The Thorns open the fall series with a win over Utah

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(KOIN File Photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sophia Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft earlier this year, scored in her Portland debut and the Thorns defeated the Utah Royals 3-0 in a fall series match on Sunday.

There was drama before the start.

The Royals placed head coach Craig Harrington and assistant coach Louis Lancaster on a leave of absence, and assistant Amy LePeilbet was named interim head coach. No reason was given for the move.

It was the first game at Providence Park for the Thorns since last October.

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