Thorns FC: Illuminati Confirmed

To the surprise and shock of exactly no one Thorns FC confirmed the appointment of Mark Parsons to the Thorns’ 2016 head coaching position today.confirmed

But…the interesting part of this, for me, anyway, is what Gavin didn’t say: that Parsons will become the de-facto GM of the Thorns.  To me the critical part of Gavin’s exact words were: “His coaching philosophy, skill set and personality are a very good fit for the organization and we are excited to see what he can do with the considerable resources he will have…”

You’ll note in particular that his positives are “coaching philosophy, skill set, and personality” – NOT his acumen in scouting, drafting, or signing players.  Note what we’re not excited about seeing; Parsons trading or scouting or signing or otherwise adding, deleting, or moving these “resources”.  Instead what we’re doing is “excited about seeing what he can do with (them)…”

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Only-Some-Thorns FC: (and the NWSL Championship Match)

Like about 14,000 other people I went to my home ground to see two strangers fight over a piece of butt-ugly kitsch.  I had no idea what sort of attire was appropriate for watching two teams I don’t particularly like, so it’s fortunate that someone else thought of this.  It’s a roll of Kansas-City-blue paper towel with “Blue For A Day” spray-painted on one side and this on the other:


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Thorns FC: Silly, pending

The Portland Thorns organization held a press conference today to inform the Thorns’ supporters and Portland at large that “…coach Paul Riley is out of contract and it is unclear whether he will be back next season.”

RileyWhich I could have told you when the final whistle blew in Rochester last Friday.  Sheesh.

The Thorns’ silly season is upon us, but the silly is on hold, apparently until sometime next month.  Until then the question of #RileyOut versus #RileyBackIn is unresolved.

I’ve gone back and forth on this for a long time and I have finally come down on the #RileyOut side.  Bear with me while I explain.

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Thorns FC: Left Behind

In the previous post I mentioned that we’re now entering into the “second” part of the three-part 2015 NWSL season, the part where all the allocated players are raptured to Canada and the league continues with those Left Behind and a band of plucky amateurs called up to fill in the ranks.  This middle phase of the campaign looks to be an exciting but dangerous time, when reconfigured teams and the odd gap-filled schedule might produce anything from confused disasters to unexpected benefits.  Whatever the effects, certainly the prospects are worth discussing.  So…lets!


First; which teams are likely to get hurt the worst by the World Cup Interregnum?

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Thorns FC: End of the Beginning

I can’t think of an image that does better work defining last Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with the Washington Spirit than this one; Allie Long lying on the Portland turf with her head in her hands, wondering how in hell she gets stoned by Spirit ‘keeper Kelsie Wys on a ludicrously poor spot-kick off a ridiculously soft PK at 66’ that might have gifted all three points for the then-league-leaders.

Ali misses

The entire match was as easily as frustrating as Long’s easily-saved spot kick.  Needing a win to stay top of the table, how could Portland find a way to get no better than a single point, at home, against a team that has proven to be highly beatable?

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