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Preview: Portland Thorns vs. Red Stars

Friday, April 24, 2015

 

Saturday night Portland faces it’s first road-game opponent, the Chicago Red Stars, at Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex.

Both teams approach this weekend’s match with flawless records, and neither team is ready to lose. The Portland Thorn’s have crawled to the top spot in the NWSL, and currently hold a two-point lead over trailing team’s. The Red Stars sit in 5th place, and are three points behind the league’s front-runner.

Portland has won it’s first two season matches for the first time in history. Following Portland’s recent 1-0 victory over Western New York, the Thorn’s are looking great as the departure of Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath quickly approaches. Midfielder Allie Long tallied the game-winning goal in the 22nd minute of the match. 

Long ranks 3rd among the league leaders in goals, and for the second straight season has scored in consecutive matches to open the regular season.

Chicago opened their 2015 NWSL season on April 18, earning a 3-2, stoppage-time victory against Seattle Reign FC at Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex. Forward Christen Press registered a brace, including the game-winning goal in the 91st minute.

Saturday will be the eighth meeting between Thorns FC and the Red Stars. The two teams have played to four consecutive draws, including back-to-back, 1-1 ties. Portland is 2-1-4 against the Red Stars with a record of 2-0-2 on the road. 

The Thorns have two total matches under their belt, one more live game than Chicago has had. The way that Portland’s inconspicuous players have been performing is seemingly poetic in how it foreshadows the season-stretch without Morgan.

After Saturday’s road game, the Thorns return to Portland in preparation for their match May 9th against the Washington Spirit. 

 

Related Slideshow: Oregon’s 15 Hottest Athletes

In case you've never noticed we have plenty of attractive athletes representing the state of Oregon. Here are GoLocalPDX's Top 15 in no particular order.

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Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan, 25, is a forward for the Portland Thorns. She recently signed with the club in January of 2013 after playing for the Western New York Flash and the Seattle Sounders. She rose to prominence because of her success playing for the United States women’s national soccer team. Morgan was the youngest player to represent the U.S. during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She will once again represent team USA this summer as they prepare to head off to Canada for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

 

Photo credit: Alex Morgan's Facebook page

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Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard, 23, was the 11th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft. Over the past few years he has been diligently working with the Portland Trailblazer’s coaching staff in order to refine his game. The Illinois alumni’s hard work has been paying off considering he’s having the best season of his career. 

 

Photo credit: Meyers Leonard's Facebook page

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Kaylyn Kyle

Kaylyn Kyle, 26, is a Canadian soccer player who currently plays for the Portland Thorns. She is also a member of the Canadian women’s national team. Kyle was part of the 2012 Canadian national team that defeated France in the bronze medal game. She is also an ambassador for, Right To Play, which is an organization dedicated to using soccer as a resource to educate and empower children from disadvantaged communities.

 

Photo credit: Kaylyn Kyle's Facebook page

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Gaston Fernandez

Gaston Fernandez, 31, is a striker for the Portland Timbers. The club signed the Argentinian striker back in January of 2014. During his MLS debut with the Timbers he scored an equalizer goal that extended the Timbers unbeaten home record to sixteen. 

 

Photo credit: via forums.bigsoccer.com

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Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota, 21, is coming off one of the best seasons any Oregon Duck quarterback has ever experienced. He is the first Hawaiian-born athlete to ever win the Heisman trophy. This season he also led the Ducks to a 12-1 regular season record. Duck fans everywhere will be anxiously waiting to see where Mariota goes in this year’s NFL Draft. 

 

Photo credit: via Oregon Football's Facebook page

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Ellie Cribbins

Ellie Cribbins is a second year Blazer Dancer for the Portland Trailblazers. Cribbins is originally from Portland, Oregon but attended Oregon State University. This season proved to be a unique one for Cribbins since her sister also made the Blazer Dancers last August.

 

Photo credit: via Ellie Cribbin's Facebook page

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Jake Gleeson

Jake Gleeson, 24, is a New Zealand born goalie that is currently playing for the Portland Timbers. He signed with the club in February of 2011. Gleeson has taken pride over the past few years of being a young player who has worked his way up the ranks. 

 

Photo credit: via solofutbol.cl

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Janie Takeda

Janie Takeda, 21, is a senior outfielder for the University of Oregon. The Dallas Charge of the National Pro Fastpitch League recently drafted her 26th overall. Takeda was also selected to play on the United States women’s national team during the 2015 summer season. She is set to graduate from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication this spring. 

 

Photo credit: Janie Takeda's Facebook page

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Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard, 24, was the NBA’s 2012 Rookie Of The Year. He was the 4th Portland Trailblazer to ever win the award. Since then he’s been named an All-Star twice, as well as an All-NBA Third Team selection. Lillard had one of the most rememberable performances in Trailblazer history after he hit a three-pointer that defeated the Houston Rockets in game 6 of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.

 

Photo credit: Damian Lillard's Facebook page

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Maggie Rouse

Maggie Rouse, 20, is a junior cheerleader for the University of Oregon. She just completed her third year on the team. When she tried out as a freshman she never expected to make the squad. Yet, here she is two years later. She is currently majoring in Educational Foundations. 

 

Photo credit: Maggie Rouse's Facebook page

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LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge, 29, is widely considered to be one of the best power-forwards in the NBA. The Texas native is averaging 23.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this season for the Portland Trailblazers. He is also a four-time NBA All-Star. On March 10th, 2015 Aldridge became the Trailblazers all-time leading rebounder.

 

Photo credit: LaMarcus Aldridge's Facebook page

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Kaytianna McMillan

Kaytianna McMillan is a gymnast for the Oregon State Beavers. Over the course of 2014 McMillan battled a series of injuries, yet she was still able to overcome them in order to become the Co-Champion of the 2014 NCAA University Park Regionals. Oregon State will be lucky to have her for the next couple of years.

 

Photo credit: Oregon State Athletics website

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Devon Allen

Devon Allen, 20, just completed his freshman year as a wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks. Not only is he the starting wide receiver for the Ducks he also runs track for the Oregon Outdoor Track and Field team. He recently earned a Gold Medal in the 110 meter hurdles during the 2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Although he is recovering from a torn ACL we hope to see him back on the field during the 2015-2016 season.

 

Phot credit: University of Oregon Facebook page

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Chase De Leo

Chase De Leo, 19, currently plays center for the Portland Winterhawks. His quickness and overall creative offensive game earned him an invite to Team USA’s selection camp back in December of 2014. Of all 30 players who were invited, he was only one of 2 WHL players.

 

Photo credit: Chase De Leo's Facebook page

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Darron Thomas

Darron Thomas, 24, is a professional quarterback for the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League. During his college days he played for the Oregon Ducks. While starting for the Ducks he led to the team to the 2011 BCS National Championship game, as well as the 2012 Rose Bowl. The Texas native recently partook in the NFL Veteran Combine with the hope of upstarting his NFL career.

 

Photo credit: Portland Thunder Facebook page

 
 

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