Lindsey Horan, Thorns vs Courage 06.27.20
Bryan Byerly

NWSL CHALLENGE CUP RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 1, North Carolina Courage 2

HERRIMAN, Utah. – In the first match of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret, Portland Thorns FC fell to the North Carolina Courage, 2-1, at Zions Bank Stadium. All three goals came in the final 15 minutes with substitute Simone Charley scoring the goal for the Thorns while Debinha and Lynn Williams tallied for the Courage. 

The goal was the first goal scored by Charley as a member of the Thorns while goalkeeper Bella Bixby made four saves in her NWSL debut. Portland fired 10 shots in the match with eight of those coming in the second half. 

Match Moments

4' - SAVE (POR) - Early on in the match, goalkeeper Bella Bixby came up big as a deflected Lynn Williams cross flew towards the net. Bixby made a diving save to deny the Courage. 

73' - POST (POR) - Lindsey Horan almost gave the Thorns the lead when she headed a Meghan Klingenberg free kick off the Courage post. 

75' - GOAL (NC) - Debinha gave the Courage the lead after her one-time finish from close range.

80' - GOAL (POR) - Just five minutes after conceding, the Thorns drew even thanks to Simone Charley. After Horan had a header saved off the crossbar, Charley was first to react and kicked the ball over the line. 

90+4' - GOAL (NC) - In the waning moments of the match, Williams delivered the winner for North Carolina as Bixby was unable to deny the header. 


Portland Thorns FC's next match will be on July 1 when the team takes on the Chicago Red Stars at 9:30am PT on CBS ALL Access at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. 


  • Charley, who entered the match as a second-half substitute, scored her first career goal for Thorns FC in the 80th minute.
  • Five players made their debut for Thorns FC with Bella Bixby, Rocky Rodríguez, Becky Sauerbrunn, Morgan Weaver and Christen Westphal all made their Thorns FC debuts in the match.
  • Bixby, who registered four saves against the Courage, is the second native Oregonian to appear in a match for Portland, joining Kendall Johnson (2015-17).
  • Bixby is the third former Oregon State player to appear in a match for Portland along with Courtney Wetzel (2013) and Jodie Taylor (2015).
  • Marissa Everett made her first professional start in the match against North Carolina.
  • Horan finished the match tied for a game-high seven tackles.
  • Weaver made her professional debut, logging 36 minutes as a second-half substitute.
  • Westphal was tied for a game-high three chances created in 18 minutes of action as a second-half substitute.

Portland Thorns FC vs. North Carolina Courage - 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup
June 27, 2020 – Zions Bank Stadium (Herriman, Utah)

Goals by Half                 1          2          F
North Carolina Courage 0          2          2
Portland Thorns FC       0          1          1                  

Scoring Summary: 
NCC: Debinha (Mace), 75
POR: Charley, 80
NCC: L. Williams (Mewis), 90+3

Misconduct Summary:

POR: GK Bixby, D Hubly (Westphal, 73), D Menges, D Sauerbrunn, D Klingenberg (Pogarch, 80), M Salem (Boureille, 45), M R. Rodríguez, M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Lussi (Weaver, 54), F Everett (Charley, 54) 

Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Nally, D Smithers, M Ogle, M Seiler, F A. Rodriguez

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Charley, Weaver, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 8 (Boureille, 3); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4

NCC: GK Labbe, D Daniels, D Erceg, D Dahlkemper, D Merrick (Roccaro, 57), M Debinha, M Mewis, M O’Sullivan, M Dunn (Milliet, 65), F L. Williams, F Hamilton (Watt, 58, Mace 74)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Murphy, GK Rowland, D Kurtz, D R. Williams, M Speck, F Meehan

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Williams, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Williams, 3); FOULS: 7 (Hamilton, O’Sullivan, 2) ; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 13; SAVES: 2

Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referees: Brooke Mayo, Salma Perez
4th Official: Danielle Chesky
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial