For the second time this season, the Thorns travel to Florida to face the Orlando Pride. Still winless in their first five games, Orlando has arguably been the worst team in the league this year. They sit in last place, with their single goal on the season coming off a set piece against Reign FC. The Pride will be missing Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, Alex Morgan, and Shelina Zadorsky to international duty, a group that includes half of the starters in their backline. Centerback Alanna Kennedy — who happens to be Orlando’s lone goalscorer — is listed as questionable on the NWSL injury report.
Portland is without Adrianna Franch, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Christine Sinclair, and Emily Sonnett, whose absences will continue through the World Cup. While these absences will be felt, the Thorns added Andressinha, Hayley Raso, and Angela Salem to their active roster this week. This game could also see the return of Emily Menges, who is coming off a right foot injury.
When the teams met in their opening games of the season, Portland came away with a 2-0 win. Given the Pride’s lackluster start to the season, there’s no reason to believe the Thorns can’t come away from this match with three points. However, there’s a chance that Portland will struggle to produce goals without their American and Canadian internationals, and is Marta always a scoring threat on Orlando’s side.
“Emily Menges is available for this trip and is expected to make her season debut. She’s listed as questionable but may indeed be thrown right into the starting lineup, but it’s also possible Elizabeth Ball will start. Andressinha returns from her loan at Brazilian club Iranduba da Amazonia and will likely, for the first time of her Thorns career, get to show off her skills in the creative midfield role where she was once one of the best players in the league at Houston. Hayley Raso is back from Australia with a green card in hand and will get a chance to shine either on the left or right of an attacking trident with Caitlin Foord and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic. With Crnogorcevic looking effective at putting in hard work on the right wing in recent weeks, it’s possible that Raso will get the nod on the left wing and look to cut inside—with Klingenberg overlapping that could become a dangerous combination in the next two weeks for the Thorns.”
How to Watch
How to watch: Yahoo Sports, NWSLSoccer.com for international viewers
Where: Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, Florida
When: Saturday, May 11, 4:30pm PT
Portland Thorns: 1-0-2, 4th place in the NWSL, drew 2-2 at Sky Blue FC
Orlando Pride: 0-4-1, 9th place in the NWSL, lost 0-1 vs. Houston Dash