Rivalry match at the end of the season. The top two teams in the league. The winner sits at the top of the table with two games remaining. What a fun storyline for tonight’s match between OL Reign and the Portland Thorns.
The game, which kicks off at Providence Park at 7:30 PM PT, will stream on Paramount+ for fans in the U.S. and Twitch for international viewers.
A certain owner of the Portland Thorns felt a little bitter about OL Reign’s win at Lumen Field — claiming the team “acted like they won a cup.” Personally, I think that’s an appropriate response in a rivalry game and wouldn’t mind seeing it happen again.
Tough one— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) September 26, 2021
Reign game is going to be lit. Look out. They acted like they won a Cup in Seattle …lets welcome them to Portland.
Merritt Paulson and Thorns/Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson are on the hot seat after news emerged that the Thorns knew about some of Paul Riley’s actions while he was coaching in Portland and allowed him to get hired by another team in the league. Thorns fans will likely continue to call for Wilkinson to be fired, something they’ve done since The Athletic report emerged.
After two losses and a draw in their last three games, Portland are going to be hungry to prove themselves. It’s been a difficult and emotionally draining week for players on both clubs. Results come second to the players’ own emotional well-being — and anything could happen in the game.
At the time of kickoff, OL Reign sits second on the league table, holding a 12-7-2 record. Portland sits just one point ahead with a 12-6-3 record. The Reign hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, having gotten the better of Portland in the first two matches this year.
What to Watch
- Don’t let Crystal Dunn or Lindsey Horan have time or space to dictate the game
- Win the duels and second balls in the box
- Support and protect NWSL players
- Smash everybody
Injury Report / International Absences
Eugenie Le Sommer is back in the starting lineup. She’s the only change from OL Reign’s weekend match. Megan Rapinoe is available on the bench!
Your Starting XI | @ThornsFC— OL Reign (@OLReign) October 14, 2021
The rivalry is underway @ 7:30pm PT
LET'S GO! #olreign #bebold #PORvRGN pic.twitter.com/SU26R6t7wg
Christine Sinclair moves back into the midfield, and the chaos duo of Sophia Smith and Morgan Weaver — two tenacious forwards — start up top.
Our Starting XI vs. OL Reign. #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/YiCwDBSKWE— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) October 14, 2021
3’ - Well, shoot. The bounces all fall Portland’s way, and Morgan Weaver puts the Thorns up early.
Morgan weaving her way to an early opener #PORvRGN | https://t.co/0LtSAUK1Jw | #NWSL21 pic.twitter.com/Ulkr4m2WtE— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 14, 2021
86’ - Megan Rapinoe equalizes with a penalty!
Who else from the spot but @mPinoe ♀️#PORvRGN | https://t.co/0LtSAUK1Jw | #NWSL21 pic.twitter.com/f4Lp4g0JVw— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 14, 2021
How to Watch
Date/Time: October 13, 7:30 PM PT
Location: Providence Park, Portland, OR
Streaming (US/Canada): Paramount Plus
Streaming (International): Twitch (search NWSLOfficial)
Join the Discussion
This is your OL Reign versus Portland Thorns gamethread. Join the discussion here in the comments, or follow the action on Twitter: @rovalks.