SEATTLE (July 25, 2015) — (club release) Seattle Reign FC (7-3-3, 24 pts) will try to complete a season series sweep against its Interstate 5 rivals Portland Thorns FC (3-5-4, 13 pts) on Sunday, July 26 on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium. The match kicks off at 4 p.m. PT with a live, high-definition webstream available at YouTube.com/NWSL.
A team-record crowd is expected for the match — the second in five days between the two sides — with the team opening seats on the South Grandstand for the first time since moving to Memorial Stadium prior to the start of the 2014 season.
Little gained possession on a through ball from U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) star Megan Rapinoe — making her Reign FC return after missing the past nine games due to World Cup obligations — and dribbled into the Portland backline before firing a shot past goalkeeper Michelle Betos to give Seattle the lead.
Seattle goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer came up big on the other end in the 68th minute, with a diving save off a header from forward Christine Sinclair to sollidify all three points for the visitors.
Portland continued to apply pressure throughout the final 30 minutes of play, but strong play from the Seattle backline and Kopmeyer preserved the victory. Kopmeyer finished the match with three saves and currently leads the league in goalkeeper wins with six.
Thorns FC returned a league-high eight players from FIFA Women’s World Cup competition to its roster and several of those contributors did not play in Wednesday’s fixture.
USWNT midfielder Tobin Heath, Canadian midfielder Kaylyn Kyle and forward Sinclair, and Australian defenders Steph Catley and Clare Polkinghorne — the latter signed by Portland during WWC play — all played in the first matchup with Seattle. English forward Jodie Taylor, German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, and Canadian defender Rhian Wilkinson did not.
It’s unclear if any of those three will suit up on Sunday, while USWNT forward Alex Morgan will not play after undergoing minor knee surgery.
Forward Allie Long, midfielder Sinead Farrelly, and defenders Emily Menges and Kat Williamson have provided consistency during the absences of the national teamers, starting all 12 games for Portland this season.
Long is tied for fourth in the NWSL in goals with five, alongside Reign FC’s Little and Jess Fishlock.
Seattle is in second place in the NWSL standings, just one point back of the Chicago Red Stars.
Last season, Seattle went 2-1-0 against Portland. A goal in the 90th minute from Little propelled Reign FC past Thorns FC in Portland on May 10, while Seattle rolled to a 5-0 victory in the rematch at Memorial Stadium on July 27, with a goal each from Little and Rapinoe.
Portland won the final game between the two sides 1-0 on August 17.
For details on single match tickets, visit ReignFC.com or call (855) REIGN-FC for tickets. Seats start at $19. If you can’t make it to the stadium, download the official, free Reign FC app here to watch every match home and away live via YouTube on your iPhone.