SANDY, UTAH – Portland Thorns FC earned a hard-fought point on the road with a 2-2 draw against Utah Royals FC in front of 15,931 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday night. Christine Sinclair scored for a second consecutive match to help Portland earn a draw.
Playing their ninth road game over their first 13 games to start the season, Portland (6-2-5, 23pts) extended its road unbeaten streak to four matches (2-0-2). Thorns FC are 4-1-4 on the road in 2019, with a league-best 18 goals. Dating back to the 2017 season, Portland has just five losses on the road in its last 25 matches away from home (12-5-8).
Sinclair scored for a second consecutive match, increasing her season total to five goals. Her five goals rank tied for fourth in the NWSL this season. She has recorded 45 career NWSL goals, tallying five or more goals in six of her seven seasons in the league.
Return of the champs
Adrianna Franch, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan and Emily Sonnett all made their first appearance for Thorns FC since returning from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Franch and Horan both started the match, playing all 90 minutes. It marked Horan’s first appearance for Portland since a road match against the Chicago Red Stars on April 20, while Franch last featured for Thorns FC on the road against Sky Blue FC on April 28. Heath and Sonnett both made substitute appearances for Thorns FC in the match. Sonnett logged 21 minutes and Heath played 13 minutes in their first appearances since April 28 at Sky Blue FC.
Sinclair gave Portland an early 1-0 lead in the ninth minute of the match. Utah’s Kelley O’Hara cleared the initial ball played into the box by Meghan Klingenberg. Sinclair trapped the ball off her chest, let it bounce and volleyed the ball into the top left corner of the goal.
Franch was called into action in the 36th minute. Christen Press played a slip through into space for Amy Rodriguez, who turned and fired a shot from inside the box, forcing a diving stop by Franch.
Utah leveled the match at 1-1 in the 43rd minute. On the counter-attack, Press received the ball out wide on the left side. She dribbled down the end line and into the box, firing a shot from a tight angle inside the left post.
Less than a minute into the second half, Press played a long ball from near midfield into space for Rodriguez running down the right side of the field. Rodriguez dribbled into the box and sent a low, hard shot toward the right corner, but Franch made the save at the post.
In the 59th minute, Franch dove to her right at the last second to parry away a shot from close range in the center of the box by Royals FC’s Katie Stengel, pushing the attempt wide of the right post.
Portland took a 2-1 lead in the 87th minute on a set piece. Klingenberg delivered a long free kick from just inside midfield. Horan was able to get a touch, sending a shot through traffic that bounced off a Utah player and was ruled an own goal.
Royals FC tied the match in the 90th minute. O’Hara played a diagonal ball from the left wing to the right post for Rachel Corsie, who slid in for the finish from close range.
Franch made consecutive saves in second-half stoppage time. Press lofted a ball from the left wing into the box and Rodriguez came running into the box, firing a shot from point-blank range that Franch blocked with her chest. Just one minute later, Franch was called into action again as she dove to her right to deny Stengel’s curling shot from inside the box.
Facing a quick turnaround, Thorns FC return home to play host to the Houston Dash in a midweek match on Wednesday, July 24, at Providence Park; kickoff is 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Tickets are available at ThornsFC.com.
- Portland is unbeaten in its last four road matches (2-0-2).
- Thorns FC have just five road losses in their last 25 road matches (12-5-8), dating back to the 2017 season.
- Sinclair tallied the 45th goal of her NWSL career and her fifth of the 2019 NWSL season.
- Sinclair’s five goals ranks tied for fourth in the NWSL in 2019. She has scored at least five goals in six of her seven NWSL seasons.
- Klingenberg made her 70th career appearance for Portland in the match. She is one of just five players to appear in at least 70 games for Thorns FC.
- Katherine Reynolds played in her 60th career match for Thorns FC. She is one of eight players to appear in 60 or more games for the club.
- Thorns FC are unbeaten in five meetings all-time against Utah with a record of 2-0-3.
Portland Thorns FC (6-2-5, 23pts) vs. Utah Royals (5-4-3, 18pts)
July 19, 2019 – Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 1 2
Utah Royals FC 1 1 2
POR: Sinclair, 9
UTAH: Press (Jonsdottir), 43
POR: Own goal (Sauerbrunn), 87
UTAH: Corsie (O’Hara), 90
POR: Foord (caution), 83
POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter (Foord, 63), D Ball (Sonnett, 69), D Reynolds, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Seiler, M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Purce (Heath, 77), F Raso
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, M Andressinha, M Boureille, F Lussi
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Carpenter, Sinclair, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Carpenter, Sinclair, 1); FOULS: 6 (Foord, Raso, 2), OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 5
UTAH: GK Barnhart, D Bowen, D Sauerbrunn ©, D Corsie, D O’Hara, M LaBonta (Boquete, 77), M Laddish (Stengel ,10, Moros, 90+4), M Rodriguez, M Scott, F Press, F Jonsdottir
Substitutes Not Used: GK Smith, D Vincent, M Tymrak, F Weber
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Rodriguez, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Rodriguez, 3); FOULS: 7 (Corsie, Rodriguez, 2), OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 1
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Assistant Referees: Maggie Short, Melissa Beck
4th Official: Brad Jensen
Weather: Sunny, 91 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial