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Match Preview: Portland Thorns v North Carolina Courage ft. Tyler Trent of Top Bin 90
As the race for first continues, Tyler Trent lends his NC expertise
The Thorns are back for some regular season NWSL soccer! This Sunday they take on the North Carolina Courage at home. In regular season games, the Thorns sit 7-4-4 overall and have a record of 4-1-2 at home.
The game will take place in Providence Park at 7:30 pm (PST) or can be watched on Paramount+.
Their history with the Courage this season is currently down to one match, one that ended in a draw. That means the result of this game is largely up in the air for either team, especially with World Cup players potentially being back (depending on how much time the teams give them to recover).
Stumptown Footy: What matchup are you most looking forward to seeing on the pitch?
Tyler Trent: I’m excited for the midfield battle. Narumi Miura and Denise O’Sullivan have been one of the best midfield pairings in the league and Sam Coffey and Olivia Moultrie are immensely talented as well. Some of the best midfielders in the league to battle it out in this one.
STF: Given the WC results can we expect any players to return to the starting lineup? Emily Fox, Casey Murphy, Denise O'Sullivan, Rikke Madsen, and Mille Geji were the players who received call-ups.
Trent: Denise O’Sullivan and Casey Murphy have a decent chance of starting. I don’t think any of the other World Cup players will feature in this one, even on the bench, with the cross-country travel after just getting back to North Carolina.
STF: This game is basically the match for first place... how are you feeling about that?
Trent: I just hope it’s as good as the first match between the teams. With so many teams close in the standings, losing this game isn’t likely huge for either team and most of the top teams will play each other again this year. Of course, you want to win all of them though and it would definitely be a boost for the winner both mentally and in the standings as the regular season comes to an end.
STF: Score prediction and why?
Trent: 2-2. I think both these teams have proven themselves this season as strong teams that are well balanced. I think it will be a tight one but I’m going with a lower scoring draw this time.
STF: Finally, starting lineup predictions:
If Murphy and O’Sullivan aren’t ready, expect Brianna Pinto and Katelyn Rowland.
Thorns predicted lineup and match prediction:
Kuikka, Hubly, Menges, and Kling
Coffey, Moultrie, Nally
Weaver, Betfort, and D’Aquila
Score prediction: I’m going also going to hope for a high-intensity match, I’m going to say a 3-3 final score.
What do you think? Can the Thorns grab first place? Which World Cup stars do you think will see the pitch? Let us know in the comments!