The North Carolina Courage comes to Providence Park today to take on the Thorns. The last time these two teams faced off in Portland was in the semifinals of the 2016 playoffs, a rollercoaster of a game that ended with the Thorns’ crushing overtime elimination to the then-Western New York Flash.
This is the first of three home games for the Thorns, which, if they can pull off a result today against a very good Courage side, should put them in a good position to start turning this mediocre season around. Portland’s last match, a road game against Houston, ended in a 1-1 draw, and they’re currently in fifth place in the standings, one point behind the Seattle Reign.
Our lineup prediction from yesterday was as follows:
“I expect Mark Parsons to start the same 4-2-3-1 as last week: AD Franch in goal, and the usual back line of Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Menges, Emily Sonnett, and Celeste Boureille. Mana Shim and Allie Long will start as dual holding mids, with Ashleigh Sykes, Lindsey Horan, and Hayley Raso ahead of them, and Christine Sinclair as the lone forward.”
However, that turned out to be wrong in short order, as the latest injury report shows Mana Shim out with a concussion and Katherine Reynolds available. My guess now would be that we see Katherine Reynolds starting at right back and Celeste Boureille starting in Shim’s spot.
Watch it on: Lifetime
When: Saturday, July 15th at 12:30 p.m. PT
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
Portland Thorns: 5-4-4 (W-L-T), 5th place in the NWSL, 1-1 draw at Houston Dash
North Carolina Courage: 9-4-0, 1st place in the NWSL, 2-0 win vs Seattle Reign