For the fifth year running, the Portland Thorns will host a mini-tournament in NWSL preseason, the club announced today. Running from March 29 to April 4, Portland will face the Chicago Red Stars, Reign FC, and the U.S. U-23 WNT at Providence Park.
Although the invitational hasn’t historically showcased dominant scorelines in favor of Portland — they’ve only won three matches across its four year existence — the tournament provides an opportunity for experimentation against quality opponents. With a great deal of turnover this offseason, it will be interesting to see who gets an opportunity to make a case for themselves, and where Parsons might envision them playing. (Of course, one must also take into account that you can’t read too much into what’s essentially a meaningless friendly.)
It is unclear if the matches will be streamed online — Thorns games were streamed on YouTube when the tournament was played at Providence Park, but the past two years at Merlo Field have put an end to that.
Sunday, March 29
Reign FC vs. U.S. U-23 WNT at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars at 5 p.m. (Pacific)
Wednesday, April 1
Chicago Red Stars vs. Reign FC at 5 p.m. (Pacific)
Thorns FC vs. U.S. U-23 WNT at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Saturday, April 4
U.S. U-23 WNT vs. Chicago Red Stars at 5 p.m. (Pacific)
Thorns FC vs. Reign FC at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)