The Portland Thorns return home for a stretch of two games in five days against tough opposition after picking up their first win in a while. Emily Sonnett picked up a back injury away and will miss the next two games: luckily, Emily Menges completed 90 minutes for the first time in the season last game. The Thorns lost their last two games at Providence Park, and have never lost three games in a row at home in their history.
“The Spirit did a very effective job last weekend of denying the Thorns midfield the opportunity to face forward and play balls up to the front line. Utah’s midfield is arguably even better and will be attempting to replicate this. The Thorns may need Tobin Heath and an extra forward to drop into midfield if they want to win the battle there. Alternatively, they can try to stretch play down the wings: Purce or Carpenter would be effective doing that down the right but the team still lacks a left-sided forward who they really want to be running the lines for 90 minutes. The Thorns must be successful in their duels against the Utah fullbacks if they want to win, as drawing Sauerbrunn or Corsie out of position out wide is probably the only chance they will have to open up enough space to get a shot off inside the box.”
Watch it on: go90.com, NWSLsoccer.com internationally
When: Friday, May 25 at 7:30 pm PT
Where: Providence Park, Portland, OR
Portland Thorns: 3-3-3, third in the league, won 0-1 at Washington Spirit
Utah Royals: 2-5-1, sixth in the league, won 1-0 vs Houston Dash