San Diego Wave FC’s return to action from the international break wasn’t ideal, but their next chance to get a result comes Sunday, when they face the Portland Thorns at Providence Park in Challenge Cup action.
San Diego were dealt their first chastening loss, a 3-1 defeat at OL Reign on Thursday. While Alex Morgan got on the scoresheet again and San Diego weren’t terrible for large stretches of the match, they were absolutely dire in the opening 11 minutes and OL Reign grabbed all of their goals in that span, sinking Casey Stoney’s hopes of an upset on her compatriot Laura Harvey on the night.
The Thorns haven’t been in action since the international break yet, and their most recent game was a 1-0 home loss to OL Reign on April 2. It was the first loss of the Challenge Cup for them, but they still have a shot of winning the group or finishing second and advancing to the knockout round. But they’ll need a win to boost their hopes of that.
The last time San Diego played the Thorns, it was a narrow 1-0 loss and a slow start sunk them that time, too, although they played better afterwards. Stoney had a good amount of squad rotation on Thursday, so I would expect something closer to the first-choice XI for the game, although Morgan may make way to keep her fresh for the regular season. Wave FC aren’t yet eliminated from contention from the knockouts themselves, but they’ll have to win out to have any chance. Can they manage the improbable? We’ll see how this road swing ends up for the club.
- Mia Gyau (thigh) — OUT
- Makenzy Doniak (knee) — OUT
- Kailen Sheridan (COVID protocol) — OUT
- Crystal Dunn (maternity leave) — OUT
- Becky Sauerbrunn (knee) — OUT
- Gabby Provenzano (ankle) — OUT
- Natalia Kuikka (illness) — OUT
How to Watch:
Sunday’s match between San Diego Wave FC and the Portland Thorns will be streamed in the United States on Paramount+. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 4 pm PT, with kickoff to come shortly after.