Thorns huddle, Thorns vs. U.S. U-23s, 3.27.19
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

NWSL PRESEASON MATCH RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 0, U.S. U-23s 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC squared off against the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team, falling 1-0 in their second match of three as part of the Thorns Spring Invitational presented by Tillamook at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland on Wednesday night. 

In the first match of the day, Reign FC recorded a 2-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars. The Red Stars secured an early lead with a goal in the sixth minute from Katie Johnson. Reign FC leveled the match in the 38th minute, receiving a goal from Morgan Andrews, while Theresa Nielsen tallied the game-winner in the 64th minute.

Preseason progression
In the second of three matches as part of the Thorns Spring Invitational presented by Tillamook a total of five players earned their first minutes in the tournament, including Elizabeth Ball and 2019 NWSL College Draft pick Emily Ogle. In total 16 players featured in Wednesday’s match with Christine Sinclair, Ellie Carpenter, Tyler Lussi and Gabby Seiler all making substitute appearances after starting against Chicago on March 24. Through two tournament matches, a total of 22 players have featured for Portland.

Key plays
Thorns FC goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom made a stop early in the match, denying Ally Watt on the breakaway as she parried away the attempt by Watt from inside the box in the first minute of the match.

Generating a chance in the fourth minute, Thorns FC worked the ball down the right side of the field. Simone Charley delivered a cross from the right corner into the center of the box for Ogle, who fired a shot on target.

The U.S. U-23s took a 1-0 in the sixth minute on a penalty kick as Catarina Macario converted from the spot.

In the 19th minute, Madison Pogarch played a curling cross into the box from the left wing and Marissa Everett redirected the ball toward the right post with a header that went just wide of the target.

Searching for a goal in the 44th minute, Kelli Hubly helped start the break for Portland, playing a ball for Mallory Weber into space down the right side. Weber played a low, hard cross into the box and Everett’s shot from close range was blocked.

Ogle nearly leveled the match on a direct free kick less than a minute later. Lining up the kick from the right wing just outside the box, she bent her kick around the right side of the wall toward the right corner of the goal and it ricocheted off the post.

Pogarch unleashed a long-range strike in the 54th minute after a corner kick from Ogle landed for Pogarch near the edge of the box, but her shot was deflected and went just over the crossbar.

Pushing for the equalizer, Lussi dribbled down the left side of the box and sent a curling strike toward the right post that was blocked in the 81st minute. On the corner kick that followed, Charley directed a header on goal that was saved by U.S. U-23s goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn.

Next Game
Thorns FC conclude the tournament with a match against Reign FC on Saturday, March 30; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific).

Portland Thorns FC vs. U.S. U-23 WNT (NWSL Preseason) 
March 27, 2019 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                            1          2          F
Portland Thorns FC                   0          0          0         
U.S. U-23 WNT                         1          0          1          

Scoring Summary: 
USA: Macario (penalty kick), 6

Misconduct Summary:
USA: Debree (caution), 40

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Eckerstrom ©, D Hubly, D Reynolds (Moultrie, 46), D Ball (Sinclair, 61), D Pogarch, M Holden (Seiler, 61), M Ogle, M Everett (Carpenter, 68), F Weber, F Charley, F Onumonu (Lussi, 77)

USA: GK McGlynn, D Fox, D Riehl, D Girma, D Debree (Nally, 62), M Pinto (Howell, 71) , M Pickett (Pavlisko, 62), M DeMelo, F Sanchez (Thomas, 62), F Macario (Germino-Watnick, 71), F Watt (Weaver, 62, Hopkins, 87)

Attendance: 1,943

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.

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