The Thorns have their second home match in just five days after securing the win against the Orlando Pride last Friday. They will take on last year’s 10th placed team the Washington Spirit, who have been bolstered by young talent in the offseason.
Tobin Heath will play. Tobin Heath will play! Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, after making her debut last game, could make her first start. Adrianna Franch is a late scratch which means that Britt Eckerstrom is in line to play in her first NWSL match, and Oregon native and former Oregon State keeper Bella Geist will sit on her first NWSL bench. Also making its debut will be the new Thorns secondary kit, which has gotten a mixed reaction.
The really interesting matchup is Christine Sinclair against Andi Sullivan in midfield. This year’s number one NWSL college draft pick has been thrown in at the deep end and she hasn’t always looked like the steady heartbeat in midfield that she was billed as for either club or country. It’s one thing to be bossed off the ball by McCall Zerboni or Jess Fishlock though, and quite another to be facing a crafty player in Sinclair who can do almost anything in attack. Sinclair can drag you out of position and open up space for others, but if you leave her alone she’ll punish you, as she’s demonstrated twice already this season. We’ll see if Sullivan is up to the tactical challenge.
Watch it on: go90 (USA), NWSLSoccer.com (international)
Where: Providence Park in Portland, OR
When: Friday, April 20th at 7:30 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns: 2-1-0, 3rd place in the NWSL, won 2-1 against Orlando Pride
Washington Spirit: 1-2-0, 5th place in the NWSL, lost 2-4 against North Carolina Courage