Spirit visit Portland to face Thorns in season finale

Washington Spirit  |   October 11, 2019
Spirit visit Portland to face Thorns in season finale Featured Image

Boyds, MD. – Saturday, May 18, 2019: The Washington Spirit defeated the Portland Thorns 3-1 in a NWSL match at Maryland SoccerPlex.

Owen Krucoff

Boyds, Md., (10/11/2019) – After earning a dominant 3-0 win over the Orlando Pride last weekend in Florida, the Washington Spirit remain on the road this week as they close out their NWSL season at Providence Park against Portland Thorns FC.

Washington has gone toe-to-toe with the league’s third-place team this year, defeating Portland 3-1 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in May before losing 3-1 at Providence Park in August. With a west coast kickoff time of 10:30 p.m. ET, this will be the final game of the NWSL regular season, with three earlier matches also scheduled around the league Saturday.

The Opposition

Thorns FC enter Saturday’s match with an 11-6-6 record, including a 7-2-2 home mark at Providence Park. The team is currently going through a rough patch, however, with just one win and one goal scored in the last four games. That stretch includes a 6-0 home drubbing at the hands of the first-place North Carolina Courage.

Christine Sinclair, who featured in the Canadian national team at this year’s World Cup, leads Thorns FC with nine goals on the season. She scored in Portland’s win over the Spirit on Aug. 18. Montgomery County native Midge Purce is close behind Sinclair with two goals to her name. All together, Portland is third in the NWSL with 40 goals scored this year.

U.S. national team reserve Adrianna Franch is expected to play in net for Thorns FC. Other WNT players on the Portland roster include midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan and defender Emily Sonnett.

The Spirit

The Spirit are looking to finish the season strong, having taken just one loss in the past seven matches going into Saturday’s finale. Last week’s 3-0 result at Orlando gave Washington a chance to flex its depth, with forward Tiffany McCarty scoring in her season debut and earning the NWSL Goal of the Week Award.

Forward Crystal Thomas was named the league’s Player of the Week for her goalscoring performance, while goalkeeper Shae Yanez came off the bench for her professional debut, earning a Save of the Week nomination.

The Spirit have plenty of familiar faces returning from international duty this week, including U.S. national team players Mallory Pugh and Andi Sullivan. Pugh’s goal was key to Washington’s 2-1 victory over the Courage.

Saturday’s kickoff is set for 10:30 p.m. ET at Providence Park in Portland. Fans in the D.C. area can keep up with the action on Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington.

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