The Thorns (8-5-5) are in North Carolina today for their third and final meeting with the Courage (14-1-4) this season. Both teams sent a significant number of players to the Tournament of Nations, and the Courage also played two matches last week in the first-ever women’s ICC. It’s not clear how much playing time each of Portland’s internationals will get, but the Thorns’ injury report is relatively short, with just Katherine Reynolds and Midge Purce out for the weekend. With a win, the Thorns could jump into second place, while a loss or a draw could drop them down to fourth—depending on the results of Orlando-Sky Blue and Seattle-Washington.
Storylines: “Regardless, tired legs or not, the Courage are ridiculously good. As I’ve written before, there’s almost no way this team can’t hurt an opponent. With McCall Zerboni and Sam Mewis dictating the tempo in the center of the pitch, Merritt Mathias and Jaelene “700 Club” Hinkle both bombing up the wings from the back line, and Crystal Dunn and Debinha roaming between opponents’ lines and causing havoc, it hasn’t even mattered that North Carolina’s shooting accuracy has been comically bad at times. When you’re putting up 20 or 25 shots a game, a few of them are almost bound to go in.”
If you prefer an audio format, Red Smoke Radio also previewed the game.
How to Watch
How to watch: NWSLsoccer.com (RIP go90, all hail Orb)
Where: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC
When: Sunday, August 5 at 3:00 pm PT
Portland Thorns: 8-5-5, third in the NWSL, 2-1 win at Sky Blue FC
North Carolina Courage: 14-1-4, first in the NWSL, 0-0 draw at Utah Royals