Portland Thorns face off against desperate Seattle Reign

Portland Thorns look to consolidate their place in the playoffs against a desperate Seattle Reign in a duel of strong emotions
Seattle Reign FC v Portland Thorns FC
Seattle Reign FC v Portland Thorns FC / Soobum Im/GettyImages

After a hard-fought 1-0 win against the North Carolina Courage, the Portland Thorns will be hoping to improve on their performance against desperate Pacific Northwest rivals the Seattle Reign this Sunday, June 16, at Lumen Field.

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The rivals are in completely different situations in the NWSL. The Thorns struggled, but took all three points in the last round, bouncing back from their loss to the Orlando Pride. However, the Portland side are well placed in the playoffs, specifically in fifth place with 22 points. Meanwhile, the Seattle Reign are trying to find their footing in the league and climb the league table. The Reign are in 13th place with just an incredible seven points.

The Thorns will be without their star player Sophia Smith, who was sent off with two yellow cards for delaying the game and missing the team in a derby. Even so, the Portland Thorns will be hoping to use their record to their advantage and once again dominate the Seattle Reign, who haven't won in seven games in the NWSL and are 3-0-3. The Reign want to forget the painful defeat to Kansas City Current, but redemption begins with an improved defensive system and Bethany Balcer being inspired, as well as the participation of her teammates.

The clash promises to be intense, with Portland Thorns looking to consolidate their position in the playoffs and Seattle Reign desperate to get back on track. Regardless of the absences and challenges, both teams have a lot to prove. For the Thorns, a win would solidify their status as one of the NWSL's top contenders. For the Reign, a positive result could be the first step towards turning their season around. The Pacific Northwest derby is sure to bring emotions and will be a crucial test for both teams.