Another matchup between two Pacific Northwest rivals is upon us. At 7 pm Pacific, the Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign FC face off against each other in what is likely to be a hotly contested game between two of the top teams in the NWSL. Every matchup is a battle both on and off the pitch, and tonight might have an increased importance.
The big storyline for tonight is the inclusion of a few notable players back into the fold. While the Reign defeated Portland in their last matchup, a 1-0 victory on July 5, that game did not feature any of the US World Cup players. Not only have they been busy winning their fourth World Cup, but also the subsequent obligations and celebrations that come with their victory.
After spending such a long time playing on the same team, Adrianna French, Emily Sonnett, Lindsey Horan, and Tobin Heath (Portland) will try to gain some bragging rights over fellow national team members Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe (Seattle). It might take a minute getting used to these women in different uniforms, as they just played the first leg of their victory tour against Ireland last week.
Tonight’s contest is even more important when you consider the implications that this game could have on the NWSL standings. Currently, the Thorns have a record of 7-2-6 with 27 points, and the Reign are not far behind with 23 points, sitting at 6-3-5.
Portland is currently just one point behind the first place North Carolina Courage, and a win could jump the Thorns into the league’s top spot. On the other hand, a Seattle win would firmly entrench themselves into the top NWSL group. With only four teams given spots into the league playoffs, every point/game matters, especially between two teams fully in the mix of contention.
To watch what is sure to be an exciting contest, fans can livestream the game on the Yahoo Sports App, which can be found on all major app store platforms.