NWSL MATCH PREVIEW | Chicago Red Stars vs. Portland Thorns FC | June 12, 2016


Date: Sunday, June 12, 2016
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.) Forecast: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees Referee: Levi Rippy
Assistant Referees: Joshua Haimes, Christopher Elliot Fourth Official: Margaret Domka


The top two teams in the NWSL standings - Portland Thorns FC and the Chicago Red Stars - square off in the first of two meetings in the next 10 days at Toyota Park on Sunday, June 12.

Portland enters the match unbeaten in its last seven matches, while Chicago is unbeaten in its last six games since falling in its season opening match to Houston.

Thorns FC look to continue their strong road form, posting a record of 1-0-3 during a four-game road swing from April 23 - May 14, including a pair of shutouts during that stretch.


Portland registered its third clean sheet in its last five matches, extending its unbeaten streak to seven matches with a scoreless draw against Seattle Reign FC on May 29 at Providence Park. Thorns FC are now unbeaten in their last six home matches (4-0-2), dating back to the 2015 season. Goalkeeper Michelle Betos registered four saves in the match. Missing six starters away with the U.S. Women’s National Team, Portland started two rookies in the match, one who made her professional debut (Celeste Boureille), while a second rookie made her professional debut as a second-half subsitute in the match (McKenzie Berryhill).


Sunday’s game marks the 10th all-time meeting between Portland and Chicago. Thorns FC lead the all-time series with a record of 3-1-5, and have posted a mark of 2-0-3 in road games against the Chicago Red Stars. Notably, the last three matches Portland has played on the road against Chicago have ended in a draw, while five of the last six games have finished in a draw. Thorns FC have scored 15 goals in the all-time series with the Red Stars, tallying nine of its 15 goals in the first 45 minutes of those matches. Midfielder Allie Long and forward Christine Sinclair have scored a team-best four goals each in the all-time series. Long registered a brace in last meeting between the two teams - a 2-1 win on Aug. 9, 2015, at Providence Park.


Chicago played to a 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC in its last match before the international break at Toyota Park on May 29. The Red Stars grabbed a goal in the first half as forward Sofia Huerta scored, but Sky Blue FC answered and leveled the match in the 70th minute. Chicago enters Sunday’s match riding a six-game unbeaten streak and are 2-0-1 in home matches this season. Led by a trio of U.S. Women’s National Team players, including forward Christen Press, defender Julie Johnston and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, the Red Stars sit atop the table with 14 points. Press is tied for the league lead with three goals this season and also leads the league in both shots (27) and shots on goal (22). In addition, Naeher and Johnston lead a defense that has allowed the second-fewest goals in the league this season (5), while Naeher is tied for the NWSL lead with four clean sheets.


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