The Sounders are taking what must seem an extra-long flight back from Montreal today, but there’s plenty more soccer for the rest of us.
There are a couple of MLS games on TV, each interesting in its own way: expansionists Orlando City at New York City at 11:30 a.m. on FS1, and Philadelphia at D.C. United at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.
At 5 p.m., Jamaica and Mexico meet in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on FS1.
And at 4 p.m., the Seattle Reign hosts the rival Portland Thorns at Memorial Stadium. That one was close enough to a sellout that extra granstands were opened, but you might want to check on ticket availability before heading over.
Below is a release from the club:
Seattle Reign FC (7-3-3, 24 pts) will try to complete a season series sweep against its Interstate 5 rivals Portland Thorns FC (3-5-4, 13 pts) on Sunday, July 26 on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium. The match kicks off at 4 p.m. PT with a live, high-definition webstream available at YouTube.com/NWSL.
A team-record crowd is expected for the match — the second in five days between the two sides — with the team opening seats on the South Grandstand for the first time since moving to Memorial Stadium prior to the start of the 2014 season.
On Wednesday at Providence Park in Portland, Ore., Reign FC defeated Thorns FC 1-0, courtesy of a 57th minute goal from Scottish international Kim Little.
Little gained possession on a through ball from U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) star Megan Rapinoe — making her Reign FC return after missing the past nine games due to World Cup obligations — and dribbled into the Portland backline before firing a shot past goalkeeper Michelle Betos to give Seattle the lead.
Seattle goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer came up big on the other end in the 68th minute, with a diving save off a header from forward Christine Sinclair to sollidify all three points for the visitors.
Portland continued to apply pressure throughout the final 30 minutes of play, but strong play from the Seattle backline and Kopmeyer preserved the victory. Kopmeyer finished the match with three saves and currently leads the league in goalkeeper wins with six.
Thorns FC returned a league-high eight players from FIFA Women’s World Cup competition to its roster and several of those contributors did not play in Wednesday's fixture.
USWNT midfielder Tobin Heath, Canadian midfielder Kaylyn Kyle and forward Sinclair, and Australian defenders Steph Catley and Clare Polkinghorne — the latter signed by Portland during WWC play — all played in the first matchup with Seattle. English forward Jodie Taylor, German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, and Canadian defender Rhian Wilkinson did not.
It’s unclear if any of those three will suit up on Sunday, while USWNT forward Alex Morgan will not play after undergoing minor knee surgery.
Forward Allie Long, midfielder Sinead Farrelly, and defenders Emily Menges and Kat Williamson have provided consistency during the absences of the national teamers, starting all 12 games for Portland this season.
Long is tied for fourth in the NWSL in goals with five, alongside Reign FC's Little and Jess Fishlock.
Seattle is in second place in the NWSL standings, just one point back of the Chicago Red Stars.
Last season, Seattle went 2-1-0 against Portland. A goal in the 90th minute from Little propelled Reign FC past Thorns FC in Portland on May 10, while Seattle rolled to a 5-0 victory in the rematch at Memorial Stadium on July 27, with a goal each from Little and Rapinoe.
Portland won the final game between the two sides 1-0 on August 17.