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Know Your Opponent: Portland Thorns FC

09/30/2016 11:41 AM -

The Western New York Flash are on the road again for their fifth away match in a row. The Flash will be facing the top-seeded Portland Thorns FC in the semifinals of the 2016 NWSL Playoffs on Sunday, October 2. Get a better look at the Thorns before Sunday:

A Closer Look at the Thorns:

Regular Season Record: 12-3-5

Points: 41

Goals For: 35

Goals Against: 19

Goal Differential: +16

League Rank: 1

Record vs. the Flash: 2-0-0

 

Battle for Positions

The Thorns and Flash both finished in the top four of the NWSL standings this season, meaning we are definitely in for a good matchup. The Flash’s high-octane offense, led by forwards Jess McDonald and Lynn Williams, topped the league in scoring with 40 goals in their 20 matches. Williams won the NWSL Golden Boot with 11 goals and 5 assists on the season, and McDonald was not far behind with 10 goals and 7 assists, respectively. The Thorns, on the other hand, also know how to score. Forward Tobin Heath led the NWSL in assists with 10 and is often finding ways to feed fellow playmakers Nadia Nadim, Christine Sinclair and Allie Long. The Thorns back line has also played extraordinarily well this season, allowing the fewest number of goals in the NWSL with a mere 19.

 

Thorns at Home

The Thorns have continued their historied domination at Providence Park this season, as they’ve gone an astounding 8-1-1 on their home turf. The franchise often sells out their stadium as part of an electric atmosphere that is sure to be revved up for this Sunday’s playoff matchup. The Flash played at Providence Park on Sunday, September 11, in front of an astounding sold out crowd of 21,112.

 

Flash from the Past

A total of six players from the Thorns roster have once represented the Flash, including Thorns captain and Canadian national team member Christine Sinclair, who helped the Flash to a WPS title in 2011. Other former Flash players include Adrianna Franch (the franchise leader in goalkeeper starts), Meghan Klingenberg, Katherine Reynolds, Mallory Weber and Kat Williamson.

  

Be sure to catch the match this Sunday, October 2, on Fox Sports 1 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The Flash will be hosting a watch party at Mes Que on Hertel Ave. in Buffalo on Sunday, and those who cannot attend can follow live updates on Twitter at @WNYFlash.



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