PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC continued play in the Thorns Spring Invitational presented by Tillamook, squaring off against the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in the second of three matches as part of the tournament in front of 6,129 at Providence Park on Wednesday night.
Portland opened the scoring in the eighth minute as Mallory Weber tallied her first goal of the preseason, heading the ball inside the left post from the edge of the six-yard box after receiving a pinpoint cross from Ashley Herndon.
The U.S. U-23 WNT leveled the match in the 66th minute behind a goal from Michelle Xiao and claimed the lead in the 90th minute as Sonia Smith converted off a turnover inside Portland’s penalty box, resulting in a 2-1 final score.
Thorns FC nearly doubled their initial lead in the 30th minute when Christine Sinclair split a pair of defenders with a well-weighted pass to the feet of Weber making a run into the box, but Weber’s shot skipped just wide of the left post. In the 35th minute, Sinclair’s shot from the top of the box forced U.S. U-23 WNT goalkeeper to make a diving save to tip the ball past the left post and out for a corner kick.
Portland created several scoring opportunities in the second half. A powerful strike from distance by Caroline Flynn sailed past the left post in the 71st minute, while Amandine Henry’s long-range effort ricocheted of the left post and back across the face of goal in the 84th minute.
Meghan Klingenberg, Allie Long, Henry and Sinclair all featured in their final preseason match for Portland before departing to join their respective national teams as part of an upcoming FIFA date from April 3-11. The U.S. Women’s National Team plays Russia in a pair of matches on April 6 and April 9. Sinclair and Canada travel to Europe to square off against Sweden (April 6) and Germany (April 9), while Henry and France will takes on the Netherlands on April 7. All of the players departing on international duty during this window will return the week of the home opener.
In addition, Chicago recorded a 2-1 win against the Houston Dash in the first game on day two of the tournament, receiving a pair of goals from Christen Press.
Portland wraps up play in the Thorns Spring Invitational presented by Tillamook on Saturday, April 1, against the Houston Dash at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be streamed live on www.thornsfc.com. Chicago and the U.S. U-23 WNT play in the opening match on the final day of the tournament; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific).
Portland Thorns FC vs. U.S. U-23 WNT (NWSL Preseason)
March 29, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
U.S. U-23 WNT 0 2 2
Portland Thorns FC 1 0 1
POR: Weber (Sinclair, Herndon), 8
US: Xiao, 66
US: Smith, 90
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Boureille, D Sonnett, D Menges (Cox, 76), D Klingenberg (Johnson, 60) , M Henry, M Long, M Herndon (Shim, 60), F Hubly, F Sinclair © (Nadim, 72), F Weber (Flynn, 60)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Boon
TOTAL SHOTS: 15; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3
US: GK Murphy, D Cook, D McGrady, D Riehl, D Jean, M Howell (Davidson, 62), M Pinto (Yu, 85), M Eubanks (Sanchez, 66), F Smith, F McCaskill © (DiBiasi, 74), F King (Xiao, 62)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Geist, D Isom, D Seiler, D Warner, F Charley
TOTAL SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 5; OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7 SAVES: 5
Weather: Partly cloudy, 54 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.