The third installment of NWSL's Cascadia derby takes place on Sunday at Portland's JELD-WEN Field. In Week 8, without their two best strikers, the Portland Thorns fell 2-0 to Chicago because they lacked the attacking prowess of Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair. Both will be missing again against the Seattle Reign.
Portland's midfield works well when they have a target up front to link with. Without Morgan's attacking runs and Sinclair dropping deep into midfield, the top team in the league struggles to produce a solid offense
Seattle is fortunate not to endure a great deficit to their starting XI. Hope Solo's absence will be the most substantial setback to their back line as her influence between the posts has assisted in the Reign keeping the opposition at bay for stretches at a time during her previous games. They'll also be without Jessica Fishlock in midfield.
The silver lining for Sunday's match is that Seattle's back four is stronger than it was earlier in the season. The recent return of Kate Deines in the back line will make the difference on Sunday. Depending on which keeper will start of Seattle, the defense will need to work on cutting out the opposition without conceding fouls.
Portland Thorns FC Injuries
National Team Duty: Rachel Buehler, Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan
Seattle Reign FC Injuries
Out: Elli Reed
National Team Duty: Kaylyn Kyle, Hope Solo, Jessica Fishlock and Emily Zurrer
Match Date/Time: Sunday June 16 2013 at 2:00 PM PST
Venue: JELD-WEN Field, Portland, ORE
Online: NWSL YouTube Channel