Preview: Spirit vs. Thorns FC
By NWSL news
(June 19, 2014) – Jessica McDonald and Portland Thorns FC take on Christine Nairn and the Washington Spirit for the second time in six days when the two sides square off again on Saturday.
McDonald helped lead the Thorns to a 2-0 home win over Washington in Week 10, with midfielder Veronica Boquete adding a goal and backup goalkeeper Michelle Betos recording one save in the shutout victory.
McDonald’s goal was her sixth of the season – as well as first in the last four games – and moved her into a tie for third-best in the league with Spirit forward Jodie Taylor.
Boquete’s goal was the first of her NWSL career and came in her second game since joining the Thorns after she finished playing abroad with Tyreso FF of Sweden.
Portland coach Paul Riley will be hoping for more of the same from Boquete, whom he previously coached when both were with the Philadelphia Independence of WPS in 2011.
The Thorns can overtake the Spirit in the standings with a win on Saturday, despite having played two fewer games than their hosts.
Washington will be looking to bounce back from their second consecutive 2-0 loss and return to the form that saw them reel off a five-game unbeaten streak from May 17 – June 4.
Saturday’s match will be the first at home for the Spirit following a four-game road trip during which Washington posted a 2-2-0 record.
Coach Mark Parsons’ squad is 3-2-1 at home this season and has scored three goals in four of their last five games at Maryland SoccerPlex.
Parsons will be hoping for more of the same from his offense after he Spirit suffered their second straight shutout following a start to the year that saw them score in each of the first 11 games.
The match Saturday is the second meeting this season between the two sides, which will not play again until July 23.
Washington is still in search of their first victory over the Thorns after losing both matches against Portland during the 2013 season in addition to the defeat in Week 10 of this season.
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Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC and Washington Spirit