Reign win 3-2 thriller over Thorns in first Cascadia clash of the season
Allie Long made her return to Providence Park
Rumi Utsugi's 75th minute goal gave Seattle Reign FC a 3-2 win on the road over Portland Thorns FC. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/
Rumi Utsugi's 75th minute goal gave Seattle Reign FC a 3-2 win on the road over Portland Thorns FC. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/

Seattle Reign FC outlasted Portland Thorns FC 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in front of a loud crowd of 16,054 at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon.

The match was a return to Providence Park for Seattle Reign FC midfielder Allie Long, who played five seasons for the Thorns, and Reign goalkeeper Michelle Betos, who won the 2015 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year as a member of the Thorns, as they played their first game vs. their former team.

Both would have their moments in the game. Long nearly scored on a volley that she hit just high in the 41st minute. Betos made eight saves, including several late to keep Seattle in the lead.

Rumi Utsugi scored the game-winner for Seattle Reign FC in the 75th minute. Nahomi Kawasumi played a short corner to Steph Catley, and after Kawasumi and Catley tradded passes, Catley passed to Utsugi, about 25 yards from goal. Utsugi took a touch around her defender and fired a strike that beat a diving Britt Eckerstrom to put Seattle ahead.


With the result, the Reign are now 3-1-1 (10 points) and the Thorns are now 2-2-2 (8 points).

Seattle opened up the scoring in the first half when Beverly Yanez headed in a Nahomi Kawasumi corner kick in the 36th minute.

The match stayed scoreless until the 61st minute, and then became a wild back-and-forth affair, as the teams combined to score four goals in 14 minutes.


Emily Sonnett scored after a Tobin Heath corner kick in the 61st minute to tie it 1-1.


Heath and Andressinha subbed in at halftime for the Thorns and sparked Portland’s offense in the second half.

The Reign took the lead again just three minutes later when Jodie Taylor converted a penalty kick for her second goal of the season. Ana-Maria Crnogorčević was called for a foul on Jess Fishlock to set up the penalty.


But six minutes after that, Lindsey Horan leveled the match 2-2, heading home a cross from Meghan Klingenberg.

The match didn’t stay tied for long thanks to Utsugi’s strike.

Portland kept pushing late, but Betos was up to the task. She made a point blank save on Heath in the 88th — and the follow-up shot was cleared off the line by Kristen McNabb. In the 89th minute, she made a huge diving save vs. a Horan header on one of Portland’s eight corner kicks in the match.

The Thorns had the edge in most of the stats in he game, but were thwarted by Betos. They outshot the Reign 24-12 and 11-8 in shots on goal. They led in corner kicks 8-5 and in possession 53.6% to 46.4%.


The Thorns will next take on the Houston Dash on Wednesday. The Reign will host Sky Blue FC on Sunday, May 12.


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