A good time in Portland, where Thorns draw record crowd

In their first home game with their four U.S. Women's World Cup champions back in action, the Portland Thorns crushed the Houston Dash, 5-0, before a club record crowd of 22,329 fans at Providence Park.

The Thorns drew sellout crowds of 21,144 fans on six occasions at Providence Park prior to its re-opening in 2019. Its new capacity is 25,218. The NWSL record crowd is 23,403 at the Citrus Bowl for the Orlando Pride's first game in 2016.

Portland scored four goals in the first 23 minutes. U.S. midfielder Lindsey Horan started the scoring with her first goal of the 2019 season, and fellow world champion Tobin Heath added two assists. Australian Hayley Raso registered two  goals and Canadian Christine Sinclair scored for a third consecutive match.

“It was a good time against a good opponent," said Heath. "I really think this team has five more levels that we can get to. I think it was a good welcome back to get everyone playing, getting everyone to have a really good feeling. That’s what it looked like and felt like out there.”

The game was the Thorns' second with all their players back.

"That first 25-30 minutes was full-throttle Thorns," said Thorns coach Mark Parsons. "Electric football. Fast-paced. I thought defensively we set the tone. Our distances were good; our shape and the way we worked off the ball together. On the ball, they didn’t let that ball stand still for a split second. That ball was constantly moving into dangerous areas, eliminating players between lines."

The fifth goal in the 71st minute came on an own goal by Dash keeper Jane Campbell.

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