Portland Thorns FC were unable to mount a second-half comeback,
conceding three goals over the final 45 minutes in a 5-0 loss against Seattle
Reign FC at Moda Health Pitch at Memorial Stadium in front of 5,597 fans on
Portland (8-7-6, 30pts) remains in third place in the National Women's Soccer League standings with a two-point advantage on both the Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars (28pts) with three matches remaining on the 2014 regular-season schedule. The top four teams qualify for the NWSL playoffs.
Reign FC (14-1-4, 46pts) scored the opening goal in the fourth minute of the match. Seattle quickly switched the point of attack to find forward Sydney Leroux making a run down the left side into the penalty box. Leroux dribbled to the end line before cutting it back with a shot to the near post that snuck under Thorns FC goalkeeper Nadine Angerer.
Portland pressed in search of an early equalizer and came close in the 19th minute when Seattle goalkeeper Hope Solo mishandled the ball in the box with pressure coming from forward Alex Morgan. Forward Christine Sinclair was there to collect the loose ball in the box, cutting around the diving Solo, but was unable to convert as a Seattle defender stepped in front to clear Sinclair's attempt away at the goal line.
Angerer kept the match close with a big save on forward Nahomi Kawasumi from point blank range in the 35th minute after an initial shot by Leroux hit the crossbar.
Seattle doubled its lead five minutes before halftime as midfielder Kim Little delivered a cross from the left for Kawasumi, who connected with the header near the penalty spot.
Trailing 2-0, Portland was unable to rally from the deficit as Reign FC increased its lead to 3-0 four minutes into the second half. Little picked out Kawasumi in the box as she hit the ball off the bounce with the inside of her foot back towards the left post for the finish. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe headed in Kawasumi's cross from the right flank at the back post in the 57th minute, while Little tallied Seattle's fifth goal in stoppage time, dribbling into the box and finishing from close range.
Thorns FC had two chances late in the match. Midfielder Verónica Boquete saw her header hit off the crossbar in the 75th minute, while defender Nikki Marshall's header from close range missed just high in the 76th minute.
Portland returns to the Rose City to play host to the Houston Dash on Sunday, Aug. 3, at Providence Park. Sunday's nationally televised match, sponsored by Providence Health & Services, will be broadcast live on ESPN2; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific).
Release from Portland Thorns.