Kansas City NWSL returns to action following a two-week international break in a nationally-televised clash with the Portland Thorns on Sunday. The match kicks off from Providence Park at 3 p.m. on CBS.
Portland (3-0-2) enters Sunday’s contest on a two-match winning streak, the most recent 3-0 victory over Racing Louisville on June 5. Although they haven’t found a victory, Kansas City (0-3-2) has played tough, falling by only one goal in each of their past two games, as they look to rebound coming off the break.
KC welcomes several players back from international duty
The international window was a busy one for Kansas City NWSL, as the squad had five players competing for their national teams. Midfielders Desiree Scott, Victoria Pickett and Jordyn Listro were called up to the Canadian National Team for matches against the Czech Republic and Brazil.
Forward Jéssica Silva represented Portugal in games against the United States and Nigeria. Silva started and played in 82 minutes in the first game of Portugal’s window against the United States, flashing her dynamic attacking potential against one of the best international teams in the world. She created Portugal’s best chance of the match, a shot from well inside the penalty box that flew just over the United States goal in the 61st minute. Portugal lost the game 1-0. Silva also started in Portugal’s second match, a 3-3 draw against Nigeria, and played 89 minutes.
Rounding out KC NWSL’s international action was defender Rachel Corsie as she represented Scotland in two matches against Northern Ireland and Wales. Corsie featured in Scotland’s second match against Wales and played a major role, captaining the Scotland side, playing 90 minutes, and helping Scotland’s back line secure a 1-0 shutout. Although Corsie is not likely to see action in Sunday’s match, the veteran defender is expected to return to the lineup for the Kansas City’s two remaining games this week, Wednesday, June 23, against the Orlando Pride and Saturday, June 26, against the Washington Spirit.
Match against Thorns Sunday, followed by three opponents in two weeks
Sunday’s match against the Thorns kicks off a stretch of four games in less than two weeks for Kansas City. What’s more, those four games come against the teams that currently sit in the top four positions on the NWSL table.
After visiting the second-place Thorns, Kansas City returns to Legend Field for a battle against the first-place Orlando Pride at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 23. Orlando bested Kansas City 1-0 in the team’s first meeting this season. Kansas City remains home against the third-place Washington Spirit on Saturday, June 26.
The top-half gauntlet closes on July 2, when Kansas City visits fourth-place NJ-NY Gotham FC for the first time.
Players to watch
Kansas City NWSL: Midfielder Gaby Vincent – Vincent is expected to start in Sunday’s match, playing the defensive midfield role. Vincent will be expected to shut down the powerful Thorns attack before they are able to penetrate the Kansas City defensive third of the field. Then, on the team’s counterattack, Williams likes her ability to spread the ball wide and find Kansas City’s forwards on the outside wings.
Portland Thorns: Forward Christine Sinclair — The Canadian international is one of the greatest goal-scorers and players in the history of women’s soccer, holding the all-time international goal-scoring record with a staggering tally of 186 scores. The 38-year-old has scored twice for the Thorns in four games this season, and is tied for the team lead on a Thorns side littered with attacking talent. With Canada’s last game of the international window coming on Tuesday, expect Sinclair to play a major part of Sunday’s contest.
Sunday marks first of nine games televised on KCTV
On June 9, Kansas City announced a television partnership with KCTV5. The multi-year partnership ensures that KCTV5 will be the official local television broadcast partner of the club through the 2023 season. Following Sunday’s national broadcast against Portland, Kansas City will be broadcast eight more times locally, the first of which is the July 2 matchup against NJ/NY Gotham FC.
Local broadcasts will feature Aly Trost providing color commentary and analysis and Brad Porter providing play-by-play.
Sunday’s match can be seen nationally on CBS and will also be broadcast on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Brad Porter and Aly Trost will be on the call for the radio broadcast.
Kansas City returns home to Legends Field for two matches next week. Tickets for the June 23 game against Orlando and the June 26 game against Washington can be purchased at www.kcwoso.com/tickets.
- Story from Kansas City NWSL