The Portland Thorns kick off their second season today with a visit to Texas where they will take on the Houston Dash, the NWSL's newest addition and the second team in the league attached to an MLS side.
This year the Thorns are once again packed with talent, but they start the season without several of their stars. Tobin Heath is on loan in France with Paris St. Germain, Alex Morgan is recovering from a long-term ankle injury, Veronica Boquete is still overseas, and Rachel Van Hollebeke is doubtful after picking up an ankle injury of her own. As such the rest of the team will need to step up if they want to contend for the title this year.
Here is all the information that you need for today's match:
Match Preview: "Missing half of their national team players, the Dash look a little disheveled on paper, especially on the back line. But anyone who saw the Portland Timbers play their first MLS home game knows that what's on paper doesn't matter much when a team has the home crowd and the excitement of a first-ever home game behind them. The Thorns have the ability to spoil the party if they put it all together, but it's probably not going to be an easy first match."
Season Preview: "In the team's first practice of the preseason, [Paul Riley] told the press that he would prefer to win games with a score of five to four and that his team would look to keep the ball on the group in a quick-passing, possession-based style of play."
Watch it on: Streaming on PortlandThornsFC.com or embedded below
Kick off: 5:00 pm at BBVA Compass Park
Portland Timbers: 3rd place in 2013, NWSL Champions
Houston Dash: First ever match in NWSL