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Match Thread: Portland Thorns vs OL Reign [7:00]

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Match 2 of the Fall Classic for both squads

2020 NWSL Challenge Cup - Day 8

The Portland Thorns are headed into their second match of the Fall Series, this time taking on a team from just up I-5: OL Reign. The Thorns should be well and rested, as they’re coming off a bye week after defeating the Utah Royals. Sophia Smith — the number one draft pick — made her debut against the Royals, scoring a goal just a few minutes after subbing in.

The Reign are coming into town on short rest after playing to a 2-2 road draw, also against Utah. This could be an advantage for the rested Thorns. And it doesn’t look like there is anyone new on the injury list for both squads. If you need pregame reading, Stumptown Footy has you covered.

Kyle Garcia gets you prepped for this game with some words from head coach Mark Parsons and Lindsey Horan, specifically talking about their attack:

“The short answer is practicing developing our core principles in how we attack,” Parsons said about what the team’s working on. “Something I’ve always been very passionate about is making sure with a player that they worked hard on knowing what their own identity is, making sure that they are developing that identity, and they’re bringing that identity, their attacking qualities to our team within the tactical model.”

Last week, Grant Little examined Sophia Smith’s debut with some video analysis:

The Thorns’ offense struggled throughout the Challenge Cup. They scored only three times in their six matches in Utah, winning only one match. But Smith may be just what the Thorns need to get back to their scoring ways. She provides the Thorns with quality hold-up play, runs that allow her space and runs that open up space for her teammates. She’s also a volume shooter who is dangerous with the ball at her feet.

And as the Rule of Three dictates, there should be one more article to satiate your need for Thorns content. How about what the Thorns thought about their win against Utah?

The Thorns dominated the Utah Royals 3-0 — it could’ve been a lot more. They created numerous opportunities for themselves, thanks to excellent passing from seemingly everyone on the pitch, as well as some technical wizardry from Simone Charley. After having to wait so long to even play a regular season game because of the poor air quality, it sure felt sweet for Portland to get this win.

Portland Thorns

OL Reign

Location: Providence Park, Portland OR
Kick-off time: 7:00 Pacific / 10:00 Eastern
TV broadcast: NWSL Twitch Channel
Rival SB Nation site: Sounder At Heart