Thorns, Utah play to 1-1 draw
Tobin Heath's first goal of the season earned the Portland Thorns a 1-1 draw with the Utah Royals on Saturday at Sandy, Utah.
Heath's pretty chip finish in the 67th minute answered a goal from Utah's Amy Rodriguez in the 54th minute.
At 2-1-2 with 8 points, the Thorns remain third in the National Women's Soccer League standings. The Royals are 0-1-4 to begin their first season in the league.
For the second week in a row, Portland had to come from behind to earn a draw.
Utah's goal came on a counterattack chance. Thorns defender Kelli Hubly lost possession to Rodriguez, who dribbled into the penalty area, eluded both goalkeeper Britt Eckerstsom and Hubly and put the ball into the goal.
Portland's answer came off a Utah turnover as Andressinha pressured Desiree Scott into a loose touch. Christine Sinclair collected the ball, took a couple of touches and delivered a forward ball that presented Heath with a one-on-one opportunity.
Heath was able to chip the ball with the outside of her right foot over oncoming goalkeeper Abby Smith.
The Thorns outshot the Royals, 11-5. Utah's only shot on goal was the Rodriguez goal, which came in the United States national team forward's first start after missing most of the 2017 season for FC Kansas City with a knee injury.
Heath, who played about 30 minutes in her 2018 debut eight days earlier, came on in the 57th minute for Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic.
Andressinha, the Brazilian midfielder acquired in an offseason trade with Houston, made her Thorns debut when she came on in the 64th minute for Celeste Boureille in a withdrawn midfield position.
Meghan Klingenberg, who missed last week's match with an abdominal strain, left in the 65th minute after apparently hurting herself while making an important challenge to cut off a dangerous Utah cross.
Other than Heath's goal, Portland's best scoring chance was a header from seven yards by Lindsey Horan off a free kick. Smith made a strong reaction stop.
The Thorns had a lot of possession in the first half in the attacking half as their high pressure made it difficult for the Royals to pass the ball out of their defensive half. A series of heads-up plays by Utah's Becky Sauerbrunn kept Portland from generating any Grade-A chances.
The best chance for Utah other than its goal was a close-range one-timer from Rodriguez that went well over the goal after the ball bounced off of Portland defender Katherine Reynolds.
Next for the Thorns is a 12:30 p.m. Saturday home match against rival Seattle that will be the NWSL game of the week on Lifetime television.