National Women's Soccer League / Portland Thorns FC / Seattle Reign FC

GAME OF THE WEEK PREVIEW: Seattle Reign FC at Portland Thorns FC

Game of the Week Preview

The Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign are each coming into this match undefeated. Portland swept the season series between the two clubs last season as they defeated the Reign all four times the two clubs matched up.

The Reign enter the match having already tied the league winning streak of five straight matches (set by Sky Blue FC in 2013) and the Thorns’ five-match unbeaten streak to begin the season (4-0-1 in 2013).

Seattle Reign FC (5-0-0, 15 points)
Last Match: at Washington (W, 2-1)

The Seattle Reign are coming off their fifth-straight win after coming from behind to defeat the Washington Spirit on May 3, 2-1. Jessica Fishlock scored her second goal of the season with both coming in matches against the Spirit. Sydney Leroux scored her first goal of the season to the visitors in front and earned Player of the Week Honors.

Forward Beverly Goebel notched her first tally of the campaign April 30 against Sky Blue FC and will be a dangerous option up top. The Reign will be without the services of her former INAC-KOBE teammate Nahomi Kawasumi as she will miss the rest of the month while being on Japanese National team duty at the Asia Cup.

Danielle Foxhoven will take the field against her former club for the first time after being traded to the Reign in the offseason.

Hope Solo still leads the league in shutouts (3) and goal difference (0.400). The Reign have given up just two goals on the season and only one in the run of play last weekend against the Spirit.

Player to Watch: Kim Little
Little has been dangerous all season, netting four goals to lead the league and the Reign in scoring this season. The Scottish-born forward will look to connect with Leroux who is fresh off the game-tying goal in the United States’ friendly against Canada.

Portland Thorns FC (2-0-2, 8 points)
Last Match: at Western New York (T, 1-1)

The Portland Thorns begins a stretch in which they play at home in six of their next nine matches by hosting their Cascadia rivals. They are coming off a 1-1 draw in a rematch of last season’s NWSL title match. Jessica McDonald tallied the lone goal for the Thorns for her third goal of the season.

Meleana Shim had two good chances to give the Thorns the match last week but was unable to convert either chance but will be another attacking option off the bench.

Christine Sinclair has yet to find the back of the net this season but the Thorns will look to balance the scoring up top.

The Thorns’ backline will still be missing defender Rachel Van Hollebeke and will be anchored by Nikki Marshall as Portland aims to stop a Seattle offense that has already scored 12 goals – more than half of the number scored over the course of last season.

Player to Watch: Allie Long
Long has been impressive through the first four weeks of play, earning her first national team call up since 2012 and entered Thursday’s match against Canada as a second half substitute.


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