Portland Thorns

Portland Thorns set new records in final (regular season) home game

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Portland Thorns

Portland Thorns set new records in final (regular season) home game

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The Portland Thorns finally delivered on what they have been wanting to achieve since the NWSL’s inaugural season in 2013. Even on that year, when the Thorns won the championship, it never happened. But, it is finally going to happen in 2016; the Thorns are going to host a playoff game at Providence Park.

After two straight, dominating performances by the Thorns, the Western New York Flash came into Portland on Sunday night and presented the toughest challenge to the Thorns since back-to-back Seattle Reign matches over a month ago. In front of a nationally televised, sold-out Providence Park crowd, the Thorns won a game that looked like it might be another easy three points but turned in a matter of minutes into a nail biter to the final whistle.

The Flash looked entirely game to try and spoil the night’s jovial mood from the outset, giving the Thorns fits early and often by getting some quality looks at the goal and dominating offensively. The Flash, sitting fourth in the standings and just two points ahead of the fifth place Reign, came out like their playoff lives depended on it. That, along with some defensive giveaways by the Thorns, had the home crowd on edge with Michelle Betos and the Portland defenders being the busiest Thorns during the first 25 minutes of the match.

The home team finally caught a break in the 27th minute when Nada Nadim earned a penalty kick when the Flash’s Jaelene Hinkle earned a yellow card for knocking Nadim down on a breakaway near the goal. Nadim capitalized on the opportunity, giving the Thorns the first lead of the night.

Christine Sinclair, who has been on a tear since coming back from the Olympics, scored in the 37th minute to give the Thorns a 2-0 advantage at halftime and things were looking especially rosy in Portland on a beautiful, clear evening.

For much of the second half, The Thorns defense remained air tight while Dagny Brynjarsdottir joined the scoring party for the Thorns in the 69th minute, giving Portland a 3-0 lead. However, things were about to get a lot more interesting soon after.

The Flash brought the crowd back to the edge of their seats when they scored two quick goals late. The ball finally got past Betos in the 77th minute when Jess McDonald knocked in a header to give Western New York some life. Then, just three minutes later, Lynn Williams found herself open on a breakaway, nicely finishing a perfectly placed kick that cut the lead to 3-2.

The Thorns, having found themselves in a competitive match again, had to sweat out the remaining ten minutes plus stoppage time. The Flash had one last chance in the final few seconds to draw even on a corner kick, but Betos snared the ball in mid-air to secure three points for the Thorns and home field advantage for the semifinals of the playoffs. For the fans in attendance who were loud, chanting and standing all night long, maybe no more so than those final few minutes, the Thorns gave back with a gift of victory.

Sunday night’s game also set new NWSL records for total and average home attendance in a season. The sell-out crowd boosted Portland’s total attendance to 169,449 for the season, breaking the old Thorns record of 160,341 in 2014. It boosted the average attendance to 16,945, beating the old record of 15,639, also set by the Thorns in 2015.

There is one more regular season game remaining for the Thorns, a road game against Sky Blue FC on September 25. There is also still the possibility for the Thorns to take over first place in the NWSL standings, if they can get some help from the Washington Spirit to miss out on a few points. But, Thorns fans can finally rejoice and begin to get ready for the match they have all been waiting for, a home playoff game at Providence Park. After four record breaking seasons, the players and the fans have earned it.

Thorns earn home semifinal playoff game with win over Western New York

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Thorns earn home semifinal playoff game with win over Western New York

Playing their final regular-season home match, Portland Thorns FC defeated the Western New York Flash 3-2 behind goals from forward Nadia Nadim, forward Christine Sinclair and midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir before a sellout crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park on Sunday night. With the win, Portland earned a home playoff game in the NWSL semifinals.

Thorns FC (11-3-5, 38pts) finished their 2016 home schedule with a record of 8-1-1 at Providence Park as they played in front of their third sellout crowd in team history. In 10 home matches this season, Portland set a new NWSL record for total (169,449) and average (16,945) attendance in the team’s fourth season.

While they still await their opponent and exact date for their home semifinal match, tickets for Thorns FC’s first-ever home playoff game go sale to the general public on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available for purchase online at www.thornsfc.com, by phone at (888) 736-6849, or at the Providence Park box office. Thorns FC season ticket holders will receive information by email on how to purchase their tickets for the semifinal playoff match.

Thorns FC opened the scoring in the 27th minute following Nadim’s fourth converted penalty kick of the season. After midfielder Lindsey Horan played a long ball over the top that freed Nadim in behind the Western New York defense, the Denmark international was fouled inside the box. Nadim’s ensuing penalty attempt was placed into the lower left corner of the net for her team-leading ninth goal of the season.

Portland scored its second of the night from a counter-attacking play. After Nadim sent in a low-driven cross from the right wing that deflected off a Flash defender, Christine Sinclair took a touch and her left-footed shot struck the left post and went into the back of the net in the 37th minute. With her goal, Sinclair has now recorded a point in seven-consecutive games dating back to 2-0 win against Chicago on June 22, extending her team record. Just before halftime, Tobin Heath’s strike from outside the 18-yard box forced goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo into a save.

Second-half substitute Dagny Brynjarsdottir upped Portland’s lead to 3-0, with what would be the game-winning goal in the 69th minute. After midfielder Tobin Heath played the Iceland international through on goal, her right-footed strike from inside the penalty area beat an onrushing D’Angelo and found its way into the back of the net. The assist was Heath’s ninth of the year, which ranks first in the NWSL this season.

Down 3-0, Western New York (8-6-5, 29pts) threatened late in the match after forward Jess McDonald headed in defender Liz Eddy’s cross in the 77th minute to cut the lead to two. Three minutes later, McDonald found forward Lynn Williams, whose shot beat goalkeeper Michelle Betos in the 80th minute to set up a wild finish. In stoppage-time, a long-range shot from Williams forced Betos into an acrobatic tip save over her left post to preserve the win.

Following the international break, Thorns FC close out the 2016 NWSL regular season on the road against Sky Blue FC on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Yurcak Field; kickoff is set for 4 p.m. (Pacific) with a live web stream at www.thornsfc.com.  

  

Notes:

  • Thorns FC played in front of their first sellout crowd of the 2016 season (21,144) and third sellout overall in team history. Additionally, it marked the sixth time Portland has drawn a crowd of more than 18,000 for a game.
  • With the sellout, Thorns FC set a new NWSL overall (169,449) and average (16,945) attendance record in the team’s 10th game at home this season. Portland previously held the previous overall attendance record (160,341) set in 2014 in 12 games played at home, while it also held the previous average attendance record (15,639) set during the 2015 season in 10 games played at Providence Park.  
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath recorded her NWSL-leading ninth assist of the season. Additionally, Heath’s assist was the 13th of her career, which moves her past midfielder Allie Long for the most in Thorns FC history.
  • Forward Christine Sinclair scored in her third consecutive match and recorded a point in her seventh straight match, extending her team record for most consecutive games with a point.
  • With her goal, forward Nadia Nadim became the sixth player to record 20 or more career points for Thorns FC.
  • With the win, goalkeeper Michelle Betos recorded her 12th career win, which is the most in Thorns FC history.
  • Defender Emily Menges played in her 59th career match for Portland and is the only player this season to play every minute of every match.
  • Portland improved to 6-2-3 in the all-time series against Western New York, including a mark of 3-1-1 at Providence Park.
  • Thorns FC have outscored their opponents 23-8 at Providence Park this season.            

THORNS FC CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT WITH 3-0 WIN OVER HOUSTON DASH

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portland thorns

THORNS FC CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT WITH 3-0 WIN OVER HOUSTON DASH

PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their second home match in four days, Portland Thorns FC defeated the Houston Dash 3-0 behind a brace from midfielder Allie Long, a goal from forward Christine Sinclair and a two-assists from forward Tobin Heath in front of 13,752 fans at Providence Park on Wednesday night.

With the win, Thorns FC (10-3-5, 35pts) clinched their third playoff berth in four seasons, joining the Washington Spirit as the only other team to clinch a playoff spot in the NWSL this season.

Coming out on the attack, Thorns FC registered nine shots in the first half and created a number of goal-scoring opportunities. Portland opened the scoring in the 26th minute when forward Tobin Heath sent in a delivery from a free kick from 30-yards out into the 18-yard box picking out midfielder Allie Long, whose looping header caught Houston goalkeeper Lydia Williams off her line and made its way into the back of the net. Portland nearly doubled its lead in the 32nd minute after forward Christine Sinclair was released into space behind the Houston defense and her shot from point-blank-range was saved by Williams. Seconds later, her follow-up shot from inside the six-yard box struck the lower left post. Just before halftime, Sinclair played Long through in the box and her angled shot was kicked aside by Williams for a corner kick in the 45th minute.

Thorns FC scored their second goal of the match in the 71st minute after Heath took a touch past her defender on the left wing and picked out Long, who flicked up the ball and rifled her left-footed shot into the lower right corner of the net to notch her fourth goal in her last three appearances. Sinclair capped off the scoring in the 90th minute when Williams misjudged a cross inside the box, with the Canadian international reacting quickly to the rebound before calmly slotting in her effort from six yards out.

Holding a 21-10 shot advantage in the game, Portland created scoring opportunities throughout the evening. After dispossessing the ball from a Houston Dash defender, forward Nadia Nadim’s shot from the right edge of the penalty area was saved by Williams in the 10th minute. Four minutes later, Heath beat her defender on the left wing and fired a shot that forced Williams into a save. In the 58th minute, midfielder Lindsey Horan found herself in space at the top of the box and her long-range shot was saved by Williams. Continuing to apply pressure, Heath dribbled past her defender inside the box and sent in a pass across the mouth of the goal that was latched onto by Sinclair, whose shot was saved off the line by a Houston defender in the 67th minute.

Next up, Thorns FC will play host to the Western New York Flash in the final regular-season home game at Providence Park on Sunday, Sept. 11. The match on Sept. 11 kicks off at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific) and will feature a live national broadcast on FS1. With a win or a draw against Western New York, Portland would clinch home-field advantage in the NWSL semifinals.

Notes:

Midfielder Allie Long scored her 26th regular-season goal, which ranks third all-time in the NWSL.

Long recorded her fourth brace with Thorns FC.

Midfielder Tobin Heath registered two assists, placing her in first place in the NWSL for assists (8). Additionally, the two assists moved Heath into a tie for first place with Allie Long for the most assists in team history (12).

With the shutout and win, goalkeeper Michelle Betos tied Karina LeBlanc for the most wins (11) and shutouts (7) in team history.

The shutout was Portland’s seventh of the season.

Portland improved to 4-2-1 in the all-time series against Houston, including a mark of 2-1-0 at Providence Park.

Thorns FC have outscored their opponents 20-6 at Providence Park this season.

THORNS FC CLAIM THREE POINTS WITH 5-1 WIN OVER BOSTON BREAKERS

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THORNS FC CLAIM THREE POINTS WITH 5-1 WIN OVER BOSTON BREAKERS

Playing the first of three straight home games in eight days, Portland Thorns FC received a hat-trick from forward Nadia Nadim and goals from forward Christine Sinclair and midfielder Allie Long to earn three points with a 5-1 win against the Boston Breakers in front of 17,152 fans Sunday at Providence Park.

With the win, Thorns FC (9-3-5, 32pts) currently sit in second place in the NWSL standings, four points behind the Washington Spirit (36pts), while holding a three-point lead over Chicago (29pts) and a four-point advantage over Western New York Flash (28pts).

Sinclair, playing her first game since a 2-1 win against the Orlando Pride on June 24, opened the scoring for Portland in the 14th minute from a set-piece play. After Nadim sent in a delivery from a corner kick into the six-yard box, Sinclair was first to the loose ball and placed her shot into the back of the net. In the 24th minute, defender Meghan Klingenberg picked out midfielder Lindsey Horan, who brought the ball down with her chest and quickly fired a shot that was kicked aside by Boston goalkeeper Libby Stout. Moments later, forward Hayley Raso’s follow-up shot from just inside the 18-yard box missed the target.

After a Boston defender was whistled for a handball inside the box just before halftime, Nadim stepped up to the penalty spot and tucked her right-footed finish into the lower right-hand corner of the net to double Portland’s lead in the 41st minute.

Holding a 10-6 shot advantage in the second half, Thorns FC created a number of goal-scoring opportunities. Portland scored their third goal of the game after Sinclair sent in a low-driven cross from the right wing into the area that picked out Long, who placed her curling effort past Stout in the 48th minute.

In the 79th minute, Thorns FC scored their second goal of the half when Long played a ball in behind the Boston defense that left Nadim in a one-on-one situation with the opposing goalkeeper. Nadim took a touch past a sprawling Stout and calmly placed her shot into the back of the net. After Boston (3-13-1, 10pts) scored its lone goal of the game in the 84th minute, Nadim completed her hat-trick in stoppage time. Following a passage of play when second-half substitute Tobin Heath fired a shot at Stout, who made a one-handed save, Nadim rose highest to the rebound and finished her header from inside the six-yard box.

Next up, Thorns FC will play host to the Houston Dash at Providence Park on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The match on Sept. 7 kicks off at 7 p.m. (Pacific) and will feature a live web stream at www.thornsfc.com.

Notes:

·         Forward Nadia Nadim tallied her second career hat-trick. Her first three-goal game came on Aug. 9, 2014 as a member of Sky Blue FC against Western New York Flash.

·         Portland improved to 6-5-0 in the all-time series against Boston, including a mark of 4-1-0 at Providence Park.

·         Forward Christine Sinclair appeared in her 60th career match for Thorns FC.

·         Defender Emily Menges played in her 57th career match for Portland and is the only player this season to play every minute of every match.

·         Thorns FC have outscored their opponents 17-6 at Providence Park this season.

·         Goalkeeper Michelle Betos tallied four or more saves in a match for the 13th time in her Thorns FC career.

THORNS FC FALL 3-1 ON THE ROAD AGAINST SEATTLE REIGN FC

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THORNS FC FALL 3-1 ON THE ROAD AGAINST SEATTLE REIGN FC

Playing their first game following a 25-day league-wide break, Portland Thorns FC conceded an early goal against Seattle Reign FC and were unable to mount a comeback, falling 3-1 in front of 5,888 fans on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

The match was the final of four regular-season meetings between Portland (8-3-5, 29pts) and Seattle (6-5-5, 23pts) this season and Thorns FC’s ninth road match of the 2016 season. Despite the loss – just their second on the road this season – Thorns FC still have the second best road record in the NWSL this season (3-2-4) and have scored in seven of their nine away from Providence Park. 

Trailing after a pair of goals from Seattle Reign FC forward Manon Melis in the 27th and 50th minute, Portland registered 10 of their total 16 shots in the second half to make a late push in the game. Midfielder Allie Long, making her first appearance since a 2-1 win against the Orlando Pride on June 26, tallied her first goal of the 2016 season in the 91st minute when she got on the end of midfielder Tobin Heath’s delivery from a set piece and her right-footed flick from inside the area was placed over Reign FC goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer to make it a 2-1 game. 

After Portland pushed bodies forward looking for a late equalizer, Seattle made it a 3-1 game in the 94th minute after second-half substitute Megan Rapinoe’s left-footed shot from inside the 18-yard was placed into the back of the net. 

Portland created a number of scoring opportunities in the first half as forward Nadia Nadim’ fired a header on frame that was saved by Kopmeyer in the third minute. After midfielder Lindsay Horan played a through ball that released Nadim behind the Seattle defense, Nadim’s shot was saved in the 11th minute. Heath threatened late in the first half for Portland after her low-driven shot from the left edge of the 18-yard box was saved by Kopmeyer in the 41st minute. 

Thorns FC return to the Rose City for their next match at Providence Park on Sunday, Sept. 4, against the Boston Breakers. The match on Sept. 4 kicks off at 4 p.m. (Pacific) and will feature a live national broadcast on FS1.    

Notes:

·         Midfielder Allie Long and defender Katherine Reynolds appeared in their 75th career NSWSL match.

·         With her sixth assist of the season, midfielder Tobin Heath became the third player in club history to register double-digit career assists (10).

·         Defender Emily Menges and forward Nadia Nadim are the only two players to start all 16 matches for Portland this season.

·         Goalkeeper Michelle Betos registered four or more saves in a match for the 12th time in her Thorns FC career.

After the Olympics, Portland Thorns will have high expectations

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After the Olympics, Portland Thorns will have high expectations

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The Portland Thorns came into last Saturday night’s game against rival Seattle Reign losers of two straight. After 12 consecutive games without a loss, the Thorns unprecedented streak was not only over, but their grip on first place in the NWSL standings was in jeopardy as well. A season of high expectations was becoming precariously close to falling off an Olympic sized chasm.

In what may be seen as one of the biggest games of the year when all is said and done, the Thorns eked out a 1-0 victory in front of 19,000-plus at Providence Park. Behind a shrewd coaching move by Thorns coach Mark Parsons to go with a back line that was five deep, six saves from goalkeeper Michelle Betos, a standout performance from Nadia Nadim and one big save by Katherine Reynolds, the Thorns gained three points to remain at the top of the standings heading into a month long break.

The Thorns have survived their toughest stretch of the season relatively unscathed. When they return to action in late August, there will be no excuses, not that there ever has been with this team, for the Thorns to be heavy favorites to win it all. One thing is clear; with a team this talented and deep, an appearance in the NWSL Championship should be the primary goal.

Last season, the Portland Timbers made a remarkable run to the MSL Cup, winning the first major title in Portland since the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977 Portland Thorns in 2013. The Thorns have the opportunity to deliver another title to the Rose City. It should be the expectation of this town. It should be the expectation of the Thorns. The Timbers are looking less and less likely to repeat as MLS champs, so it may be up to the Thorns to keep this parade routine going into 2016.

Come late August and early September there will be a flurry of games to close out the season. Of the five remaining games left, only two are against a top five opponent with two more against the cellar dwellers of the NWSL. The Thorns, barring any Olympic injury (knock on wood), should be a complete team by then. Having proved earlier in the season that they are the best team in the league when everyone is assembled, the soccer version of The Avengers if ever there was one, the Thorns should march into the playoffs with their sights set on Houston.

Back in the fold will be Tobin Heath (already making her presence felt in the Olympics), Lindsey Horan, and Allie Long. Back will be Christine Sinclair (see Tobin Heath parenthesis), Amandine Henry, Meghan Klingenberg, and Emily Sonnet. They will fortify a squad that was admirably held down by Nadim, Betos, Reynolds and newcomers like Dagny Brynjarsdottir. The Thorns should have nothing short of title aspirations when September arrives.

If the Thorns should require any smaller goals to help achieve their ultimate end game, it should be this: The Thorns have yet to host a playoff game. How great would it be to give the fans something they have been waiting to see and experience since 2013? Over 19,000 fans showed up to a home game when most of the more well know names were absent. The vibe and energy in the stadium was nothing short of a typical, dynamic Thorns game. Can you imagine what a playoff game in Portland would be like? It might just give Timbers fans a moment of appreciation and adoration.

August will be a long month for the Thorns fans. The next game isn’t until August 27 and the next home game is not until September 4. That’s a long wait for fans of a team with visions of confetti and a trophy dancing in their heads. But, good things come to those who wait. So, enjoy the Olympics, Thorns fans. Feel the pride of watching a team bursting with Thorns players compete for our country (and Canada, and France). Take a deep breath and relish the break, because exciting things are on the horizon.

Thorns end losing streak with 1-0 win over Reign

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Thorns end losing streak with 1-0 win over Reign

The Portland Thorns, the best team in the NWSL, came into Saturday’s game looking to get back on track. After starting the season with a team record 12-game undefeated streak, Portland was in the midst of a two-game losing streak. The early streak had them high in the standings, but the recent losing efforts had them wanting more. 

They got it on Saturday.

With rival Seattle in town you knew you were in for a treat. However, the Thorns (and the Reign for that matter) were a shell of their normal selves. With seven players, all of which are everyday starters, out to represent their respective nations in the Olympics, the Thorns had to rely on depth to get them through.

For much of the match Seattle looked like the stronger team. Seattle’s offense was controlling possession, and controlling the game. On the other side, the Thorns defense was doing everything it needed to do to make sure the Reign wouldn’t do any damage.

Time after time Michelle Betos was able to stop Seattle in its tracks, and keep the Reign at bay. With so many familiar names out of the lineup, this familiar named stepped up and hit one out of the park.

Her counterpart in the other net, Haley Kopmeyer, was no slouch either. She continually stopped the Thorns, and her defenders up front helped slam the door on the Thorns most of the match. That is, until Nadia Nadim stepped up.

Nadim busted down that door in the late stages of the game with a goal that seemingly came out of nowhere. In minute 74, Mana Shim sent a high arching pass into the box that looked to be an easy clear for Seattle. However, Nadim, sandwiched between two Reign defenders, would out jump the defense and send a header past the Seattle goalkeeper. Kopmeyer never had a chance.  The goal was met with a thunderous roar from the Portland faithful.

Fans were looking at a 0-0 tie, instead an improbable header gave them a 1-0 win.

Final Score: Portland Thorns 1 – Seattle Reign 0

Standout Thorns: No one played a better, or a more consistent game than Michelle Betos. The Thorns’ Goalkeeper was in total control of the box, and made sure to stop anything the Reign sent her way. Some saves were easy, some saves took quite a bit of effort. Betos was ready for all of them. At the end of the day, it was simply a very strong game from a very strong keeper.

Next Up: The Thorns get a very nice break from the pitch while the Olympics are going on, and don’t return to game action until August 27th. Their next opponent: The Seattle Reign, this time up in their neck of the woods. Kickoff for that match is set for 2:00 PM at Memorial Stadium in Seattle. 

 

THORNS FC FALL 3-0 ON THE ROAD AGAINST HOUSTON DASH

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THORNS FC FALL 3-0 ON THE ROAD AGAINST HOUSTON DASH

Portland Thorns FC conceded an early goal against the Houston Dash and were unable to mount a comeback, falling 3-0 in front of 5,561 fans on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The meeting was the first of two between Portland (7-2-5, 26pts) and Houston (3-7-1, 13pts) this season and Thorns FC’s eighth road match of the 2016 season. Portland looked dangerous in the opening minutes as midfielder Hayley Raso created two scoring chances, sending a shot wide of the target in the fourth minute and again in the 15th minute, chasing down a back pass to the Houston goalkeeper and delivering a shot just past the left post.

The Dash tallied a goal in the first half and added a pair in the second half to register the win as forward Rachel Daly and midfielders Amber Brooks and Kealia Ohai all scored goals for Houston. Daly opened the scoring in the seventh minute, collecting a pass in the box from Ohai and finishing off the underside of the crossbar.

Thorns FC nearly equalized in the 25th minute. Dribbling down the right side, midfielder Mallory Weber slotted a well-timed cross to the feet of forward Nadia Nadim. The Danish international did well to hold off her defender and lay the ball off for midfielder Celeste Boureille, but Boureille sent her close-range attempt just over the crossbar. Minutes later, goalkeeper Michelle Betos, who finished the match with five saves, kept Houston off the board with a diving save in the 27th minute, pushing Daly’s free kick from the edge of the box just wide of the right post.

The Dash doubled their lead midway through the second half. Brooks finished a cross into the box by defender Becca Moros at the back post in the 68th minute, while Ohai added the third goal in the 83rd minute, sending a close-range shot off the fingertips of a diving Betos into the back of the net.

Thorns FC return to the Rose City for their next match at Providence Park on Saturday, July 30, against Seattle Reign FC. The match on July 30 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live web stream at www.thornsfc.com.   

Notes:

  • Defender Kat Williamson made her 65th career NWSL start and her 45th career start for Thorns FC in the match.
  • Midfielder Maureen Fitzgerald earned her first professional start in the match, making her second appearance this season for Portland.
  • Defender Jennifer Skogerboe made her first NWSL start and her first start for Portland in the match.
  • Defender Emily Menges and forward Nadia Nadim are the only two players to start all 14 matches for Portland this season.
  • Goalkeeper Michelle Betos registered four or more saves in a match for the 10th time in her Thorns FC career.

Heath, Horan Klingenberg, Long named to USWNT roster for 2016 Olympics

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USATI

Heath, Horan Klingenberg, Long named to USWNT roster for 2016 Olympics

Portland Thorns FC midfielders Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Allie Long and defender Meghan Klingenberg were named to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the Rio 2016 Olympics, while defender Emily Sonnett will travel to Rio as an alternate, it was announced today. 

The Rio 2016 Olympics will mark the first time Horan, Klingenberg and Long have been selected to an Olympic roster, while Heath has been named to her third consecutive Olympic roster. 

Heath helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. At the London 2012 Olympics, Heath played in all six games (4 starts), tallying three assists, while she appeared in three games at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. For Thorns FC this season, Heath has tallied a NWSL-best five assists in nine matches.

Earning her first spot on a U.S. roster for a major international tournament, Horan has 19 caps and three goals for the United States. With the national team in 2016, Horan has played in 13 games (10 starts), registering two goals and three assists. In the NWSL, Horan currently ranks among the league leaders with four goals in 10 games (all starts), playing in her first season with Thorns FC.

Klingenberg, an alternate at the London 2012 Olympics, is one of three players to appear in all 14 matches for the United States in 2016. In her first season for Portland, Klingenberg has started and played in nine games, helping lead a Thorns FC defense that is tied for the league lead in fewest goals allowed (9). 

The Olympics also will mark Long’s first inclusion on a U.S. roster for a major international tournament. Thorns FC’s all-time leading goal scorer (22), Long has appeared in more matches (74) and logged the most minutes (6,458) of any player in the history of the club. Long, who has earned nine caps and tallied two goals for the United States, has played in five matches (4 starts), scoring two goals and recording an assist in 2016.

The United States will play its final send-off match before departing for Brazil against Costa Rica on Saturday, July 22, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.; kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (Pacific) on ESPN. In group play at the Olympics, the United States will square off against New Zealand (Aug. 3), France (Aug. 6) and Colombia (Aug. 9). The quarterfinals are set to take place on Aug. 12 and the semifinals on Aug. 16. The tournament concludes with the gold and bronze medal matches on Aug. 19.

Portland Thorns FC fall to FC Kansas City, 2-1, lose 12-game undefeated streak

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Portland Thorns FC fall to FC Kansas City, 2-1, lose 12-game undefeated streak

Game Recap:  The Portland Thorns FC (7-1-5, 26 points) entered Saturday’s match against FC Kansas City (3-5-4, 13pts) on a four-game winning streak and as the only undefeated team left in the NWSL.

However, Kansas City, two-time defending NWSL champions, ended both of those streaks with a 2-1 victory over Portland.

Five U.S. Women's National Team players and Canadian Women's National Team captain Christine Sinclair, were missing from the Thorns’ roster on Saturday.

Kansas City held possession and control for the majority of the first half. Yet, the Thorns were able to keep Kansas City scoreless until the 23rd minute after seven shots on goal. Thorns goal keeper Michelle Betos came up with multiple major saves.

Including one tremendous diving stop in the 16th minute worthy of a NWSL save of the week look. Kansas City’s Erika Tymrak sent a shot to the top corner of the net and Betos stretched out to knock it away.

Another Kansas City goal came in the 54th minute. Shea Groom scored a header off of a Tiffany McCarty cross into the box, extending their lead to 2-0.

The Thorns found some life in the 76th minute with a big goal from Kat Williamson in her first game back from injury. Williamson tapped in the loose ball off a free kick, making it 2-1, Kansas City. 

Depsite a late Thorns’ rally that included six shots on goal in the final 10 minutes, Portland fell to Kansas City, 2-1.

Noteable:

  • Kat Williamson made her first appearance since injury
  • Kansas City took 14 shots on goal compared to Portland’s 16 shots on goal.

Up Next: The Portland Thorns travel to play the Houston Dash at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 16.