Matchday Preview: Thorns vs. Red Stars
2021 NWSL Regular Season - Match 1
Portland Thorns vs Chicago Red Stars
Providence Park, Portland, OR
May 16th at 6:00 PM CT
CHICAGO - The Chicago Red Stars open their 2021 NWSL regular season schedule on the road as they take on the Portland Thorns on Sunday, May 16th at 6:00 p.m. CT.
Where to Watch
Primetime Players: The first weekend of the 2021 regular season concludes with a matchup made for the primetime slot, as both Chicago and Portland bolster rosters with top-tier players on a league and international scale. Portland’s roster features U.S. Women’s National Team players such as Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, and Becky Sauerbrunn, Canadian international Christine Sinclair, and Costa Rican international Raquel “Rocky” Rodríguez. The Red Stars travel to Portland with the U.S. Women’s National Team’s top keeper in Alyssa Naeher along with fellow World Cup winners Julie Ertz, Morgan Gautrat, Mallory Pugh, and Tierna Davidson.
Championship Aspirations: Both teams have seen their respective high-powered rosters guide them to league title appearances within the last two seasons. Portland is coming off their 2021 Challenge Cup title victory last week Saturday vs Gotham FC. The Red Stars enter the 2021 season on the heels of two consecutive championship runs, appearing in the inaugural Challenge Cup championship game last year and the 2019 NWSL Championship in the league’s last regular season since the pandemic.
Long Time Coming: The 2021 NWSL regular season provides five current players on the Red Stars’ roster opportunities to see their first official appearances in a full-length season. 2020 draftees Sarah Leubbert, Zoe Morse, along with Cassie Miller and 2019 draftee Bianca St. Georges, all made their respective competitive debuts during the 2020 Challenge Cup and Fall Series, but have yet to appear in an NWSL regular season game.