Welcome to your match thread for the Orlando Pride at the Portland Thorns, as the Pride look for their first win of the season. This is the first meeting of the season between Orlando and Portland. The Pride return to Portland on May 12 and the Thorns visit Orlando on Aug. 11. Once again the Pride will be without some of its key players, but the story is the same for the Thorns.
Tonight is the home opener for Portland (1-1-0, 3 pts), the defending NWSL champion.
The Pride are winless against Portland, going 0-4-1 in 2016 and 2017, including last year’s NWSL semifinals. The best result for Orlando came at the end of last season when the Pride managed a goalless draw at Orlando City Stadium. The Pride have been outscored 8-2 in three meetings at Providence Park. Steph Catley scored the first ever goal for the Pride in the club’s inaugural game in 2016, and the second goal against Portland was from Alanna Kennedy in the playoffs last season.
The last match-up came in the NWSL playoffs last season, where Orlando lost, 4-1. Amandine Henry and Emily Sonnett scored early goals for the Thorns and the Pride were never able to come back. Kennedy was able to cut the lead in half after Portland went up 2-0, but Portland was just too much for Orlando to handle.
The Thorns host the Pride for Portland’s home opener for the third season in a row. Similar to last week, the Pride will be without a number of high profile players. Camila (knee) is, of course, still out, but so are Marta, Monica, Poliana, Kennedy, and Emily van Egmond, who are all on international duty.
Portland also has a number of its players out on international duty — Andressinha, Ellie Carpenter, Caitlin Foord, Hayley Raso — but the biggest loss will no doubt be Tobin Heath, who is recovering from an ankle injury and is listed officially as questionable. The Thorns will also be without Elizabeth Ball (hamstring), Emily Menges (tibia), and Meg Morris (hip).
A total of 14 players will miss tonights game with injury or international duty. However, Portland Head Coach Mark Parsons will return to the sideline after having his two game suspension reduced to just one.
The Pride will have to try to limit Canadian international superstar Christine Sinclair, who has found the back of the net twice against Orlando and added an assist. Sinclair is also tied for the most goals in the NWSL early in the season.
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Midfielders: Christine Nairn, Kristen Edmonds, Dani Weatherholt.
Forwards: Chioma Ubogagu, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux.
Bench: Haley Kopmeyer, Lotta Okvist, Danica Evans, Abby Elinsky, Bridget Callahan, Nàdia Gomes, Christine Creighton.
Portland Thorns (3-5-1)
Goalkeeper: Adrianna Franch.
Defenders: Kelli Hubly, Emily Sonnett, Katherine Reynolds.
Forwards: Tyler Lussi, Mallory Weber.
Bench: Britt Eckerstrom, Ana-Maria Crnogorčević, Ifeoma Onumonu, Angela Salem, Tobin Heath.
Ref: Farhad Dadkho.
AR1: Alicia Messer.
AR2: Joshua Haimes.
4th: Chad Stewart.
How to Watch
Match Time: 6 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Providence Park — Portland, Oregon
Streaming: NWSLSoccer.com or the NWSL app (outside the U.S.), go90.
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