Portland Thorns vs. Chicago Red Stars: How to watch; what to watch for
Having become the first team to clinch a spot in the National Women's Soccer League playoffs, the Thorns host the Red Stars for their final home match of the regular season. Portland enters the weekend atop the standings, knowing it can finish atop the standings with wins Sunday and in the Oct. 1 finale at NJ/NY Gotham FC.
HOW TO WATCH
When: 1 p.m. PT, Sunday, Sept. 25
Where: Providence Park
TV: FOX 12 Plus, Paramount+, Evoca TV.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Looking for its sixth home win — and 10th overall — Portland (9-3-8, 35 points) closes its home slate with its third match in an eight-day stretch. By contrast, Chicago had eight days between games.
Wednesday's 3-0 Thorns' win over Racing Louisville was a feel-good performance, especially in the second half when the three goals came in the first 11 minutes after halftime. Chicago is 8-6-6 and enters the weekend in the sixth (and final) playoff spot and trying to hold off Angel City and North Carolina. Mallory Pugh is the offensive leader for the Red Stars with 10 goals and six assists. Thorns coach Rhian Wilkinson was able to rotate her lineup some on Wednesday. For example, midfielder Hina Sugita did not play while those who played a partial shift included Christine Sinclair, Yazmeen Ryan, Sophia Smith, Sam Coffey, Olivia Moultrie and Meghan Klingenberg, with Crystal Dunn playing about 15 minutes at the end of the match.
Portland will look to continue its playoff push and build upon the club-record 43 goals scored through 20 games and its impressive plus-22 goal differential.
Chicago and Portland played to a 2-2 draw in the Windy City on May 28.
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