Thorns FC take on Chicago Red Stars for second time in less than a week

Thorns set for familiar foe tonight against Chicago

Sarah Huffman, Thorns vs. Chicago, 7.4.14

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Thorns FC travel to Chicago to face the Red Stars for a second time in six days on Wednesday before returning home to play host the FC Kansas City on Sunday. Wednesday’s match against Chicago at Benedictine Sports Complex in Lisle, Ill. kicks off at 5 p.m. (Pacific). Portland then squares off against FC Kansas City on Military Appreciation Night at Providence Park on Sunday, July 13, in a match sponsored by the Army National Guard.

Both matches will be available via a live webstream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.

Portland (6-6-3, 21pts) will play on the road against Chicago twice in the next two weeks. The two teams meet on Thursday, July 17, for the final time this regular season. In the last meeting, Thorns FC led 2-0 at halftime, but conceded two goals in the final 15 minutes of a 2-2 draw on July 4 at Providence Park. Forward Jessica McDonald opened the scoring in the 24th minute, while defender Sarah Huffman added Portland’s second goal of the match in the 39th minute. The goal was McDonald’s ninth of the season and set a new single-season club record, breaking the previous record of eight goals set by forwards Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair during the 2013 season.

On Sunday, Thorns FC and FC Kansas City meet for the second, and final, time during the regular season at Providence Park. Portland earned a 3-1 victory on April 26 in the season opener at Providence Park as McDonald registered a brace and midfielder Allie Long converted a penalty kick in the win. FC Kansas City won the most recent meeting, 1-0, on June 28 at Verizon Wireless Field in Kansas City, Mo.

Portland is 2-1-2 all-time against Chicago, including a mark of 2-0-0 on the road. Thorns FC won both meetings in Chicago last season by a score of 2-0 on April 27, 2013, and May 12, 2013. Portland is 2-1-0 all-time at Providence Park against FC Kansas City.

Individually, forward Jessica McDonald is tied for third in the league with nine goals this season. Midfielder Verónica Boquete tallied her team-leading third assist on July 4 and ranks among the league leaders in assists. Forward Christine Sinclair leads the league in shots (50) and is tied for second in shots on goal (26). As a team, Portland has recorded a league-best 228 shots, while ranking second in shots on goal (103). Thorns FC have attempted a league-leading 107 corner kicks.

Chicago (6-6-3, 21pts) plays its first home match since June 15 on Wednesday. The Red Stars are 2-2-1 at home this season and have conceded just four goals. Chicago forward Jen Hoy leads the team with four goals and two assists. Forward Christen Press appeared in her third match of the season for Chicago on July 4 and scored two goals. Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc ranks third in the league in goals-against average (1.00) and shutouts (3).

FC Kansas City (10-4-3, 33pts) is tied for second in the league in goals scoring (30) and fewest goals allowed (17). The Blues come into Sunday’s match following a 5-0 win against Sky Blue FC on July 6, at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. FC Kansas City is riding a seven-match winning streak and is unbeaten in its last nine matches. All four losses have come on the road this season. Forwards Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Holiday rank among the league leaders with 10 and seven goals, respectively. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart leads the league with eight shutouts.

Portland is 11-4-5 all-time on the road in all competitions, dating back to the 2013 season. Thorns FC have earned a mark of 3-2-2 away from home in 2014. Portland has conceded just eight goals on the road this season, while posting two shutout victories.

Following Sunday’s match, Thorns FC return to Chicago for a match on Thursday, July 17, at Benedictine University Sports Complex in Lisle, Ill.; kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (Pacific).