The last time these two teams met it ended in a 1-1 draw as the NWSL inaugural season opened. Since then Portland has exploded with 19 points and is currently tied for first. FC Kansas City has done well but they currently sit in fifth with ten points. Tonight, they try to get back on the winning track against the powerful thorns.
About the Teams
FC Kansas City
The Blues just lost their first home game, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sky Blue FC. That loss moved them down to fifth place but they have two games in hand against the top two teams. The Blues will be without Lauren Sesselmann, one of their star centerbacks, tonight because she received a red card in the last match for a foul in the box, so the Blues' defense may be a bit shorthanded.
The Thorns have been chasing Sky Blue FC for the top spot in the NWSL all season. The Thorns are 6-1-1 and have 19 points in eight matches. They have been doing very well on both sides of the ball, scoring 12 goals as opposed to allowing 4. They just recently defeated Seattle Reign FC 1-0 in Seattle off of a goal from Christine Sinclair, a penalty in the 83rd minute.
How they will win
FC Kansas City
FC Kansas City has done very well on defense this year. Their draw with Portland came off of a penalty kick goal, as did their loss to Sky Blue FC. The Blues' back line will have to hunker down and deny any Portland opportunity that comes their way. That way, if Lauren Cheney or Renae Cuellar can find the net at the opposite end FC Kansas City can escape with a victory.
The Thorns have a very good attack headed by US International Alex Morgan and Canadian International Christine Sinclair. The Thorns will have to take advantage of the Blues missing Lauren Sesselmann and pressure the back line into giving up a couple of goals. The Blues' attack is good, but may not be able to rally back if the Thorns can grab a couple of quick goals.
FC Kansas City 1-2 Portland Thorns
The Thorns' offense is one of the best in the league and they have really found their stride as of late. Since the Blues will be without one of their star centerbacks, I have to give the edge to Portland, especially since they're playing at home.