The limitations of my current work finally caught up with me.
I’m stuck out in the hinterlands of rural upstate New York working 14-hours-plus a day on a big dam reconstruction job and housed in a rental house in the little town of Middleburgh. And last Thursday the cable company finally caught up with me and turned off the cable and internet.
It’s a long story. Suffice to say it took me until yesterday and today to view Thorns FC’s scoreless draw in Kansas City. Before then I’d heard more than a little about the match, so actually viewing (most of) it surprised me.
Last Saturday Thorns FC managed to steal two points from the Seattle Reign on a late Allie Long header and a Jess Fishlock own goal.
The match was a game of two halves, with one common theme. Ugly. Ugly fouling, ugly play, ugly tempers…it was just ugly all over.
After the dispiriting loss in North Carolina and still struggling with injuries to some of the most critical pieces of the team – Heath, Klingenberg, Reynolds…) Thorns FC needed a result last Saturday against the visiting Chicago Red Stars.
Thanks to a fortuitous penalty and some ferocious goalkeeping from A.D. Franch Portland nicked all three points to move up into a second-place tie with Boston.
The result was good. The means to get to it…well, let’s talk about that after the jump.
23. Generic term to give grief
Scouse saying: Down the banks, doing my head in, wrecking my head.
Usage: ‘This beaut was doing my head in so I gave him down the banks, like.’
Paul Riley is becoming Thorns FC’s kryptonite, and his North Carolina Courage used his plan on PTFC like a bucket of the green stuff Saturday. It worked, knocking our club down to 1-1-0 (tied with FCKC for third on the table) with a 1-nil away loss that was a complete team-and-coach effort…on both sides.
Last season Thorns FC opened the 2016 campaign with a 2-1 win over Orlando in the home opener. That win was the first in a season that brought a Supporters’ Shield to the Rose City for the first time since the Timbers won the USL in 2009.
This past Saturday Thorns FC repeated their home opener win over the very same team by very nearly the same score; in this case, 2-nil. But I’m not sure that the wins are really that similar and it’s my opinion that this one is telling us that the 2017 Thorns still have some growing to do.
Beginning with some very obvious growing pains in the backline.
A makeshift Thorns side drew a similarly cobbled-together Houston Dash 1-1 on the final night of the preseason tournament
This somewhat underwhelming ending left us fans with as many questions as answers about what we’ll see in two weeks. It did give us another look at some players we hadn’t seen much of, and that might see here and there when the season starts, but left us wondering what we’ll see from the players we didn’t see, that we assume we will see more of, and more importantly, that the team will depend on more once the regular season begins.
Back when I was a mere slip of a ‘keeper, my coach took a slab of dimension lumber to drive a lesson into my thick head:
“Don’t ever. Ever. Screw around with the ball in front of your own goal.”
Boyfuckinghowdy did Adrianna Franch and her backline learn THAT little lesson the hard way last night.
Hopefully the U.S. WNT U-23 squad’s 1-2 win over Portland drove that home to Thorns FC like a damn 2 x 4 across the forehead.
Thorns FC took the first preseason match from Chicago 1-nil on a chill, rainy Sunday.
I didn’t want to make this a full match report and don’t have player ratings, but I do have some general observations and first impressions of the players and teams below the fold.