clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The return of O'Hara and Rampone highlight tonight's match versus Portland

Sky Blue FC to honor their returning World Cup heroes as team looks to break winless streak.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The excitement that is bound to be at Rutgers University's Yurcak Field tonight night probably won't have much to do with the 7 p.m. rematch between the Sky Blue FC and the visiting Portland Thorns FC.

In fact, the game might just be a secondary thought.

Sky Blue FC will honor its returning players from the Women's World Cu but especially United States Women's National Team stars Christie Rampone and Kelley O'Hara. Also appearing for the first time this summer will be the full contingent of Australia players, Catilin Foord and Samantha Kerr as well as Canada's Jonelle Filigno.

Portland Thorns FC also plan to have US starters Alex Morgan and homegrown Tobin Health of Basking Ridge in the stadium and possibly seeing action on the field.

The match comes are a fortuitous time for fans to see the World Cup players. On Friday, Rampone, O'Hara, Heath, Morgan and the rest of the American players were honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City's Canyon of Heroes - an honor usually reserved for men's teams from New York. This is believed to be the first parade to honor a women's sports team in New York.

The Sky Blue FC had been getting some residual publicity generated by the Women's World Cup victory. Katy Freels, Lindsi Cutshall, Krsitin Grubka and Hayley Haagsma were guests on Fox 5's Good Day New York. The Sky Blue twitter account is filled with people who said they are coming to the game.

And the Sky Blue is planning a welcome back tribute to the players in some way.

It should be quite a night.

And then there's actual match.

The two teams met a week ago in Portland with the hosts winning 2-1 on two second-half goals. Midfielder Sinead Farrelly scored the game-winner in the 79th minute that extended Sky Blue FC's winless streak to 10 games. Farrelly was named National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Player of the Week. The week before goalkeeper Michelle Betos won those honors for her stoppage time goal - heading in a corner kick no less - to take the same honors.

Katy Freels scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season to give Sky Blue FC the early lead. Foord played in the match and picked up a yellow card.

The Thorns' victory improved their record to 3-3-4 for 13 points and within shouting distance for a playoff spot. They are now one of four teams vying for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Sky Blue FC dropped to 1-6-4 and are holding on seven points. With eight matches left, including tomorrow, it would take a another winning streak down the stretch to even put themselves into the position to make the playoffs. The roster should smooth itself out with the international players all back for the next two months. Except it might be too late.