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This week in PTFC: Thorns kickoff regular season, Timbers head to San Jose

After winning the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup, Portland Thorns FC kick off their regular season with a Sunday home match against the Chicago Red Stars (4pm PT, Twitch). It will be the first regular-season match for the Thorns since 2019. 

For just the second time in six weeks, the Timbers will not have a midweek match. On Saturday, the team heads to California to take on the San Jose Earthquakes at PayPal Park (7pm PT, FOX 12 PLUS). 

What's on tap for Timbers

The Timbers will renew one of its longest-running matchups when they face the Earthquakes. So far this season, San Jose has a record of 3-1-0 in MLS action. 

What's on tap for Thorns

Thorns FC will play its first regular-season game in two years when they face Chicago in the home opener. While Portland won the Challenge Cup, the Red Stars finished the tournament's group stage with a record of 0-2-2. 

Timbers Opponent Connections

Portland and San Jose have been facing off since NASL play in the 1970s. The clubs first played each other on June 14, 1975, at Spartan Stadium in San Jose. 

Thorns Opponent Connections

Chicago and Portland are meeting for the second time in 2021. Thorns FC beat the Red Stars, 1-0, in group stage play of the Challenge Cup on April 15 at Toyota Park. Morgan Weaver scored the match's lone goal. 

#StatMan randomness

  • Against Seattle, Bill Tuiloma became the first MLS player in the last 10 years to score from a free kick and have seven or more interceptions in the same match. 
  • The Thorns are hosting Chicago for the second consecutive home regular-season opener, having defeated the Red Stars, 3-0, in 2019. 
  • Sunday's Thorns match will be the second of three consecutive Sunday matches at Providence Park, with Timbers having hosted Seattle last weekend after Thorns FC hosted OL Reign on May 23. 

Five numbers to know 

12In Thorns FC's Challenge Cup Championship match on Saturday, Lindsay Horan attempted 12 shots. The 12 shots attempted is the most ever by a Thorns player in a competitive match, besting the old mark of 11 set by Christine Sinclair in 2014.  

55On Sunday, Bill Tuiloma scored his fourth goal as a Timber and his first at Providence Park. Tuiloma is the 55th different Timbers player to score a home goal in an MLS match. 

60With her goal in the Championship, Christine Sinclair scored her 60th goal in all competitions for Thorns FC. Sinclair is now the leading active goalscorer in NWSL play while also being the all-time leading goalscorer in international play. 

47According to Opta, the Timbers have created 47 chances in the club's four MLS matches. Only one team in MLS (Nashville SC) has created more chances so far this season. 

9The Thorns are currently on a nine-game unbeaten streak, having finished both the 2020 Fall Series and 2021 Challenge Cup unbeaten. Over the course of those nine matches, Portland is 6-0-3 with 17 goals scored and six goals conceded.  

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