The Portland Thorns will look to bounce back from Saturday’s loss as they travel to take on the Houston Dash who are coming off their first win of the season. Portland lost to the Seattle Reign at home 3-2. Houston was on the opposite side of a 3-2 score line, beating Sky Blue FC 3-2. Houston comes in tied for seventh in the league sitting at five points and a 1-3-2 record. Portland sits at fourth in the table with eight points and an even 2-2-2 record.
Portland looking to get back on track
The reigning NWSL champions of Portland haven't won a game since April 15 when they defeated the Orlando Pride 2-1. Since then, they drew the Washington Spirit 1-1 and drew the Utah Royals 1-1 before losing to Seattle. Emily Sonnett and Lindsey Horan both scored for the Thorns in the last match. Christine Sinclair leads the Thorns and the league with four goals and two assists with Horan in second on the team and in the league with three goals and an assist.
Portland will look to welcome back Tobin Heath into the starting line-up. Heath had been out almost all of 2017 and started the 2018 season injured after ankle surgery in the off-season. She has made second-half appearances in three matches scoring the game-tying goal against Utah.
Britt Eckerstorm will also continue to get the start in goal as Adrianna Franch is out with a knee injury. Eckerstorm made her Thorns debut against the Spirit and allowed one goal in each of her first two matches before allowing three, including a penalty kick, on Saturday.
Houston looks to gain momentum
The Dash will look to build on the win from Saturday. Rachel Daly, Nichelle Prince and rookie Veronica Latsko each scored their first goals of the season off of assists from Kealia Ohai, Lindsey Agnew and Thembi Kgatlana, respectively.
Prior to their match against Sky Blue, the team had only scored one goal, a Kimberly Keever goal in the 38th minute of the season opener. Princes goal in the 24th minute broke the teams 436-minute goal-less streak.
The Dash may have been successful due to the personnel changes that head coach Vera Pauw made. Daly was moved from left back to the front line and Kristie Mewis was moved from right back into the midfield. The defense of the Dash has also solidified with Janine van Wyk being first in NWSL with 11 blocks this season and Amber Brooks being second in interceptions with 11.
The Thorns and the Dash played three matches in 2017 with the Thorns winning two games and drawing one. The Dash haven’t beat Thorns since July 16, 2016 when they won 3-0 at home. Kick-off for the midweek battle is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT with the match streaming on go90.