I always hate it when the person telling you this asks: “Which one do you want first?”
I’ll give you the good news: that’s Amandine Henry there on the left and that’s her U.S. visa in her hand.
That’s right; out long-awaited defensive midfielder is arriving in Portland most quick smart.
To clear a roster spot for Henry Kendall Johnson has been moved to the DL; she’s listed as “not medically cleared” on the 6/10 list. That clears up who’s going to get shifted to make room.
(Selfishly – since for all that I hammered on her pretty hard here last week – I was fairly sure that if the Front Office decided to waive someone (or trade someone for draft picks/international slots) that Mana Shim would pick the black marble. I’m glad she didn’t. But, still…c’mon, Mana. We need to see some Marta from you, girlfriend.)
My next question is; how are the Thorns going to look this coming Friday?
We’re still almost two weeks from the first preseason match, but the Portland Thorns have opened camp and begun working on the 2016 edition of the Girls in Red, so I thought I’d take a moment for a quick look at this year’s squad.
Where, oh where, is Amandine Henry?
Update 3/5/16: She has signed with the club, according to Caitlin Murray. No details on when she will join or the terms.
We still don’t know when the first Thorns match of the 2016 NWSL season will be played.
I could wish otherwise, but that’s not exactly surprising. The league, even now that it has survived longer than any previous women’s league, remains an often strangely unfinished piece of work. Information on things like rules and schedules can be difficult to find if extant at all. Sometimes I have a mental picture of someone’s niece finishing up her shift at Copyman before running home to put on her Communications Director hat and get the latest press release on the wire.
What we do know is, at least to a point, what the 2016 Thorns will look like when that match is played.
But…only to a point.
At least…in 2013 Adrianna Franch was anything BUT a dodgy keeper. She led the Western New York Flash to the title match, led the league in saves with 98 and tied for third with KK in keeping 7 clean sheets.
However, she lost all of 2014 to a bad ACL tear, and then signed with Avaldsnes IL of the Norwegian Topserien in 2015.
Now she is the newest Portland Thorns player and challenging Michelle Betos for the starting ‘keeper slot.
After an October full of trades, November started out with a simple pick; Lianne Sanderson was chosen by the new Orlando Pride as their seventh pick of the expansion draft. So another player trudges across the PDX carpet, this time on her way out.
That carpet has seen the feet of quite a few Thorns – ex-Thorns and new Thorns – players lately. Morgan and Kyle out. Klingenberg in (as of today when Orlando picked her and shipped her here). Farrelly and Zerboni out. Dagný (Brynjarsdóttir, Iceland and formerly Bayern Munich) in.
Are we done yet?
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.
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)…”
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: