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Match Thread: Portland Thorns vs. Chicago Red Stars

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The Thorns will become the first team to qualify for the NWSL playoffs with a win tonight in Bridgeview.

Chicago Red Stars v Portland Thorns Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The Portland Thorns are back in action for the first time since their first-ever win against the Courage in Cary, NC, on Sep. 12. Crystal Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn, Sophia Smith, Rocky Rodriguez and Natalia Kuikka all played with their respective national teams over this FIFA window. Lindsey Horan picked up a knock against the Courage and was called up but didn’t feature. Coach Mark Parson was also on international duty, coaching the Netherlands Women’s National Team during the break.

The Thorns can further solidify their position in first place with a win in Chicago and will be the first team to clinch a playoff position if they pick up three points. Portland has met Chicago once in the Challenge Cup and once in the regular season this year. The Thorns were victorious in both meetings by scorelines of 1-0 and 5-0.

Portland’s bus caught on fire on Thursday which was revealed by Christine Sinclair on TikTok. The club informed everyone that the players and staff were unharmed.

Game Info

Location: SeatGeek Stadium I Bridgeview, IL.

Time: 5:00 p.m. Pacific

Watch: Paramount+

Pregame Reading

In case you missed it, the Thorns were awarded three points and a 3-0 win over the Washington Spirit. After the initial postponement of the match, the league issued the Spirit a forfeit. Read more about it here.

Sophia Smith was given her first international start and scored her first USWNT goal one year and one day after she started and scored in her first professional match for the Thorns. I wrote about Smith’s journey to her first international goal with insights from her pre-match and postmatch, Christine Sinclair and Mark Parsons. Check it out here.

Starting Lineups

Portland Thorns

Chicago Red Stars