Foord's return set to boost Portland's NSWL finals chances

Westfield Matildas star Caitlin Foord's return to full fitness will be a big boost for the Portland Thorns finals chances, according to her coach.

In her first home match since rupturing her lisfranc ligament in Sydney FC’s semi-final win over the Newcastle Jets back in February, Foord was substituted on in the 56th minute with the Thorns’ 2-0 down against the Chicago Red Stars.

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It proved an inspired substitution from coach Mark Parsons, with Portland scoring twice in the following 15 minutes to secure a 2-2 draw with Sam Kerr’s Chicago outfit.

Parsons certainly saw the value in Foord’s return to injury at the back-end of the season, and believes she’s ‘now in the conversation to start’.

“I think between 30-45 minutes is what she was at tonight,” said Parsons.

“Getting Caitlin [Foord] on at home [was great] - her holdup play, ability and quality was important to us.

“She's in a great position to now start building up to 45-plus minutes. If she's 90 minutes fit by the last home game of the season and heading into the playoffs, that would be great; before then would be a big bonus.”

Portland Thorns have just three matches to go in the NWSL and their next two see them face the bottom two sides, Sky Blue FC and Washington Spirit, as they fight to maintain their place in the top four.

The Thorns are three points clear of fifth placed Orlando, with a game in hand.