Portland Thorns FC play host to Houston Dash Sunday on ESPN2

Thorns, Dash wrap up regular-season series on as playoff race heats up

Nadine Angerer Houston Dash April 12 2014

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of Houston Dash

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Thorns FC return to the Rose City with just three matches remaining in the regular season, squaring off against the Houston Dash on Sunday, Aug. 3, at Providence Park. Sunday’s match, sponsored by Providence Health & Services, will be televised nationally on ESPN2; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific).

Thorns FC (8-7-6, 30pts) are coming off a 5-0 loss to Seattle Reign FC on Sunday at Moda Health Pitch at Memorial Stadium. Portland will play two of its three remaining regular-season matches at home, following a tough stretch of seven matches during the month of July, including four games away from Providence Park. Thorns FC travel to take on the Boston Breakers on Sunday, Aug.10, before playing host to Pacific Northwest-rival Seattle Reign FC in the regular-season finale on Sunday, Aug. 17.

As the season nears its conclusion, the NWSL playoff picture is coming into focus. Seattle clinched the top seed in the NWSL playoffs with a 4-1 win against the Houston Dash on Wednesday, but the race for the final three NWSL playoff spots remains tight. FC Kansas City currently sits in second on 37 points. The Washington Spirit took over third place in the standings with 31 points after a 2-1 win against FC Kansas City on Wednesday night. Thorns FC remain in the top four with 30 points, while the Chicago Red Stars are in fifth (28 points).

Portland has found a spark offensively in the second half of the season, scoring 27 goals in the last 11 matches after scoring just 10 goals through the first 10 matches of the season. In the last two home matches, Thorns FC have outscored their opponents, 13-4, with a 7-1 win against FC Kansas City on July 13 and a 6-3 win against the Boston Breakers on July 20.

Thorns FC currently lead the league in assists (27), shots (317), shots on goal (148) and corner kicks (136) and rank second in goals (37). Portland has set single-season club records for goals and assists, breaking the previous record of 32 goals and 25 assists set during the 2013 season. At Providence Park this season, Thorns FC have tallied double-digit shot attempts in all 10 matches, including 20 or more shots in three matches.

Individually, forward Jessica McDonald is tied for second in the league in goals scored (11), while midfielder Allie Long is fifth with nine goals. Forward Christine Sinclair is tied for the league lead in shots (64) and ranks second in shots on goal (33). Midfielder Verónica Boquete is tied for the NWSL lead with six assists. Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer is among league leaders with 63 saves.

Houston (5-11-3, 18pts) is coming off a 4-1 loss at home to Seattle Reign FC on Wednesday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Midfielder Kim Little tallied two goals for the Reign, while rookie forward Kealia Ohai tallied the lone goal in the match for the Dash. The expansion side has found success on the road this season tallying three of its five wins away from Houston with a record of 3-3-2. The second overall pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft, Ohai is tied for the team lead with four goals along with forward Tiffany McCarty. Goalkeeper and Canadian international Erin McLeod ranks second in the league in saves (70).

Following Sunday’s match, Portland travels to Boston for its final regular-season road match on Sunday, Aug. 10, at Harvard Stadium; kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be available via a live webstream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.

TEAM NEWS

Boquete named to 2013-14 UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe shortlist
Thorns FC midfielder Verónica Boquete was one of 11 players named to the initial shortlist for the 2013-14 UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe Award on July 17. The Spain Women’s National Team captain helped guide Swedish club Tyresö FF to the 2013-14 UEFA Women’s Champions League final, tallying a goal and an assist in the match, before her arrival in Portland.

The shortlist was voted on by the coaches of the eight teams that participated in last season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League quarterfinals. The second round of voting will be composed of 12 journalists and the final three nominees will be named on August 14, the group of 12 journalists will cast their votes live during a special ceremony at the UEFA Champions League group draw stage. For a complete list of nominees click here.

Nong’s Khao Man Gai to be featured food cart Sunday at Providence Park
As part of the match-day experience at Providence Park, fans can enjoy food from four of Portland’s most popular food carts through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA). Featured on Sunday at Providence Park will be Nong’s Khao Man Gai.

Founded in 2012, the PTFCA is a program designed to highlight the Rose City’s vibrant food-cart culture. In addition to Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Big-Ass Sandwiches, 808 Grinds and Stumptown Dumplings also will be featured at Providence Park in 2014 at both Timbers and Portland Thorns FC home games. To learn more about PTFCA, visit www.timbers.com/ptfca-members.

Timbers, AC Portland return 50/50 raffle, fundraiser for a second season in 2014
A resounding success in 2013, the Timbers and AC Portland have teamed with Pointstreak 5050 to once again bring the 50/50 raffle to fans at Providence Park.

At all Timbers and Thorns FC home games in 2014, fans will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets from the time gates open until the 60th minute, and jackpot totals will be displayed in real time on the scoreboard and at the AC Portland 50/50 kiosk located near Gate 4. One winning ticket will be selected and announced at the 70th minute of the match, with the winner taking home half of the event’s net proceeds. The remaining proceeds benefit AC Portland and the Portland Timbers Community Fund.

Thorns FC team store at Providence Park
Thorns FC, in partnership with Gameday Merchandising and Nike, opened a new official team store at Providence Park on April 26, located in the southeast corner of the stadium adjacent to the Providence Sports Care Center. General hours of business for the new Thorns FC store are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fans can also purchase Thorns gear online here.