After arriving in Portland a week ago, French international midfielder Amandine Henry is expected to make her first appearance for Portland Thorns FC as they visit Rochester, NY to take on former head coach Paul Riley and the Western New York Flash. The match marks the first meeting between the two clubs in 2016 and the first time Riley will face the Thorns after leaving last summer.
Henry joined her fellow Thorns teammates in Portland after finishing her season with French club Olympique Lyonnais, winning the UEFA Women's Champions League in her final match. Following a brief delay to help the French National Team to a Women's European Championships qualifier, Henry arrived in Portland and is expected to make her first appearance, if not start, Friday against the Flash.
Portland remains the lone unbeaten club in the NWSL after eight games and come into the match after earning a point on the road against the Chicago Red Stars. Forward Christine Sinclair scored her first goal of the season to give Portland a first half lead until forward Christen Press equalized for the home side in the second half to share to the spoils at 1-1.
The Flash are riding a three-game winning streak, most recently earning a 1-0 win over the Orlando Pride. An early goal for Western New York was enough to decide the contest as the Flash briefly took possession of first place in the NWSL ahead of the Chicago, Portland match up. The Flash will also be bolstered by back-to-back clean sheets in the league, a vast improvement on their previous record of 19 home matches without a shutout.
Portland will be playing their sixth road match of their first nine games of the 2016 NWSL season. The Thorns and Flash currently sit in a stalemate when it comes to matches being played in Rochester. Both teams have registered one win and have played to two draws in their four meetings. Thorns FC currently boasts the best defensive record in the league, having conceded the fewest goals (5) and are the only club not to have let in multiple goals in a match thus far. However, Portland has a big psychological advantage having won the inaugural NWSL Championship against the Flash on their home turf.
While Thorns FC continue to make due without defender Kat Williamson and midfielder Kendall Johnson, the Flash will be without Sabrina D'Angelo who is out with a left wrist fracture.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm (Pacific) and can be viewed live on youtube and thornsfc.com