This week was a first for both the Portland Thorns and the Washington Spirit as Portland (4-1-1) received its first loss of the season and Washington (1-2-3) claimed their first win. Portland will not want to make a habit out of losing and will fight to regain their footing in the competition against Washington after the reverse to Sky Blue on Thursday night.
When Washington hosted Portland in week four, a rivalry between Diana Matheson and Alex Morgan was sparked. Matheson ruthlessly tackled Morgan's legs from behind to drag her to the ground, earning Morgan a talking to from the referee while Matheson received no warning or acknowledgment from the referee.
This feud will be present tomorrow night. Matheson has netted four goals over Morgan's three. Washington has always have a strong enough squad to contend for the championship, and in recent weeks they have elevated their game on the back of Matheson's aggressive performances, opening opportunities up top for Lindsey, Ochs and McCarty. Following Thursday's victory against Seattle, Washington will look to play with a similar starting eleven.
Alex Morgan is infamous for her speed but on Thursday night she didn't test the Sky Blue defense. Morgan set her gears low and allowed Christie Rampone, Kelley O'Hara and Coco Goodson to keep up with her outside the box. If Portland wants a greater chance at penetrating the Spirit defense then Morgan will need to push herself harder. Krieger is deceptively fast and great at deciphering the oppositions intentions so Morgan and the midfield will need align their passes in order to work around Krieger and Robyn Gayle.
Portland Thorns Injuries
Out: Emilee O'Neil
Washington Spirit Injuries
Match Date/Time: Sunday May 19 2013, 2:00 PM PT
Venue: JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Oregon
Online: NWSL Soccer YouTube Channel