The Thorns will travel to Kansas City to face the KC Current on Saturday April 1st. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:40am PT.
The defending champions commenced the 2023 NWSL season with an impressive 4-0 victory over Orlando Pride at Providence Park last weekend. With a newly-unfurled 2022 championship banner hanging proudly above the North End, the Pride on the field were barely visible. Stellar goals from Morgan Weaver, Sophia Smith, Hina Sugita, and Michele Vasconcelos propelled Portland to a resounding opening day triumph.
1 down, 21 more to go
Fans could not have hoped for a better start to the season. The March 26 encounter was a dominance in each half, with Portland winning each one 2-0, outshooting Orlando 27 to 9 (16 of those on target). Whenever the Thorns found themselves in Orlando's box, they tested the Floridian club 19 times over the span of 90 minutes. The debate for player of the match was so open-ended, multiple players could've received the nod and no one would debate it. The reigning MVP Sophia Smith capped off the night with a goal and an assist, reinforcing the notion that she is the league's most lethal player.
Club captain Christine Sinclair was a masterclass per usual during her 81 minutes of action, providing an assist and orchestrating the killer Thorns offense. Hina Sugita drew oohs and aahs all afternoon before earning her well-deserved roses netting the third goal of the night.
Red-hot and rolling
The Portland Thorns take their commanding performance from last Sunday on the road, and will try and build on it as they look to remain perfect in the season. Their first away game of the year takes them to the Midwest, where they will face a true test of endurance with expected wind chills at Children's Mercy Park.
- Where to watch: available on Paramount+ and CBS
The KC Current will host their first match in 2023 after a challenging encounter in Raleigh. Falling behind on the scoreboard midway through the first half, the Current were unable to equalize at WakeMed Soccer Park last Saturday, resulting in a 1-0 defeat to the North Carolina Courage in their season opener.
Eager to bounce back, Kansas City will capitalize on the advantage of playing at home to challenge Portland. A familiar face set to confront the defending champions is KC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. Franch spent five seasons in the Rose City, claiming the 2016 NWSL Shield, the 2017 NWSL Championship, and earning the title of NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017 and 2018. She was also named to the NWSL Best XI in 2018, securing her place among the top goalkeepers in women's soccer.