The Portland Thorns hit the road to take on another underachieving team, the Washington Spirit. After three games in a seven days in which the Thorns failed to collect a win the team is outside the playoff spots and hungry for a win. AD Franch and Hayley Raso remain unavailable for selection but Emily Menges is expected to go 60 minutes in her second game of the season.
“Offensively, Portland should be trying to utilize their strength on the wings to win their individual battles there and draw Washington’s central players out of position. With Klingenberg’s service back in, the left side should look a lot more dangerous. Midge Purce has been strong in the open field but needs to be a little bit more patient in the final third: if she forces a centerback to come over and help against her that should open up more space for Christine Sinclair, the league’s top scorer in 2018 with five goals from just 18 total shots, to split the defense. Aubrey Bledsoe in the Spirit goal makes amazing saves but poor decisions; testing her with a variety of crosses might be more effective than peppering her goal from all ranges as the Thorns did against Ashlyn Harris.
The defense should really be keeping the Washington Spirit from scoring and aiming to keep their first clean sheet of the season. Surprisingly, the side of the Spirit that looks the poorest at the moment is their offense. They’ve failed to score in their last two games. Ordega, after a bright start to the season, has tailed off significantly, and Mallory Pugh has only two shots in her last 180 minutes of play. Ashley Hatch has been their main offensive outlet recently but has only one goal all season despite taking the seventh-most shots in the league. Only four of her 21 shots this season have been on target, inefficiency numbers rivaling Lynn Williams.”
Watch it on: go90.com, NWSLsoccer.com internationally
When: Saturday, May 19 at 4:00 pm PT
Where: Soccerplex, Boyds, Maryland
Portland Thorns: 2-3-3, fifth in the league, lost 1-2 against Orlando Pride
Washington Spirit: 1-2-4, seventh in the league, lost 0-1 at North Carolina Courage