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Thursday, July 24, 2014 | Last updated: 1:04pm

Soccer plays Portland Thorns at Kino Sports Complex



Arizona soccer will play against the reigning National Women’s Soccer League champions, the Portland Thorns, in Tucson on Friday.

The Wildcats will open their spring schedule against the star-studded Thorns at 7 p.m. at the North Stadium of the Kino Sports Complex.

“We are excited about the opportunity for the Tucson community to see soccer at a high level,” UA head coach Tony Amato said. “Hopefully, we gain some fans to come and support us throughout the year.”

Last fall, Amato took over the program and led the Wildcats to a 9-7-4 record in his first season.
Of Arizona’s two games in Tucson this spring semester, this will be the only game played at Kino, and the only game against a professional team.

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By Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wildcat
Junior Kaitlyn Lopez (5) and Senior Gabby Kaufman (1) celebrate a victory for the Arizona women's soccer team, which will play against the Portland Thoms on Friday.

“We want to keep creating an elite environment so our players have an elite experience, Amato said, “and we keep working at that every day so they will give us an elite performance.”

Tickets are $10 for non-seat backs and $15 for seat backs. Wildcat fans are encouraged to sit in the official seating section, which is 106.

The Portland Thorns won the 2013 NWSL title by beating the Western New York Flash 2-0.

They are lead by head coach Paul Riley. Riley’s team includes some of the most recognizable women’s soccer players in the world. His roster features U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan and Canada Women’s National Team forward Christine Sinclair. Due to an injury, Morgan will not play in Friday’s game.

Sinclair said she is excited to play her first game in the Old Pueblo and delighted to be a role model for female soccer players here in Tucson.

“When I was younger I didn’t have the luxury to watch professional women’s soccer,” Sinclair said. “I only looked up to male athletes. I think it is a unique opportunity that they get to watch some of their idols play.”

Arizona’s other spring game in Tucson, at its usual home, Murphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium, will be against New Mexico on Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Thorns will also play ASU on Sunday at 2 p.m.

—Follow Daniela Vizcarra @vizcarra_dw


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