SD Wave vs. Portland Thorns Preview

Credit: NWSL

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Credit: Nicole Noel/ EVT Sports

San Diego Wave seeks to keep winning ways going home

The San Diego Wave return home from a three-game road trip this weekend, one which has seen them fix many of their early season woes.

They’ve won back-to-back games by multiple goals, ending a rough run where they won just one of four league matches.

They’ve shot up to third place in the NWSL, sitting just one point behind league leaders Gotham FC. It’ll be a busy week, as they face the second-placed Portland Thorns on Friday before taking on the OL Reign in a mid-week Challenge Cup match.

Last Time Out 

It was a great match for the San Diego Wave last weekend when they defeated the Houston Dash 3-0 in Houston.

Alex Morgan started off the game with a spark, as she scored in the second minute. Sierra Enge, who was the Wave’s first-round pick in 2023, scored her first career professional goal in the 58th minute. That put the Wave comfortably ahead before a 79th-minute goal from Madison Pogarch ended the scoring. It was a great defensive performance, as the Dash managed to get just one shot on goal during the game.

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Meet the Portland Thorns

The defending NWSL champion Portland Thorns will come to San Diego for the second time this season, as the Wave defeated them 1-0 in the Challenge Cup. However, the Thorns got the best of the Wave in October, when a 93rd-minute winner from Crystal Dunn ended San Diego’s season in the semi-finals. 

The Thorns have the best offense in the league by a wide margin, as their 22 goals in eight matches puts them seven goals better than San Diego’s 15, which ranks second in the NWSL. It’ll be a massive test for Kailen Sheridan to keep Portland off the score sheet, but she managed that in their cup match in April.

Eleven different players have already scored for Portland this season, though they are led by Dunn, who has five, which ties her for the league lead.

Superstar Sophia Smith, who won the 2022 NWSL MVP, has four goals, along with five assists, in 2023. Only teammate Sam Coffey, who has three, has even half that many. It’s a stellar and balanced attack for the Thorns, who have the luxury of being able to beat their opposition with plenty of different weapons.

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