Seattle Reign FC took down the Portland Thorns 3-2 in a thrilling, nonstop affair at Providence Park in Portland. Bev Yanez, Jodie Taylor, and Rumi Utsugi scored for Seattle.
Seattle Reign FC will be taking on the Portland Thorns FC in the first clash of the Cascadia Rivalry for 2018.
The 2-1-2 Thorns are hosting the 2-1-1 Reign in what looks like it might be an important game for both teams. For the Thorns, it’s a chance to show that trading Allie Long to Seattle and allowing Michelle Betos to leave the team in 2017 weren’t mistakes. For the Reign it’s a chance to show they have what it takes to get a solid win without superstar Megan Rapinoe on the pitch.
Old Faces, New Kits
Prior to 2018, Allie Long was a stalwart of the Portland Thorns midfield. While you can say what you want about her time with the USWNT, her time with the Thorns showed how prolific she was. She scores goals, she assisted more, and she was on the pitch for near every great moment in Thorns history before being traded to Seattle before the 2018 season. For her first match against her old team, Long has a chance to show she bleeds Volt yellow.
For Betos it’s another chance to show head coach Vlatko Andonovski that she should be the starter on the team, not the newly returned Lydia Williams. Williams missed the start of the season for the Asian Cup with the Australia national team. Betos won Goalkeeper of the Year as a Portland goalkeeper, as well as Rose City Riveters Player of the Year. The Rose City Riveters have enjoyed heckling Seattle goalkeepers in the past, most notably Hope Solo. Only time will tell of the Riveters will go as hard for Betos as they did for Solo.
Steph Catley, Jodie Taylor and Alyssa Kleiner have also all spent time in Portland kits, to different levels of success.
Other Pregame Thoughts
With Megan Rapinoe out it is important for the team to really be able to show they can score without her. During the last match against the Orlando Pride it was clear the team was missing the energetic forward. Only time will tell if someone else will rise up and take control of the offense like Rapinoe can.
Yael Averbuch is once again out. The midfielder-turned-defender really could be a nice piece for Andonovski to add to a fairly solid Reign backline, but the longer she is out the more there is to worry about.
Jasmyne Spencer is unavailable this match due to an excused absence. The speedy player is a very nice option late in games when opposing defenders are getting tied. We’ll see who is subbed in, if anyone, if the Reign need speed late.
With usual Thorns starting goalkeeper Adrianna Franch out for the match and Britt Eckerstrom stepping in, the Reign might have a little bit of extra daylight to slip a goal or two in. Eckerstrom hasn’t looked bad in her minutes to date, but she is no Franch.
Let us not forget the last time Betos scored it was at Providence Park, and Andonovski was the away team coach. Could we see Betos get goal number two?
Christine Sinclair has four goals, leading the NWSL. The Reign are going to have to be careful in front of goal. Sinclair might not have the speed she once did but she is wonderful at picking a ball up on a mistake and making you pay.
Way too easy for Mallory Weber here
Goal, Bev Yanez!
HUGE save from Betos!
Emily Sonnett makes it 1-1
Jodie Taylor converts the penalty! Jess Fishlock won it. Reign up 2-1
Furt. Betos comes too far off her line and this happens.
Utsugi puts Reign FC up in the 75th!
PORTLAND THORNS FC
OUT: Adrianna Franch (right meniscus tear), Bella Geist (left quad strain), Meg Morris (left hip pain), Hayley Raso (right knee sprain)
QUESTIONABLE: Meghan Klingenberg (left hip pain), Emily Menges (right tibia stress syndrome)
SEATTLE REIGN FC
OUT: Yael Averbuch (illness), Kiersten Dallstream (right hamstring strain), Jaycie Johnson (right knee sprain), Megan Rapinoe (left hamstring strain), Jasmyne Spencer (excused absence)
How to Watch
When: Saturday, May 5, 2018, 12:30 PM PT
Where: Providence Park, Portland, OR
Streaming (U.S.): MyLifetime.com
Streaming (International): NWSLSoccer.com, NWSL (iOS/Android)
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