PORTLAND, Ore. – Wrapping up play in the Thorns Spring Invitational presented by Tillamook, Portland Thorns FC played to a 0-0 draw against Reign FC in front of 4,100 fans on Saturday evening at Merlo Field.
The Chicago Red Stars and U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team concluded play in the tournament with the U-23s notching a stoppage-time winner to secure a 2-1 win against Chicago in the first match of the day.
In their third game of the tournament, a total of 16 players saw action for Thorns FC. Ellie Carpenter, Britt Eckerstrom, Kelli Hubly, Tyler Lussi, Katherine Reynolds, Gabby Seiler, Christine Sinclair and Mallory Weber appeared in all three games for Portland. Caitlin Foord made her first appearance of the preseason, logging 76 minutes in the match. In the three tournament games, a total of 24 players made an appearance for Portland.
Portland came close to opening the scoring in the eighth minute of the match. Winning the ball back in Reign FC’s half of the field, Sinclair dribbled down the left side of the field and curled a ball into the box. Reign FC goalkeeper Lydia Williams came off her line and was unable to collect the cross, and Ana Crnogorcevic pounced on the loose ball, sending a side-footed shot from close range just over the crossbar.
Pushing for the opening goal, Carpenter started the counter-attack for Thorns FC in the 35th minute. Surging down the right side of the field, Carpenter picked out Foord making a run to the left post, dropping a pass into the box for Foord, who hit a one-time shot just wide of the target.
Portland generated a scoring chance off a set piece in the 48th minute. Meghan Klingenberg played a pinpoint ball into the center of the box for Dagny Brynjarsdottir, who connected with a powerful header that went just over the goal.
Eckerstrom made three consecutive saves to deny Reign FC in the 50th minute, twice diving back across the face of goal to deny two point-blank attempts and then tracking back to goal to push a shot from the edge of the box by Beverly Yanez over the crossbar.
Continuing to search for the goal, Sinclair found space on the right side and played a ball into the box for Foord, who directed a header toward goal, but Reign FC goalkeeper Michelle Betos made the save in the 60th minute. Less than two minutes later, Emily Ogle received a pass at the top of the box and slotted a pass to Crnogorcevic making a late run into the box, but her shot went just wide of the left post.
Ogle pounced on a bouncing ball inside Reign FC’s box in the 86th minute, sending a low, hard shot through traffic toward the left corner of the goal, but a Reign FC defender blocked the attempted.
Thorns FC open the 2019 NWSL regular season with a road match against the Orlando Pride on Sunday, April 14, at Orlando City Stadium; kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (Pacific).
Portland Thorns FC vs. Reign FC (NWSL Preseason)
March 30, 2019 – Merlo Field (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 0 0 0
Reign FC 0 0 0
REI: Kellond-Knight (caution), 80
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Eckerstrom, D Carpenter, D Ball (Hubly, 61), D Seiler (Reynolds, 46), D Klingenberg, M Boureille, M Brynjarsdottir (Ogle, 61), M Sinclair ©, F Lussi (Weber, 64), F Crnogorcevic, F Foord (Charley, 76)
REI: GK Williams, D Jimenez-Delgado, D Barnes ©, D Nielsen, D Catley (Balcer, 70), M Andrews, M Utsugi (Kellond-Knight, 46), M Yanez (Proffitt, 84), F Groom (Oyster, 46), F Spencer (Yoshida, 89), F Baucom (Johnson, 46)
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.