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Where EAST meets the Northwest


PLAYOFF AT PROVIDENCE PARK. Meleana "Mana" Shim of the Portland Thorns passes the ball during a match against Sky Blue FC at a National Women’s Soccer League game held at Providence Park on July 2, 2016. The Thorns defeated Sky Blue 2-1 in the match; the win was the 12th of the team’s 12-game unbeaten streak to start the 2016 season. Regardless of the outcome of the club’s match against Sky Blue FC on September 25 in Piscataway, New Jersey, they have at minimum locked in second place in league play and a home playoff match. (AR Photo/Jan Landis)

From The Asian Reporter, V26, #18 (September 19, 2016), page 8.

Portland Thorns earn first-ever NWSL home playoff match

Portland Thorns earn first-ever NWSL home playoff match

The Portland Thorns have qualified for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) playoffs. Regardless of the outcome of the club’s match against Sky Blue FC on September 25 in Piscataway, New Jersey, they have at minimum locked in second place in league play and a home playoff match. The semifinal game at Providence Park is scheduled for Sunday, October 2 at 2:00pm.

The Thorns (11-3-5; 38 points) are currently just one point out of first place behind the Washington Spirit (12-4-3; 39 points). Two scenarios exist for the team to claim the NWSL Shield, which is awarded to the club with the best regular-season record. If Portland defeats Sky Blue and Washington loses or draws against the Chicago Red Stars this weekend, the 2016 NWSL Shield would belong to the Thorns; the second scenario is if the Thorns draw against Sky Blue and the Spirit lose to the Red Stars.

The Thorns — Meleana "Mana" Shim, Nadia Nadim, Jennifer Skogerboe, Christine Sinclair, Tobin Heath, and the others — have had a strong season so far. The club started with a 12-game unbeaten streak — seven wins, no losses, and five ties — which is the second-longest streak without a loss in NWSL history. The next seven games resulted in a 4-3-0 record that was capped with a three-game home-match string of wins.

Another record set in Portland this year is home attendance. In 10 matches held at Providence Park, 169,449 soccer-crazed Rose City fans have cheered on the players they love, averaging 16,945 per game. The squad this year also holds the best home record — 8-1-1 — in the league.

Providence Park is located at the corner of S.W. 18th Avenue and Morrison Street in Portland. To learn more, or to buy tickets to the October 2 playoff match, call (503) 553-5555 or visit <www.portlandthornsfc.com>.

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