Seattle Reign FC at Portland Thorns FC
5pm ET/2pm PT
The Portland Thorns (7-2-1, 22 points) got back in the win column on June 6 when they won a wild battle at JELD-WEN field against FC Kansas City 4-3. The Thorns got two goals from Alex Morgan and a goal each from Danielle Foxhoven and Courtney Wetzel. The win keeps Portland atop the league with Sky Blue FC (though the New Jersey club has the edge in head-to-head competition).
Portland will be without its two leading goal scorers in Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair as well as defender Rachel Buehler for the third clash between the Pacific Northwest rivals.
With Morgan and Sinclair out on national team duty, the Thorns will look to Allie Long, Meleana Shim, Danielle Foxhoven and Nikki Washington to provide offensive spark. Courtney Wetzel got the starting nod on June 1 when Buehler missed time due to national team commitments and is likely to get the starting nod.
While the league wide injury report did not list any injuries, the Thorns will be without midfielder Becky Edwards. NBC Pro Soccer Talk’s Richard Farley tweeted earlier this afternoon that the former Florida State midfielder has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of 2013. [MORE TO COME]
While no official call-ups were made, defender Carlie Davis, midfielder Amanda Dutra and goalkeeper Cris Lewis remain on the Thorns NWSL team page. Davis and Dutra are likely to suit up, especially with the absence of Edwards.
The Seattle Reign fell to FC Kansas City last Sunday following a goal from Erika Tymrak that skipped off the shoulder of Hope Solo and are still searching for their first win of 2013. The Reign have seen a marked improvement since Solo returned to the lineup against Portland on May 25.
They will have to do so this time without Solo who is with the US team for the South Korea friendlies. Also missing are Canadians Emily Zurrer and Kaylyn Kyle as well as Welsh forward/midfielder Jessica Fishlock.
The loss of Fishlock is perhaps the most difficult to replace as she has been the spark all season for the Reign as well as a fan favorite amongst Seattle fans. Look for Lindsay Taylor, Tiffany Cameron and Christine Nairn to break the 313 minute scoreless drought for the Reign.
Michelle Betos and Haley Kopmeyer have both seen time in net, with Betos winning the starting spot the majority of the season prior to Solo’s return.
Seattle also has no one listed on the injury list which should mean that defender Elli Reed will be available today after missing the last month with an ankle injury. Kate Deines saw her first action since May 16 in last weekend’s loss to Kansas City.
The Seattle Reign have called up midfielders Macy Jo Harrison and Joana Houplin (both 2012 grads of UNLV and Western Washington respectively) as well as defender Caitlin Allen (UNLV, 2012) and Bree Rowe (Oregon, 2010).
HEAD TO HEAD
The Thorns lead this series 2-0-0. The last match between the two clubs was on May 25 when the Thorns eeked out a 1-0 victory on a late, controversial penalty kick that was converted by Christine Sinclair. The Reign looked like a different club in that match but were unable to convert any of the chances they created.