Sinclair gets No. 6 as Thorns beat Utah Royals FC 2-0
Sinclair leads the NWSL with six goals
Christine Sinclair celebrates her league-leading sixth goal of the season. (Photo credit:
Christine Sinclair celebrates her league-leading sixth goal of the season. (Photo credit:

Portland Thorns FC topped Utah Royals FC 2-0 on Friday night in front of a crowd of 15,113 at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. The win moved the Thorns into second place in the NWSL, one point ahead of Seattle Reign FC, who play Saturday night.

With the win, the Thorns are now 4-3-3 (15 points). Thorns coach Mark Parsons became the third coach in NWSL history to reach 50 regular season wins, joining Reign coach Vlatko Andonovski and Utah coach Laura Harvey. Utah Royals FC fell to 2-2-5 (11 points) with their first road loss in franchise history.

In the 18th minute, Christine Sinclair scored the first goal of the game for the Thorns, her league-leading sixth goal of the season. Sinclair started the play at midfield, serving a lob over the top to Tobin Heath, and then continuing her run towards goal. Heath threaded the pass back to Sinclair, who took a touch to her left before shooting and beating Utah goalkeeper Abby Smith.



Lindsey Horan doubled the lead in the 39th minute, finishing a cross from Meghan Klingenberg with her knee to give Portland a 2-0 lead. The goal is Horan’s fourth of the season, pulling her into a tie for second in the NWSL.

The Thorns had a great chance to score just a few moments earlier, but Smith made a kick save and then Utah defender Becky Sauerbrunn blocked a shot with her face.


Utah had a chance to pull one back near the end of the first half, but Klingenberg cleared Amy Rodriguez‘s shot off the line.

Sinclair and Heath nearly connected again for another goal late, but Sinclair’s shot bounced off the crossbar.



It’s the second straight shutout for the Thorns. It’s also the second clean sheet for goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom, who made two saves in the match, including one on a hard Rodriguez shot moments before the final whistle.

Rodriguez played all 90 minutes for the first time this season, after returning from the ACL tear she suffered last year.

The Thorns will next be in action on Wednesday night when they host the unbeaten North Carolina Courage. Utah Royals FC will visit Sky Blue FC (0-6-1) on June 2.

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