Tough calls for Thorns coach
Portland Thorns coach Mark Parsons acknowledges he will have some difficult decisions when — and if — his full squad gets healthy.
In the meantime, Parsons has been pushing the right buttons during a four-game winning streak that has the Thorns up to second place in the National Women's Soccer League.
The latest example was Saturday's 3-2 win at Chicago, which moved the Thorns (9-4-4, 31 points) ahead of the Red Stars (8-4-5, 29).
Dagny Brynjarsdottir, who recently played at right back and holding midfield positions after regaining her health and representing Iceland at the European Championships, started at forward.
Brynjarsdottir started at forward and contributed her first assist of the season to set up Christine Sinclair's team-leading fifth goal.
Players who have been in prominent roles continued to thrive. Hayley Raso's speed netted Portland a third-minute goal off a ball from Lindsey Horan. With Allie Long on an excused absence, Horan's work in midfield helped Portland hold an opponent without a second-half shot on goal for the second consecutive match.
Also for a second game in a row, Emily Sonnett scored a goal. Her flick header of a Meghan Klingenberg free kick broke a 2-2 tie as Portland handed Chicago its first home loss this season.
A central defender, Sonnett did not score in her first 30 regular-season matches as a professional (she did score in last season's playoff loss).
The Thorns have a busy week, visiting FC Kansas City for a 5 p.m. Wednesday match before returning to Providence Park for a 7 p.m. Saturday game against Houston.
• Portland's hot streak has been matched by league-leading North Carolina. The Courage won three 1-0 matches over eight days, including handing Seattle its first home loss of the season on Sunday. North Carolina (12-5-0, 36 points) is five points up on second-place Portland and the teams do not meet again in the regular season.