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PREVIEW | Thorns and Courage go to battle in Raleigh

Currently third in the NWSL table, the Courage welcome Portland to Raleigh in incredible home form. The Courage have two wins from two matches at WakeMed Soccer Park this season. With a +5 goal differential at home – thanks to a 5-1, season-opening win over Houston and the 1-0 victory over Gotham – proves once again that facing North Carolina will be a challenge when they’re the hosts.

Led on the attack by their scoring leader Bianca St. Georges and new dynamic playmaker Ashley Sanchez, North Carolina has the talent to defend their home turf. In fact, St. Georges currently ranks first in the league in goals per 90 minutes at 1.55, meaning she makes the most of her time on the field, whether she goes full-90 or not. Goalkeeper Casey Murphy has held it down between the sticks as she enters her fourth season with the Courage, having only allowed three goals through 270 minutes of action – good for fourth-best in the league. Head coach Sean Nahas has deployed a classic 4-3-3 formation in each of their matches this season.

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