Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer
Date: Sunday, August 17, 2014
Kickoff: 2 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Sunny, 84 degrees
Referee: Elvis Mahmutovic
Assistant Referees: Karen Abt, Ronald Lagraff
Fourth Official: J.J. Blodgett
: Comcast SportsNet Northwest
Thorns FC and the Seattle Reign FC meet for the third, and final, time this regular season on Sunday at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (Pacific). The final match of the regular season will determine Portland’s playoff fate. Following Saturday night's results - a loss by Washington and a Chicago draw - a win on Sunday will secure a playoff spot for Thorns FC. Click here
for the current NWSL standings.
Portland is unbeaten in its last four home matches, including three consecutive wins at Providence Park. Thorns FC have outscored their opponents, 14-4, during their unbeaten home stretch. Portland is 2-1-0 all-time at home against Seattle, dating back to the 2013 season.
Thorns FC enters Sunday’s match following a 2-0 loss against the Boston Breakers on Aug. 10 at Harvard Stadium. Thorns FC registered a club record 15 shots on goal, but could not overcome a two-goal halftime deficit.
Seattle has earned the top seed in the NWSL playoffs as well as home-field advantage throughout and are coming off a 1-1 draw on Aug. 9 against the Washington Spirit at home. Midfielder Kim Little scored an 89th-minute equalizer to secure a point after Washington took the lead in the first half through midfielder Diana Matheson.
Seattle is unbeaten in its last six matches and has outscored its opponents, 16-5, in those games. Reign FC lead the league in goals scored (50) and have conceded the fewest goals in the league (19), giving up multiple goals just three times in 23 matches this season.
Little leads the league with 16 goals and ranks second with seven assists. Forward Naho Kawasumi is tied for fifth in the NWSL with nine goals and also ranks among league leaders with five assists. Goalkeeper Hope Solo leads the league with a 0.90 goals-against average and ranks third with five shutouts.
LAST TIME AGAINST SEATTLE
Thorns FC were unable to overcome a two-goal halftime deficit in a 5-0 loss against Seattle Reign FC on July 27 at Moda Health Pitch at Memorial Stadium. Forward Sydney Leroux beat Portland goalkeeper Nadine Angerer from close range with a shot from a tight angle to the near post less than five minutes into the match to open the scoring. In the 19th minute Thorns FC had its best chance to equalize after Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo mishandled a ball in the box, forward Christine Sinclair collected the loose ball and dribbled around Solo, but a Seattle defender stepped in front to clear the shot away from the goal line. Reign FC doubled its lead minutes before halftime through midfielder Kim Little and added three goals in the second half to secure a victory against Portland.
HOME WINNING STREAK
Thorns FC are unbeaten in four consecutive home matches and have won three straight at Providence Park. In the last four home matches, Portland has outscored its opponent 16-6, while holding a 14-3 advantage in goal scorin in its three wins. Midfielder Vero Boquete has tallied at least one point in six consecutive home matches, while all four of her goals and five of her six assists this season have come in home matches. Forward Christine Sinclair has scored five of her seven goals this season at Providence Park and midfielder Allie Long has scored at home in two of the last three matches.
Forward Jessica McDonald is tied for third in the league in goals scored (11), while midfielder Allie Long is tied for fifth with nine goals. Forward Christine Sinclair leads the league in both shots (77) and shots on goal (40). Midfielder Vero Boquete is tied for fourth in the NWSL with six assists, while goalkeeper Nadine Angerer ranks among league leaders with 69 saves this season. As a team, Portland continues to lead the league in shots (352), shots on goal (171) and corner kicks (147).
MORGAN, LONG TO USWNT
Forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Allie Long were named to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for an upcoming friendly against Switzerland on Aug. 20 in Cary, N.C. The pair will depart for the game following Portland’s regular-season finale on Sunday. It marks the third time this year that Long has been named to a United States roster, while Morgan is back in the fold as well for a secondconsecutive time after recovering from her ankle injury. In the last United States international friendly, a 2-2 draw against France on June 19, Long tallied an assist and Morgan tallied a brace.