Thorns FC

Thorns prepare for Challenge Cup clash with San Diego Wave FC

Portland Thorns FC play host to San Diego Wave in UKG Challenge Cup action at Providence Park on Friday, looking to move up the West Division Standings.

Following a 12-day break, Portland Thorns FC return to competition Friday night in the first of three-straight UKG Challenge Cup matches to close the group stage of the competition. The Thorns play host to San Diego Wave FC for the first time in 2023; kickoff is 7:30 p.m. (Pacific).

The Thorns sit in third place in the Challenge Cup’s West Division, with a record of 1-2-0 (3pts). They face a Wave FC side in fourth in the West Division. The two clubs met in Challenge Cup play on April 19, with the Wave earning a 1-0 win at home.

As the FIFA World Cup takes off, all four West Division clubs will be without their capped players, and the UKG Challenge Cup provides the opportunities for others to step up. A positive result will be key for Portland in challenging for second place in the group as they then travel to Angel City FC and OL Reign in the weeks following Friday's matchup.

Here are facts to know as the Thorns return to Providence Park:


After hosting San Diego, the Thorns travel up and down the West Coast for road matches in Los Angeles and Seattle. The club’s three Challenge Cup matches in 17 days are the most they will encounter consecutively all season. These final three group matches are the final opportunities to secure a top-two finish, with a chance to advance in the competition.


After the league-wide break in the season, the Thorns are back in the comfort of Providence Park, where they have posted a league-best six wins across all competitions. In regular-season play, the Thorns have suffered just five losses in their last 29 regular-season matches in the Rose City.


The Thorns have scored at least two goals in six of their nine home matches this season across all competitions. Of those six, multi-goal performances, they have been victorious five times, with one draw.


Thorns forward Morgan Weaver leads the way in goal contributions for the club’s eligible players on Friday night, with five goals and three assists across all competitions in 2023. All five of her goals have been scored at Providence Park.