Simone Charley, Thorns vs. Red Stars, 3.11.18
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

PRESEASON MATCH RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 0, Chicago Red Stars 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – In their first preseason match of the 2018 season, Portland Thorns FC fell 1-0 to the Chicago Red Stars at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland in the first of three preseason matches for the club during the Thorns FC Spring Invitational presented by Tillamook Yogurt.

The Houston Dash and U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team kicked off the three-day tournament in the first match of the day. Houston scored a goal in each half, while the U.S. U-23s registered a second-half goal in a 2-1 win for the Dash. Forward Veronica Latsko opened the scoring for Houston and defender Amber Brooks notched the second goal. For the U.S., forward Catarina Macario scored off a direct free kick to put the U-23s on the board.

Game format
Portland opened its preseason with the first of three matches at the Thorns Spring Invitational presented by Tillamook Yogurt. A total of 18 players appeared in the match for Portland.

New faces
Four players made their preseason debuts for Thorns FC in a 1-0 loss to Chicago, including midfielders Sandra Yu, Midge Purce and Angela Salem and forward Ifeoma Onumonu.

Key chances
Portland generated the first chance of the match when forward Ifeoma Onumonu won the ball near midfield and played a quick through pass to forward Mallory Weber making a run down the middle of the field. Weber was able to beat her defender, earning a one-on-one opportunity with Chicago goalkeeper Emily Boyd as she fired a shot high to the left corner of the goal, but Boyd made a finger-tip save in the seventh minute.

Less than two minutes later, midfielder Celeste Boureille quickly switched the point of attack, delivering a pass to defender Meghan Klingenberg running down the left flank. Klingenberg dribbled back towards the top of the box and fired a shot from distance in the ninth minute that was saved.

Onumonu again helped create two quality chances in the 19th and 38th minutes. First, Onumonu was able to get behind the Chicago defense and dribble end line down the right side, sending a low, hard pass across the goal box for Weber running towards the back post. Weber slid in towards the goal, but her shot was saved and Onumonu’s attempt at the rebound was cleared in a scramble near the goal line. Near the end of the first half, Onumonu settled a free kick chipped into the box by Klingenberg, turning and firing a shot near the spot to force a save.

Thorns FC had several scoring opportunities in the second half. In the 49th minute, defender Katherine Reynolds played a long free kick into the box near the penalty spot, defender Kelli Hubly jumped up and flicked a header just wide of the left post. Forward Simone Charley had two chances just miss the target, settling a bouncing ball in the box and sending a shot from the right wing that skipped just past the left post in the 71st minute, while in the 73rd minute she directed a glancing header just past the left post.

Goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom, who finished the match with five saves, made a diving stop to deny a shot from a tight angle at the right post by midfielder Lauren Kaskie. Less than five minutes later, Chicago tallied the lone goal of the match, when defender Arin Gilliand received a pass from forward Yuki Nagasato near the edge of the box and dribbled towards goal before placing shot into the right corner of the goal in the 62nd minute.

Next Game
Next up, Thorns FC will square off against the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team on Wednesday, March 14; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific).

Portland Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars (NWSL Preseason)
March 11, 2018 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                            1          2          F
Portland Thorns FC                   0          0          1         
Chicago Red Stars                    0          1          0         

Scoring Summary: 
CHI: Gilliand (Nagasato) 62

Misconduct Summary:

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Eckerstrom, D Purce (Smith, 83), D Reynolds, D Menges ©, D Klingenberg (Yu, 46), M Boureille (Celedon, 80), M Herndon, M Hubly (Boulos, 68), F Morris (Salem, 46), F Weber (Charlley, 60), F Onumonu (Eckler, 60)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Franch


CHI: GK Boyd, D Comeau, D Johnson, D Naughton, D Gorden (Mautz, 59), M Colaprico (Huerta, 59), M DiBernardo © (Kaskie, 35), M McCaffrey (Stanton, 59), M Vasconcelos (Buckingham, 59), F Nagasato (Kerr, 72), F Green (Gilliand, 59)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Naeher


Attendance: 3,822
Weather: Sunny, 67 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.