USWNT Rewind: Thorns, Current Set For Championship Game Clash

And then there were two! The matchup for the 2022 NWSL Championship Game is set as Portland Thorns FC and the Kansas City Current won their respective semifinals to advance to title match, which will be played at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. The Thorns defeated San Diego Wave FC 2-1 while the Current topped OL Reign 2-0 to advance to the Final.

Portland, who won the inaugural NWSL Championship in 2013 and again in 2017, advanced to its fourth NWSL Final and first since 2018 with a come-from-behind victory at Providence Park. San Diego, who defeated the Chicago Red Stars in the opening round of the playoffs behind an Alex Morgan overtime winner, jumped out to an early lead on Sunday as Morgan connected with midfielder Taylor Kornieck for the opening goal in the eighth minute. Morgan, the 2022 NWSL Golden Boot winner, played provider to the 6-1 Kornieck, serving in a ball from the right flank. Kornieck, who made her USWNT debut in June, headed it in for her first career NWSL Playoff goal.


WATCH: MORGAN, KORNIECK CONNECT FOR OPENER IN PORTLAND



Portland came up with the equalizer in quick succession, after Costa Rican midfielder Rocky Rodriguez blasted a half-volley into the upper 90 in the 20th minute. The teams remained deadlocked at 1-1 until Portland’s Crystal Dunn provided the game-winning heroics late in second-half stoppage time. Dunn, who gave birth to her son Marcel on May 20, 2022 and returned to the field for the USA during its October European Tour, scored the game winner in the third minute of stoppage time with a brilliant strike off a corner. It was Dunn’s first goal across all competitions this season and her fifth career NWSL postseason goal.

WATCH: DUNN BLAST SENDS THORNS TO FINAL



In Sunday’s second semifinal, the Current downed 2022 NWSL Shield Winners OL Reign 2-0 at Seattle’s Lumen Field. The visitors from Kansas City jumped out to an early lead, scoring in the fourth minute after the Reign failed to clear a ball in their own penalty area and KC capitalized on the miscue with a goal from defender Alex Loera, who spent time this year with the U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team. The Current doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute following an impressive solo strike from forward Kristen Hamilton. The Reign outshot the Current 16-8 on the day, including a 7-3 shots on target advantage, but were stymied by a fine performance in goal from Kansas City’s Adrianna Franch.

 

Franch, who won an NWSL Championship with the Thorns in 2017, will face off against her former club in Saturday’s final. Portland and Kansas City met twice during the regular season, a 3-0 victory for the Thorns on April 30 in Portland in the season opener and a 1-1 draw on September 18 in Kansas City.


Broadcast information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.

 

Thursday, October 27

UEFA Women’s Champions League: Juventus vs. Olympique Lyon

12:45 p.m.

DAZN

Saturday, October 29

NWSL Championship: Portland Thorns FC vs. Kansas City Current

8:00 p.m.

CBS

Sunday, October 30

D1 Féminine: Olympique Lyon vs. Fleury 91

7:45 a.m.

Ata Football

 

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