I thought it was brilliant commentary on the match that the halftime show at Jordan Field last Sunday was a martial arts exhibition.
Because the Breakers took the field having decided on doing a little kung-fu fighting. They pressed high and marked tight, chopping Thorns up and chopping them down, and between feinting, and a slip, and a-kickin’ Hayley Raso’s hip for over an hour Boston made the Thorns look slow and ugly and unlikely to lock down that home semifinal that night.
A lucky against-the-run-of-play goal meant that the visitors took all three points and secured the home semi.
But…damn. Thorns FC sure didn’t fight with expert timing, and it was lucky that they picked Boston to play a crap game against and not Chicago, Carolina, or Orlando.
Sure, it was tight until the final whistle, and sure, we’ve had other wins on the road. But a road shutout against the 2nd best team in the league? Without our top striker, our top keeper, and our top center back? I think this may be our most impressive three points of the season.
It now seems like ages ago, but it was only a little more than eleven months this past Saturday, that the Washington Spirit was within seconds of winning the NWSL championship.
When they came to Portland for their final meeting with Thorns FC, last season’s runners-up were a burnt-out shell of the glory of 2016; ravaged by injuries, bereaved by transfers, and gutted by losses.
And yet, for about a quarter of an hour of that sultry summer afternoon, the Spirit reminded us that once they were lovely and pleasant in their lives; swifter than eagles, and stronger than lions.
I won’t pretend that I haven’t had some hard words to say about you as a player. You’ve had something of a tough run since your first magical season in 2013. Traded to Houston. Returned here. In and out of the XI in the past two seasons.
This season on and off the bench and, lately, injured.
And, also, this.
For all your ups and downs as a player, you never seemed to give less than you could.
You never “gave away the gift”.
And now we’re going to give you away, for what appears to be the final time.
No Gooz, no Adi, no Ridgy, no Jake? No problem!
Aussies glow and Thorns plunder…
…and finally break the Curse of Memorial with a gritty 1-2 away win crafted from relentless pressure and some horrific Seattle defending.
Per the Equalizer, Thorns FC has moved forward Savannah Jordan from the 45-day DL to the active roster. To meet the league limit this meant that a player either had to be placed on the DL or released, and Meghan Cox was the unlucky player waived to make room for Jordan.
This ends speculation on whether it would be Cox or Kendall Johnson who would be moved to make space, but doesn’t answer the question of who else might have to go when, as reported by Jamie Goldberg of the Oregonian, Tobin Heath comes off the DL ahead of the roster freeze on Tuesday, 8/29/17.
They say there’s no such thing as an ugly win. For the 2017 Portland Timbers, I’m thinking there’s no such thing as an easy win, either. But even if we had to sweat it out until the very end, it’s still three points, and I’ll take ’em.