ORLANDO, Fla. – Opening their seventh season in the NWSL on the road, Portland Thorns FC received a pair of goals in four-minute span to secure a 2-0 win in their 2019 season opener against the Orlando Pride at Orlando City Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Caitlin Foord and Tobin Heath each finished the game with a goal and an assist. Foord’s goal was the first of her NWSL career.
With the win, Portland (1-0-0, 3pts) improved to 5-1-1 all-time in season-opening matches, winning five of its last six season openers. It was the fourth time Thorns FC have opened the season on the road, posting a record of 2-1-1 in those matches.
Sunday’s match marked the eighth regular-season meeting all-time between Portland and Orlando. Thorns FC lead the all-time series at 6-1-1, including a record of 3-0-1 on the road against the Pride. Portland has recorded three shutouts in four road matches against Orlando.
Heath In Form
Continuing her strong run of form from the end of the 2018 season, Heath has now scored a goal in five consecutive games and recorded a point in seven consecutive games, which equals the individual record for a Thorns player with a point in consecutive matches. Additionally, Heath recorded her 22nd career assist in the match, which is tied for the most all-time in NWSL history, while also tallying her 10th career goal for Portland.
Returns and Firsts
Foord recorded her first career NWSL goal becoming the 32nd different player to tally a goal for Portland in club history. In addition, she recorded her first career assist for Thorns FC. Dagny Brynjarsdottir returned to the field for Portland for the first time since the birth of her son in June 2018, entering the match in the 72nd minute. Her last appearance for Thorns FC came as a substitute in the 2017 NWSL Championship match in Orlando. Katherine Reynolds started and played 90 minutes in her first match back after suffering a season-ending knee injury in a road match against Sky Blue FC on July 22, 2018.
Portland nearly took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute of the match. Creating a turnover in Orlando’s half of the field, Lindsey Horan played a pass to Christine Sinclair at the edge of the box, who fired a dipping strike that was tipped over the crossbar by Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.
On the counter-attack, Foord received a pass from Meghan Klingenberg out wide on the right side of the field in the 19th minute. Foord dribbled forward and sent a long-range strike toward goal that skipped just wide of the right post.
In the 21st minute, Sinclair collected a loose ball near the edge of the box after a shot by Foord from inside the box was blocked, and again unleashed a shot from just outside the box, this time hitting the right post.
Horan lined up a long-distance attempt in the 27th minute, forcing a diving save by Harris at full extension to her right to parry away the attempt. Less than two minutes later, Horan again sent a long-range effort toward goal, forcing another diving save by Harris.
On a corner kick in the 30th minute, the Pride were unable to clear the ball and Ellie Carpenter collected the loose ball near the right corner of the box. Carpenter floated a cross into the box at the right post for Ana Crnogorcevic, who delivered a flicked header that went just wide of the post.
Thorns FC took the lead just before halftime as Foord scored her first career NWSL goal. Sinclair intercepted the ball just outside the box and picked out Heath in the center of the box. Heath played a quick back-heel pass to Foord, who neatly tucked the ball inside the right post.
Portland doubled its lead in the 49th minute as Heath scored with a back-heel flick, directing the ball inside the left post. Sinclair led the break for Thorns FC playing the ball out wide on the right side to Foord, who slotted a cross into the box to Heath for the finish.
In the 76th minute, Heath stole the ball 30 yards from goal, dribbled toward goal and attempted to chip Harris coming off her line, but Harris reached up to make the save.
Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch came off her line deep in second-half stoppage time to make a save on a point-blank attempt by Alex Morgan near the penalty spot to secure the clean sheet.
Up next, Thorns FC will take on the Chicago Red Stars in a road match on Saturday, April 20, at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match will feature a live stream available on Yahoo! Sports.
- Reynolds returned to the lineup for Portland for the first time since suffering a knee injury in a road match against Sky Blue FC on July 22, 2018.
- Sinclair made her 53rd consecutive start for Portland, dating back to the 2016 season.
- Emily Sonnett started and played in her 60th career match for Thorns FC. She is the sixth player in club history to appear in at least 60 matches.
- Klingenberg surpassed 5,000 career minutes played for Portland, becoming the sixth player in Thorns FC history to play at least 5,000 career minutes.
- Brynjarsdottir returned to the field for Portland for the first time since the birth of her son in June 2018. Brynjarsdottir made her last appearance for Thorns FC in 2017 NWSL Championship match in Orlando.
- Foord scored her first career NWSL goal in the match. She is the 32nd different player to score a goal for Thorns FC in the club’s history.
- Foord also recorded her first career assist for Portland in the match.
- Heath has registered a goal or an assist (5g, 5a) in seven consecutive regular-season matches for Portland, while scoring a goal in five straight matches, dating back to the 2018 season.
- Heath tallied her 22nd career assist in the match, which is tied for the most all-time in NWSL history.
- Heath also registered her 10th career goal. She is the seventh player in club history to record 10 or more career goals.
- Heath is the fourth player in club history to record 10 goals and 10 assists.
- Portland is now 11-1-6 all-time during the month of April, including a record of 4-1-3 under head coach Mark Parsons.
2019 NWSL Regular Season
Portland Thorns FC (1-0-0, 3pts) vs. Orlando Pride (0-1-0, 0pts)
April 14, 2019 – Orlando City Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 1 2
Orlando Pride 0 0 0
POR: Foord (Heath), 45
POR: Heath (Foord), 49
ORL: Camila (caution), 90+1
POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter, D Sonnett, D Reynolds, D Klingenberg, M Boureille (Brynjarsdottir, 71), M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Crnogorcevic (Lussi, 89), F Foord (Weber, 90+3), F Heath
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Ball, D Hubly, D Seiler
TOTAL SHOTS: 22 (Foord, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Heath, Horan, 3); FOULS: 12 (Horan, 4), OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 1
ORL: GK Harris ©, D Krieger, D Boyles, D Zadorsky, D Pickett, M Hill (Edmonds, 76), M Weatherholt, M Callahan (Greening, 74), M Ubogagu (Camila, 65), F Marta, F Morgan
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kopmeyer, D Reid, M Viggiano, M Elinsky
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Morgan, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Marta, Morgan, 1); FOULS: 8 (Eight players tied, 1); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 6
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Adrienne McDonald, Trent Robert Van Haitsma
4th Official: Miguel Martes
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial