League-leading Portland Thorns FC face the two-time defending NWSL champions FC Kansas City Saturday night at Providence Park looking to set a new club record with a fifth-straight league victory. The match marks the final meeting of the two clubs in the 2016 regular season and the first clash since their 1-1 draw back on April 23rd.
With a number of international players away in preparation for the Rio Olympics, Portland earned a second-straight 2-1 win, rallying from a goal down to beat Sky Blue FC at home. Midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir scored for a second-straight match and forward Nadia Nadim converted a second half penalty to boost Thorns FC five points clear at the top of the NWSL standings. Both Nadim and Brynjarsdottir have four goals on the season thus far.
FC Kansas City have struggled this season and currently are third from the bottom in the league standings after starting their season without a win in their opening six games. Kansas City comes into the match off a 2-0 loss to the third place Washington Spirit.
Portland has scored two goals in each of its last four games and will look to that offensive power to increase their sizeable goal differential against FC Kansas City at home. The Thorns have scored the second-most goals this season (18) and have outscored Kansas City 17-9 at Providence Park, winning three of the five matches and losing just once. However, Kansas City still holds the overall edge in wins, having beaten the Rose City club four times and losing three. A win for Portland would draw the record equal in one of the most balanced rivalries in the NWSL.
In addition to the Olympic international absences, Portland continues to wait on the medical clearance for midfielder Kendall Johnson and midfielder Meg Morris is recovering from a hip fracture. Two names on the probable list will give Thorns fans something to cheer about as defender Kat Williamson inches closer to her return and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch battles a hip contusion. FC Kansas City will be without Alex Arlitt (left ankle stress reaction) and Alexa Newfield (left knee inflammation).
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) with a livestream is available on YouTube and at thornsfc.com.