Sunday’s doubleheader is going to be something unique. But it can become more than that if the demand warrants — and it should. OL Reign and the Portland Thorns each are among the most stacked club teams on the planet, both are having runs of good form, and the atmosphere at Sunday’s game should be greater than any previously experienced in the NWSL. This is something that should become a normal part of the soccer atmosphere in the Puget Sound region, and your presence can go a long way toward helping to make that happen. Don’t think of this as a charity case — these are two incredible teams that always put on an amazing show when they face one another.
Here are three reasons to arrive early and show your support to OL Reign as they take on the Portland Thorns in the first match of the doubleheader.
The level of global talent is unsurpassed
The NWSL is absolutely stacked with world-class talent, and perhaps no two teams have more star power than OL Reign and Portland. We’re talking World Cup winners, Champions League winners, and Olympic gold medalists. The only team in the country whose players might have more silverware and awards in their trophy case than these two teams is the Seattle Storm. Even if you’re only barely aware of the NWSL, you probably know of Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle, Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, and Becky Sauerbrunn from their 2019 World Cup-winning performance. Now add to that Canadian Olympic gold-medalists Quinn and Christine Sinclair — who, by the way, is also the world’s all-time leading international goal scorer. Not enough? How about some European Champions League winners, like Jess Fishlock, Sarah Bouhaddi, Dzsenifer Marozsan, and Eugenie Le Sommer? Plus future faces of the USWNT like Alana Cook and Sophia Smith; the list goes on and on. These matches are rarely cagey, defensive affairs – in the 28 matches the two teams have played against one another (12 wins apiece, plus 4 draws), there have been 66 goals scored.
The Reign have a chance to show they’re for real and knock Portland off their pedestal
The Thorns have been on an absolute tear, not losing a game in over two months. That includes a victory last week in the championship game of International Challenge Cup over Olympique Lyonnais, the standard-bearer of European teams for over a decade. OL Reign, who have won four of their last five, have a chance to get revenge for their French compatriots, and Reign players always turn it up a notch against their rivals.
Portland will want revenge for a 2-1 home loss to the Reign early this season, while the Reign want to show that they truly have turned a corner after a challenging start to the season and deserve to be in discussion for the NWSL Championship trophy.
Portland support is going to turn up in numbers
This doubleheader marks the first opportunity for Portland fans to travel to an away game in Seattle since 2019. The Rose City Riveters always travel well and are boisterous in their support of the Thorns. Add in hundreds of fans with the Timbers Army who will be arriving early to join them, and the away support in the corner of the upper deck is going to be loud through both matches. ECS, the Royal Guard, and Gorilla FC are going to be doing their part to cheer on the Reign from the Brougham End. Reign City Riot and Soundwave will be adding to the atmosphere with their combined musical talents, but every additional voice in support will add to the cacophony that makes Lumen Field so intimidating for away teams.
Come early, get your free scarf pins and flags, see some up-and-coming bands, watch some amazing soccer, and then stretch your legs inside or outside the stadium before doing it all again.