The Thorns take on the Washington Spirit tonight at Providence Park in their second of three consecutive home matches. After upsetting the North Carolina Courage last week in one of their more comprehensive performances to date, Portland will look to get three points out of bottom-of-the-table Washington and remain in playoff position.
Don't expect a repeat of last week's triple-CB formation; instead, we should see a return to either a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3, depending on who Mark Parsons wants to start.
Mana Shim (concussion), Meg Morris, and Tobin Heath are all still unavailable this weekend. Katherine Reynolds will be available and as of Tuesday, Parsons said he was planning to give her the start. That gives us AD Franch in goal, with Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Menges, Emily Sonnett, and Reynolds starting in the back. In training this week, it sounded like Christine Sinclair will likely reprise her role as a #10.
The way the rest of the squad lines up will depend on whether Parsons starts Tyler Lussi or Celeste Boureille. If he starts Boureille, I’d expect to see her alongside Allie Long as a defensive midfielder, with Ashleigh Sykes, Sinc, and Lindsey Horan as attacking midfielders, and Hayley Raso as the lone striker. Lussi could then sub on for Reynolds, with Boureille moving to right back, for some late-game punch.
Alternately, if Parsons wants to start Lussi, I’d look for a 4-3-3 with Long, Sinc, and Horan in the midfield, and Sykes, Lussi, and Raso up front.
Watch it on: go90 (US), NWSLsoccer.com (international)
When: Saturday, July 22nd at 7:00 p.m. PT
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
Portland Thorns: 6-4-4 (W-L-D), 4th place in the NWSL, 1-0 win vs North Carolina Courage
Washington Spirit: 3-7-3, 10th place in the NWSL, 2-1 loss at Houston Dash