The Thorns (8-4-4, W-L-T) face the Chicago Red Stars (8-3-5) at 5 pm PT on the road. Chicago and Portland are second and third in the table, respectively, with Chicago coming off a road draw against Orlando, and Portland off a win at home against Houston. The matchup also features the second- and third-strongest defenses in the league, with Portland at 14 goals against, and Chicago at 15. A win here would move the Thorns into second place.
“Portland is still a little thin headed into Saturday, with no removals from the D45 list, Nadia Nadim not likely to play the full 90 (Mark Parsons said this week that she would meet the team from Chicago, after some well-deserved celebrating back home in Denmark), and Allie Long on an ‘excused absence.’
Based on talking to Parsons earlier this week, I expect him to return to a 4-back, at least to start. That means we’ll see Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Menges, Emily Sonnett, and Katherine Reynolds in the back. Without Long, I expect we’ll get Lindsey Horan and Amandine Henry in a double-pivot, trading off between holding and getting forward. Christine Sinclair should reprise her role as a #10, flanked by Ashleigh Sykes and Hayley Raso, with either Nadim or Tyler Lussi as the lone striker—I expect they’ll both get a shift, it’s just a question of who Parsons wants to bring in off the bench.”
For more pre-match reading, check out our Three Questions with Hot Time in Old Town’s James Bridget Gordon.
Watch it on: go90, NWSL website
When: Saturday, August 12th at 5 p.m. PT
Where: Toyota Park in Chicago, IL
Portland Thorns: 8-4-4 (W-L-T, 3rd place in the NWSL, 2-1 win vs Houston Dash
North Carolina Courage: 8-3-5, 2nd place in the NWSL, 1-1 draw at Orlando Pride