NWSL Matchday Preview | Portland Thorns FC vs. Sky Blue FC | July 2, 2016


Date: Saturday, July 2
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Cloudy, 77 degrees
Referee: Reyna Fonseca
Assistant Referees: Amanda Ross, Nick Uranga Fourth Official: JJ Blodgett

  • TICKETS: Thorns vs. Sky Blue
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Following a stretch of three games in 10 days, including two matches in a five-day span, Portland Thorns FC return to Providence Park for the first of back-to-back home matches, starting with Saturday’s match against Sky Blue FC.

Thorns FC will play three of their next four matches at home, and six of their final matches at Providence Park to conclude regular-season play. Portland heads into Saturday with a record of 3-0-1 at home this season, having conceded just two goals in those four matches.

Sky Blue FC visits Portland coming off a 2-1 road win against Washington on June 25, and the second-best road record in the league (2-1-2).


Playing their second game in a five-day span, Thorns FC tallied a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes on the road in a 2-1 win against the Orlando Pride on June 26 at Camping World Stadium. Surrendering a goal to forward Jasmyne Spencer in the 67th minute, second-half substitute Dagny Brynjarsdottir chipped goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris from the edge of the box in the 80th minute to level the score. Pushing for the game-winner, midfielder Lindsey Horan delivered a one-time shot into the right side of the net after receiving a pass from forward Hayley Raso in the 90th minute to secure the win and extend Portland’s unbeaten streak to 11 games.


Saturday’s meeting is the first of two during the regular season between Portland and Sky Blue FC. Thorns FC will travel to close out the regular season on the road against Sky Blue FC on Sept. 25. Portland won the last meeting between the two teams at Providence Park on July 3, 2015, scoring two goals in a nine-minute span in the final 20 minutes to earn a 2-1 win. Thorns FC are 2-3-0 against Sky Blue FC at home, heading into the ninth all-time meeting between the two clubs. Five of the eight previous meetings were decided by a single goal, while two others finished in a draw and only three times has a team scored multiple goals in a match in the all-time series.


Sky Blue FC (3-3-4, 13pts) are unbeaten in their last four matches, including a 2-1 win on the road against the Washington Spirit on June 25. Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez, the second-overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, scored her first goal of the season in the match, while Australian international Sam Kerr scored as a second-half substitute. First-year head coach Christy Holly has helped Sky Blue FC to the second-best road record in the league this season (2-1-2), but Sky Blue FC have conceded the second-most goals in the league this season (13). As a team, a total of eight different players have scored goals for the club, led by midfielder Sarah Killion and forward Maya Hayes with two goals each. Midfielder Taylor Lytle and rookie forward Leah Galton have each recorded a team-best three assists.


Three players will be available for selection for Saturday’s match with several players being called into camp by their respective national teams. Forward Shade Pratt, defender Sam Lofton and midfielder Maureen Fitzgerald will be available to play on Saturday. Pratt earned her first minutes of the season in a 0-0 draw at home against Seattle Reign FC, playing 18 minutes as a substitute. Lofton and Fitzgerald have not appeared in a match this season.