Reign FC Rundown vs. Thorns FC

Tonight tonight tonight.

What are you doing tonight? If you’re not in Portland, you may be missing out on a pretty epic clash between your Seattle Reign FC and Portland Thorns FC. The Thorns announced today that they have sold out their first match in NWSL history.

That’s right. A whopping 21,144 fans will be at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon to watch a soccer match and while the majority of them will be wearing red, that is really, really cool.

This is the first matchup between these two sides for the 2015 campaign, and they will meet just once more during the regular season. That rematch will be just in FOUR days in the beautiful city that is Seattle.

But this Reign Rundown is about the first Cascadia contest that is going down tonight, so let’s talk about that.

Road woes all around

Both Reign FC and Thorns FC took zero points out of their last match. While Thorns FC were off last week, the week prior they dropped all three points on the road to Sky Blue FC. Reign FC were in a similar boat last Saturday, losing 3–0 away from home at the hands of the Washington Spirit.

Both teams will have something to prove and while this is a road match for Reign FC (and will most definitely feel like one), at least the time zone and the climate will be in its favor for a change.

Cascadia Clash

Reign FC and Thorns FC will only meet twice this year, and they will do so in a span of five days. The history may be short, but the rivlary that exsists between these two teams runs deeps.

Last year, Reign FC were 2–1 against the Thorns FC, winning dramatically in Portland for the first time last year when Scottish international Kim Little solidified all three points with a goal in the 90th minute.

Reign FC would again be on the winning side when Thorns FC made their lone trip up to Seattle and gave up five goals during the match. Portland did get one back, however, at the end of the season, edging out Reign FC 1–0 at home in the final match of the regular season.

It seems important to note that scorelines aside, all three of those matches in 2014 consisted of a lot of chances for both teams, and some excellent defending and goalkeeping.

World Cup returnees

Reign FC went 5–1–3 while the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup took place in Canada this year, which isn’t too shabby at all. They were without the services of both Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe, and the depth of Reign FC’s roster made up for those absences.

While Solo continues to recover from a knee injury she picked up in Canada, Rapinoe was back in training this week and will definitely be available for tonight’s match in Portland.

On the other end of the spectrum, Portland had a league-high of eight players away on international duty. They currently sit in seventh place in the standings with a 3–4–4 record.

Their roster for tonight’s match may look very different as the plethora of World Cup players have returned to the Rose City as seven of those players could see action. That includes USWNT midfielder Tobin Heath, and the Canadian trio of defender Rhian Wilkinson, midfielder Kaylyn Kyle, and forward Christine Sinclair.

English forward Jodie Taylor, German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, and Australian defender Steph Catley also return to the fold.

Portland will be without USWNT forward Alex Morgan, after the forward had minor knee surgery earlier in the week.

This match will have it all. World class soccer with world class stars in a packed stadium. A Seattle-Portland match always gets the blood boiling, so it’s safe to say that tonight’s match will not disappoint.

Fans across the country (and outside the US!) will be able to stream the match on their tablet or phone live via the Fox Sports GO app, or can watch online here. The stream will be available without a Fox Sports Go account. As such, this match will not be on YouTube.