NWSL MATCH RECAP | Chicago Red Stars 2, Portland Thorns FC 3

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Playing the second game of back-to-back matches on the road, Portland Thorns FC defeated the Chicago Red Stars 3-2 at Toyota Park on Saturday night. Forward Christine Sinclair registered a brace and scored the game-winning goal, while midfielder Lindsey Horan recorded her first goal of the season as Portland secured its first win of the 2018 season.

Facing the Red Stars
Portland extended its streak to 12 games unbeaten (6-0-6) against the Red Stars, picking up its fifth consecutive win. During their five-match winning streak, Thorns FC have outscored Chicago 12-5, while scoring at least three goals in the last three wins. Portland improved to 4-0-4 all-time at Toyota Park, winning by a score line of 3-2 in each of the last two matches.

Sinclair against Chicago
Sinclair tallied her eighth and ninth career goals in 14 matches against the Red Stars. Her nine goals is the most against a single NWSL team. Notably, Sinclair has scored in four consecutive road matches against Chicago, dating back to 2015 season. In addition, Sinclair has tallied at least one goal in five of the six NWSL seasons against the Red Stars.

Thorns FC milestones
Horan tallied her first goal of the 2018 season and the 10th of her Thorns FC career in the match. With the goal, Horan became the sixth player in club history to register double-digits goals. She now ranks sixth all-time in career goals. Sinclair recorded her fifth career brace in the match, which is tied for the most by a single player in club history.

Key plays
Thorns FC took an early 1-0 lead when Horan was first to the loose ball inside the box following a corner kick delivery from defender Meghan Klingenberg. Swiveling away from goal, Horan let the ball bounce and volleyed the ball into the far corner of the net in the ninth minute.

Defender Emily Sonnett thwarted a Red Stars attack in the 15th minute. Defender Arin Gilliland intercepted a pass near midfield and quickly played a pass up field to forward Summer Green, who fired a shot from the edge of the box, but Sonnett recovered and slid back in front of Green to block the attempt.

The Red Stars tied the match in the 31st minute when forward Alysa Mautz’s close-range shot from the right side of the box deflected off of Klingenberg and into the back of the net.

Continuing to threaten the Red Stars defense, Klingenberg floated in a cross from the left flank that picked out Horan, whose header flashed over the crossbar in the 38th minute. Seconds later, forward Mallory Weber pounced on a poor clearance by Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, sending a chipped shot that missed inches over the crossbar.

Portland reclaimed the lead at 2-1 in the 40th minute. Sinclair chased down a back pass to Naeher inside the Chicago box, taking a touch from just outside the left edge of the six-yard box and rolling the ball into the empty net.

Thorns FC increased their advantage to 3-1 in the 65th minute after Sinclair placed her penalty attempt low and into the far corner past Naeher. Portland was awarded the penalty after Chicago midfielder Danielle Colaprico was whistled for a handball inside the box. 

Chicago pulled a goal back just two minutes later as Mautz’s completed her brace, getting on the end of a cross from Sofia Huerta and converting from center of the box in the 67th minute. Huerta nearly leveled the match for a third time with a powerful long-distance strike in stoppage time that hit the crossbar.


  • Saturday’s match was part of a doubleheader with the Timbers. It marked the second time the two teams have participated in a doubleheader – the first time on the road. The Timbers played to a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire in the opening match.
  • With the win, Portland improved to 6-0-1 immediately following a road loss since the beginning of the 2016 season.
  • Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last 12 matches (6-0-6) against Chicago, including five consecutive wins.
  • Horan registered her 10th career goal in the match. With the goal, she became the sixth player in club history to score 10 or more goals.
  • With her two goals, Sinclair became one of three players in NWSL history that have scored in all six seasons, joining Seattle Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe and North Carolina FC’s Jessica McDonald as the only players three players to accomplish this feat.
  • Sinclair has scored nine career goals against the Red Stars, including a goal in each of Portland’s last four road matches against Chicago.
  • Sinclair tallied her fifth career brace in the match, marking the sixth multi-goal game of her career. It was also her second career brace against Chicago. Sinclair’s five braces is tied for the most in club history.
  • Midfielder Angela Salem made her Thorns FC debut, entering the match as a second-half substitute.
  • Forward Tyler Lussi earned her first start of the 2018 season in the match.
  • Assistant coach Rich Gunney served as the acting head coach for Thorns FC due to the suspension of head coach Mark Parsons.

Next Game
Next up, the NWSL will take a league-wide break for the upcoming April FIFA window and Thorns FC will return to action when they play host to the Orlando Pride in their home opener at Providence Park on Sunday, April 15; kickoff is set for 3 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live web stream available atwww.go90.com.  

Portland Thorns FC (1-1-0, 3pts) vs. Chicago Red Stars (0-1-1, 1pts)
March 31, 2018 – Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.)

Goals by Half                            1          2          F
Portland Thorns FC                    2          1         3
Chicago Red Stars                     1          1         2

Scoring Summary:
POR: Horan, 9
POR: Mautz (Huerta), 31
POR: Sinclair, 40
POR: Sinclair (penalty kick), 65
CHI: Mautz (Huerta), 67

Misconduct Summary:
POR: Boureille (caution), 58
CHI: Colaprico (caution), 64

POR: GK Franch, D Reynolds, D Hubly, D Sonnett, D Klingenberg, M Purce (Salem, 90+2), M Horan, M Boureille, F Weber (Ball, 72), F Sinclair ©, F Lussi (Onumonu, 46)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, M Yu

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Horan, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Horan, Sinclair, 2); FOULS: 12 (Horan, 4); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 1

CHI: GK Naeher, D Comeau, D Naughton, D Johnson, D Gorden, M Stanton (Yenney, 85), M Colaprico, M Huerta, F Mautz, F Gilliland, F Green (Vasconcelos, 80)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Boyd, M Kaskie

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Huerta, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Mautz, 2); FOULS: 9 (Huerta, 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 2

Referee: Greg Dopka
Assistant Referees: Gjovalin Bori, Jeffrey Swartzel
4th Official: Ethan Buege
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 44 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial