The 2017 NWSL champion Portland Thorns have their long-awaited homecoming this afternoon and will take on Alex Morgan and the Orlando Pride in their home opener for the third year running.
Portland is 1-1-0 in fourth place going into this match, while the Pride are in eighth with a win and a draw. Yet again, both teams will be without key players. Among others, Orlando is missing Marta—without whom they have yet to win a match since she signed with the club—while Emily Menges, Tobin Heath, Andressinha, and Hayley Raso are all still either injured or on international duty for Portland. The Thorns’ new forward, Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, is expected to make her debut for the team.
“‘They’re going to press us and we have to be aware of that, and not take risks in the back line,’ Parsons said. ‘If we do beat that press, the reward will be there, because they’ll have less numbers closer to their goal... our forwards have to give us movement and continue to make us dangerous and give us the option to hurt the back line when theres space. Our center mids have to move the ball quick, and our back line has to move the ball quick. We’re going to try and come in with some good energy with and without the ball—play fast, play simple, that’s how we can hurt Orlando.’”
Watch it on: go90 (USA), NWSLSoccer.com (international)
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: Sunday, April 15th at 3:00 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns: 1-1-0, 4th place in the NWSL, won 3-2 at Chicago Red Stars
Orlando Pride: 0-1-1, 8th place in the NWSL, lost 2-0 at Washington Spirit