Reign visit Portland for Cascadia Derby part 39

Seattle Reign FC 0
Portland Thorns FC 4
May 11, 2024
Providence Park – Portland, OR
NWSL Regular Season

When the NWSL began in 2013 the Cascadia Derby was ready made for Thorns and Reign supporters and players. There was hope it would grow into something. Both clubs embraced the notion and also both clubs have been good. Shields and championship banners have helped boost the legacy and long serving players passed along the rivalry to newer teammates.
Traveling supporters were there from the very start. Saturday night in Portland and June 16 in Seattle will be the 39th and 40th matches in the series across all competitions.

The early goings of the 2024 campaign were not great for either club, but recent matches for both show that perhaps corners have been turned. Seattle has grabbed four points from six the past week, including winning playing the bulk of a match with ten and holding the highest scoring side goalless. Portland seemed to right the ship a bit quicker and went into the match with four wins on the trot.

Three points would help each club significantly in overcoming their slow starts.

A packed house in Portland was loud and rocking from the opening whistle. It was clear from the opening minutes that the match was going to be played with the intensity of a must win match and of a rivalry match.

Sophia Smith made herself known quickly, making dangerous runs and getting looks on goal in the first several minutes. The host Thorns have been clicking on offense in recent matches and that looked to be continuing as the first half progressed. The visiting Reign defense was tested early, but was playing with a similar resilience from recent matches.

Christine Sinclair has been a part of the rivalry since the beginning with Reign originals Lu Barnes and Jessica Fishlock. Sinclair combined with Smith and teenage teammate Olivia Moultrie early for a couple of decent looks on goal.

The first half heat index hydration break saw the match still level and goalless in the 31st minute. For the visitors playing their third match in nine days, there was a potential question as to whether a hot night might prove additionally challenging.

The Thorns had the statistical bulk of possession, pushing forward at every opportunity to get their attacking players forward. Seattle likes to play out of the back and appeared to be will to play pragmatic and absorb and counter. The majority of the Reign looks on goal came from the outside in, generally in the air on the cross.

Before the half could draw to a close level, Moultrie would crack a top of the box shot from right to the far post left, beating Reign keeper Laurel Ivory in the 42nd minute.

The Moultrie goal only added to the raucous Portland atmosphere. Seattle would get late chances in the half before the break, including a couple of set pieces.

A goal line clearance from Kelli Hubly on a Bethany Balcer header in first half stoppage time was potentially match saving for the Thorns, keeping the one goal margin going into the interval.

The physical intensity of the match amped up as the second half progressed. Eventually, a few yellow cards would emerge from the pocket as players from both sides pressed hard after every ball.

Seattle began to push forward more and quicker, looking to catch Portland on a quick counter. The Thorns did not attack less, but sent smaller numbers forward with the single goal lead and the clock in their favor.

VAR would award Portland a penalty in the 78th minute on a review of a hand ball against Reign defender Sofia Huerta. Thorns forward Sophia Smith would convert and the match went into the final stages with the hosts up two nil.

Seattle would play forward for the miracle finish, with Balcer having a header cleared off the line in the 89th minute. With thirteen minutes of stoppage time announced, there seemed to be a chance should they get one back quickly. Instead, Thorns midfielder Hina Sugita would make it a three nil lead three minutes into stoppage.

An intense rivalry game would end with the home side claiming victory and a four goal victory, as Payton Linnehan would tack on another in the 98th minute. After that, the Thorns saw out the lengthy stoppage time.

The win is the fifth consecutive for the Thorns and an offense that is really clicking. For Seattle, it was four of nine possible points from the three match week, but a brutal ending.

Emeri Adames entered the match in the 71st minute, allowing both sides to be featuring 18 year old attacking players. Moultrie has been in the rivalry for a few seasons now, but it was an introduction for Adames.

The match was played in Portland’s Providence Park in a sea of red. Over twenty thousand were on hand and were loud and engaged throughout. For a rivalry turning 40 in Seattle in a few weeks, the home crowd set a bar.



2024 NWSL Regular Season
Seattle Reign FC 0 – 4 Portland Thorns FC
Date/Time: Saturday, May 11, 7:00 p.m. PT
Location: Providence Park, Portland, Oregon
Weather: 80, sunny
Scoring Summary

SEA: None
POR: Moultrie – 42′, Smith – 80′, Sugita – 90+3’, Linnehan – 90+8’


SEA: McClernon (Caution – 58′), Huerta (Caution – 79′), Athens (Caution – 89)
POR: Moultrie (Caution – 61′)


SEA: GK Ivory, D Huerta, D Barnes (c), D Holmes, D McClernon (Brown 83’), M Fishlock, M Van der Jagt (Stanton 83’), M Ji, F Latsko (Adames 72’), F Balcer, F King (Athens 87’)
Unused substitutes: GK Perez, D Lester, D Woodham, M Stanton, F Weinert, M James-Turner

Total Shots: 13 (Holmes – 3)
Shots on Goal: 3 (Three tied with – 1)
Fouls: 10 (King – 5)
Offsides: 0
Corner Kicks: 4
Saves: 2 (Ivory – 2)

POR: GK Hogan, D Muller (Klingenberg 90+9’), D Sauerbrunn (c), D Hubly, D Payne (Reyes 85’), M Coffey, M Moultrie (Wade-Kotoa 90+9), M Fleming (Linnehan 61’), M Sugita, F Sinclair (Beckie 62’), F Smith
Unused substitutes: GK Alvarado, D Reyes, F Dias, M Sheva, D Nally

Total Shots: 14 (Smith – 5)
Shots on Goal: 6 (Smith – 2)
Fouls: 15 (Hubly – 3)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 3
Saves: 3 (Hogan – 3)

Referee: Abdou Ndiaye
Assistant Referee 1: Noah Kenyawani
Assistant Referee 2: Cameron Siler
4th Official: Jamie Padilla
Var: Adorae Monroy
Avar: Kaili Terry

About Jeffrey Lageson

Father, Brother, Son, Goalkeeper, Writer, Dancer, Minion, [E] Enforcer, Marathoner, Rocker, Black Belt, Coug, ECS, Keeper Studios, Teacher, Shotgun Trapper ... WellDressedGandalf