim Little showed sparks of danger, but was often corralled by the hustle of defender Meg Morris and Portland's defensive line.
With midfielders Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, and Allie Long, along with defenders Emily Sonnett and Meghan Klingenberg all on international duty, Portland was forced to make a number of changes to the midfield and defense. Mallory Webber deputized at right back, while Morris took the left side. Emily Menges and Katherine Reynolds partnered in the middle. Celeste Boureille joined Raso, Shim and Dagny Brynjarsdottir in midfield.
With the result, Portland extends their club-best unbeaten run to seven games. The Thorns face a week off before traveling to Chicago to take on the Red Stars Sunday, June 12. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. (Pacific).
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