The Portland Thorns open the 2017 NWSL Season as they host the Orlando Pride. The Thorns look to remain undefeated in home (4-0-0) and season (3-0-1) openers as the face a re-tooled Pride side, who made several off-season changes, including bringing in USWNT defender Ali Krieger and Brazilian superstar Marta, though the latter will not appear in this match.
Match Preview: “It looks like Portland will be able to play their usual line up. During the Chicago game in the Spring Invitational, the Thorns played a 4-4-2. That’s most likely the lineup that Parsons will roll out again, with Franch in goal, Kling, Menges, Sonnett and Boureille securing the backline; Shim, Henry, Horan and Long in the midfield and Nadim and Sinclair up top. Nadim just spent some time with the Danish National team in a FIFA friendly against Finland, so she might be a second half substitute, with Weber starting. Weber played incredibly during the Spring Invitational, and as a result I would not be surprised if she made some impact on the game. Other subs I hope will see some actions include Meg Morris and Hayley Raso, both of whom have the pace and the energy to match Orlando’s backline.”
Preview Interview: “As mentioned above, Ubogagu and Spencer will likely be looked to for offense and both had strong preseason campaigns. Perhaps more dangerous, however, is the Pride’s returning leading goal scorer, Kristen Edmonds. She can be quite dangerous on set pieces and also in open play. Edmonds had a career year last season and continued that during the 2017 preseason. Defender Steph Catley, who scored at Portland last year, is always dangerous up the left flank and also on set pieces. Those are the most likely candidates to score on the road for the Pride.”
Watch it on: Lifetime
Where: Providence Park in Portland, Oregon
When: Saturday, April 15th at 12:00 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns: 12-3-5, 1st in NWSL (2016)
Orlando Pride: 6-13-1, 9th in NWSL (2016)