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Something should give when Sky Blue FC meets Portland Thorns FC

Both teams look to break franhise-record winless streaks tonight

Sky Blue Photo/Robyn McNeil

When all is said and done after the Sky Blue FC visit the Portland Thorns FC tonight, one team will have ended the worst run in their franchise history.

The other will continue to suffer. Unless of course, there is a draw. Then both will continue their misery.

Sky Blue FC is coming off back-to-back 3-0 losses - one coming before the Women's World Cup break and one after - to sit at 1-5-4 (seven points) and in last place in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).  They haven't won in their last nine attempts after opening with a 1-0 win at FC Kansas City.

The New Jersey-based side has been shutout four times and have not scored more than one goal in any game this season.

Portland stands at 2-3-4 for 10 points. The Thorns have not won in seven attempts but they come in with some momentum after a 1-1 draw with FC Kansas City. Michelle Betos became the first goalkeeper in NWSL history to score, heading in an Allie Long corner kick in the 95th minute for the draw. Betos made four saves and was named the NWSL Player of the Week.

"This trip is always a highlight of the season, playing in Portland with the atmosphere and environment that they have created," said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. "Historically, we have done pretty well in terms of putting in good performances here, and we are looking to carry on that tradition on Friday night."

Sky Blue is hoping that the addition of two returning internationals from Australia will bolster the lineup. Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord have both been added to the active roster. According to team officials, both should be available to coach Jim Gabarra, pending the passing of a physical.

Foord should improve a defense that has tried to hold down the fort until the World Cup ended but has been exposed as of late. She had a solid World Cup, most notably shutting down Brazil's Marta in a round of 16 upset for the Matildas.

She just finished her second World Cup. In 2011, Foord was named the Best Young Player for the tournament, after being the youngest ever player to appear in a Women's World Cup match. She has started 35 games for Sky Blue FC over the last two years.

Kerr will be making her first appearance for Sky Blue FC after being acquired in a November 2014 trade with the Western New York Flash. She scored nine goals in 2014 to lead the Flash.

To make room on the roster for the pair of internationals, Sky Blue FC let go Meg Morris and Lo'eau LaBonta on waivers. Morris started four games and appeared in nine, registering an assist. LaBonta was a 2015 college draft pick and appeared briefly in six games.

As the Women's World Cup plays out, the remaining three internationals will return to Sky Blue.

Canada's Jonelle Foligino is still on post-World Cup leave.  Captain Christie Rampone and Kelley O'Hara, one of the heroes of the win over Germany, will be back after Sunday's Women's World Cup final.

The Thorns are also awaiting some international players. Christine Sinclair, Rhian Wilkinson and Kaylyn Kyle, all who played for Canada, may arrive in camp in time for tonight's match.

In addition, Australia co-captain Clare Polkinghorne signed with the Thorns. Steph Catley, another Matilda defender, has a toe injury and may not play.

Thorns' coach Paul Riley said he expects at least one of the Canadians to play tonight with most of them returning to lineup when the two teams meet on July 11 in Piscataway.

USA's Alex Morgan and Tobin Health are also on the roster and could return for the July 11 match.