A win or a draw Saturday and the Thorns advance to the postseason
It is the final home regular-season match of the year for the reigning NWSL Champions Portland Thorns FC, and they welcome NJ/NY Gotham FC for a Saturday night showdown. Kickoff from Providence Park is scheduled for 2pm PT.
Portland, currently in second place (9-6-5, 32pts) looks to bounce-back from a rare home loss last weekend and book their ticket into the postseason with a win this weekend. In their way stands third-place Gotham FC (8-6-6, 30pts) who make their second trip to the Pacific Northwest, and first to the Rose City this year.
Playoffs? Shield? Where does Portland stand?
Although they suffered a 2-0 loss to San Diego Wave FC last Saturday at home, both the playoffs and NWSL Shield are still within reach for the Thorns, however the latter won't be simple to achieve.
A spot in the 2023 NWSL Playoffs can be secured with a victory over or draw with Gotham FC this weekend at Providence Park combined with some results around the league. With two regular-season matches remaining, Portland can get themselves back in the driver's seat for the NWSL Shield with a win this Saturday and a San Diego stumble, whether it be a draw or loss against North Carolina. Their match kicks-off immediately after the conclusion of Thorns-Gotham.
It's one last hoorah at Providence Park in the 2023 NWSL regular season, here are some stats to know ahead of Saturday:
Portland has been dominant against NJ/NY Gotham (and it's predecessor Sky Blue FC) in the 10-plus years they have been facing each other. The Thorns have recorded ten victories over their East Coast opponents, while only suffering four defeats and five draws.
Portland defender Kelli Hubly etched her name into the club's history books last weekend. The 29-year-old made her 75th regular season appearance for Thorns FC, becoming the sixth Portland player to feature in 75 games in club history.
After going head-to-head 19 times, the Thorns have found the back of the net 27 times against NJ/NY Gotham. In fact, in their last five matches, Portland has outscored Gotham FC 12-5, amassing a 2-1-2 record.
Come Saturday, it will have been 448 days since NJ/NY Gotham FC last played in Providence Park, a match completely dominated by the Thorns. On July 16, 2022, five different Thorns – Taylor Porter, Olivia Moultrie, Marissa Everett, Hannah Betfort, and Morgan Weaver – found the back of the net on a raucous Saturday night in Portland for an emphatic 5-0 win.