Ahead of the Rio Olympics, Portland Thorns FC will be missing key U.S. internationals as they host Sky Blue FC for the first time this season Saturday evening at Providence Park. Midfielders Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, and Allie Long, along with defenders Meghan Klingenberg and Emily Sonnett are preparing for the Rio Olympics, while forward Shade Pratt, defender Sam Lofton and midfielder Maureen Fitzgerald will be available for selection.
Portland (6-0-5, 23 pts) enters the match following a comeback 2-1 win on the road against the Orlando Pride. Despite conceding the opening goal in the 67th minute, Thorns FC rallied behind goals from midfielders Dagny Brynjarsdottir and the winner in second-half stoppage time from Horan to take all three points for the second-straight win over the Pride. With the result, Portland secured the second-longest unbeaten streak in league history having gone 11 games without a loss and currently stand at the top of the NWSL standings, two points clear of second place Western New York Flash.
Sky Blue (3-3-4, 13pts) is currently on a four-game unbeaten streak, sitting in sixth place and visit Portland after a 2-1 win over the Washington Spirit. Australian international Samantha Kerr tallied the winner in the 64th minute with a stunning volley to mark her return from off-season foot surgery.
Sky Blue FC are 5-2-2 against Portland all-time and are one of two teams to have multiple road wins over Thorns FC. However, Portland has posted a record of 3-0-1 at home in 2016, outscoring their opponents 8-2. The Thorns also lead the league in goals conceded, letting in just six goals total. Five of Portland’s 11 matches have ended with Portland registering a clean sheet.
Despite the missing U.S. internationals, Portland signed defender Jennifer Skogerboe in midweek and team captain Christine Sinclair was named NWSL Player of the Month. Sinclair has scored in three of her last four matches for Thorns FC.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm (Pacific) with a live stream available on YouTube.com and portlandthornsfc.com.