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Match Preview: Portland Thorns vs Kansas City Current
The Thorns take on the Current in their first regular season match post World Cup call-ups.
The Portland Thorns take on the Kansas City Current at home in Providence Park on Saturday, July 1st. It’s the first regular-season game for the Thorns after losing the World Cup players. It’s also pride night for the Thorns — though not a lot has been advertised on that front.
The game will be streamed on CBS Sports Network at 7 pm PT.
The state of the teams post-WC call-up
Two KC players have been called up to their respective teams: Desiree Scott and Debinha.
Scott was called up to the Canada WNT and Debinha will represent Brazil.
Scott has been injured since preseason but she’s recovered enough to make the roster. A veteran for Canada, she has 186 caps (144 of those are starts) She’s been a part of three world cups.
So far this season Debinha has tallied 9 goals for the Current. She leads the Kansas City Current in goals scored for both regular season play (6) and in the Challenge Cup (3). She scored her 40th career NWSL goal against the Washington Spirit on June 18th, making her the first Brazilian player to reach that milestone. For Brazil Debinha has made 134 appearances on the international stage. Her 58 goals rank third on Brazil’s all-time list, behind only Marta (115) and Cristiane (96).
The Thorns said goodbye to five players heading to the WC.
For the U.S.: oth Sophia Smith and Crystal Dunn head to Australia & New Zealand in the Stars and Stripes.
Dunn has 31 caps for the US and tallies 24 goals and 19 assists. She has appeared in six matches at the 2019 World Cup, starting and playing 90 minutes in all six of those matches.
Smith is gearing up for her first World Cup, and she has earned 29 caps and scored 12 goals with three assists during her international career. Smith currently ranks second in the league in goals (7) and first in assists (5).
For Canada: the G.O.A.T Christine Sinclair has earned a call-up for her 6th World Cup. Adriana Leon has also earned a call-up. (Though I guess it should be mentioned that this call-up is currently only for Canada’s preparation camp— two players will need to be cut, but I doubt it’ll be either of these two).
Sinclair has three goals this season for the Thorns but for Canada her mark is undeniable, with 323 caps (310 starts) she is second all-time among all players (after Kristine Lily). She also has the most international goals scored (men or women) with 190 (54 assists).
Leon has 96 appearances and 46 of those were starts. For Canada, she’s scored 28 goals and tallied 5 assists.
For Japan: Hina Sugita was called up for the Japanese national team, this will be her second world cup. She started in and played in every match at the tournament in 2019, logging 360 minutes in the team’s four games.
For Costa Rica: Rocky Rodriguez (at least she was honored at the WC send-off). She suffered a sprained MCL about a month ago, so the status of her playing is unknown.
KC has won their last two games, a 2-1 victory over Orlando and a 4-0 victory over Chicago. Though Debinha scored 3 of the 6 goals so it’ll be interesting to see how KC does.
Other players to watch: Cece Kizer (forward), Hailie Mace (defender), Lo’eau LaBonta (midfielder), Vanessa DiBernardo (midfielder), and AD Franch (goalie).
After Wednesday’s Challenge Cup loss against OL Reign it’ll be critical to get the team back on track Saturday.
Portland still has Olivia Moultrie, Morgan Weaver, Sam Coffey, Kelli Hubly, Natalia Kuikka, etc. The list of impact players goes on and on. The only challenge, however, is the Thorns’ lack of scoring prowess. There were multiple points during Wednesday’s game where Coffey, Moultrie, and Hannah Betfort all had open opportunities but they didn’t take them.
Scoring will be important for Portland if they hope to start life without the World Cup stars with a win.