In his match report on Thorns FC’s home draw with the Seattle Reign, the Greek sportswriter Thuycidides said: “Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”
Okay, no. That’s about war, and this is soccer; this is much, much more important than that.
This past Sunday the Thorns, weakened by the loss of their US National Team players, proved ol’ Thucy’s point and suffered a barren draw against a “stronger” Seattle side that by rights should have come away with three points. The Reign outplayed the Thorns, looked by far the more organized and dangerous side – no surprise, given the makeshift nature of the Portland XI – but suffered their own weakness; finishing. They had the match for the taking…and couldn’t take it.
It was a dark and stormy Saturday night. But above Providence Park the sun came out for ninety minutes and all the clouds that had loured upon our house were in the deep bosom of the ocean buried…
…largely because Christine Sinclair returned to the starting lineup.
It was entirely fitting that the Nadim goal that secured Portland’s 1-1 draw and away point was an awful piece of crap defending by the Seattle Reign.
Because, believe it or not, that’s the GOOD part.
A road point is almost as good as a win, isn’t that the conventional wisdom? Play to win at home, draw on the road?
The problem is that sometimes you lose things when you can only manage a road point. Sometimes you lose a little confidence. Sometimes you lose the chance to gain ground on a dangerous opponent.
Last Saturday the Portland Thorns lost their captain.
So it seems there are road points…and road points. Three of them are a helluva lot better than one.
Thorns FC scratched three out of the hapless Boston Breakers on the road Sunday.
Well. Turns out that there are road points, and road points.
In a match the could have easily gone very, very badly for the Portland Thorns the club nicked a late goal to salvage a point at Swope Soccer Village Sunday evening. But to me the draw feels more like a loss, since Thorns FC played eleven-on-ten for damn near the entire second half and could do no better than equalize.
The 2016 NWSL season kicked off with some “first evers”; the first ever loss for the Seattle Reign at their Memorial Stadium venue.
And the first ever regular season goal for the expansion Orlando Pride, in the 12th minute Steph Catley free kick strike against Portland in the Thorns’ home opener.
But that was the last first ever at the old Civic Saturday night. The Pride didn’t get their first ever regular season win, and Thorns FC didn’t suffer their first ever home opener loss with the 2-1 comeback victory.
I wondered which Franch we’d see, didn’t I? The one that tore up the NWSL for Western New York in 2013, the one that was out of the league in 2014, or the one that shuttled in and out of the starting job in the Topserien for Avaldsnes in 2015?
Good, bad, or indifferent?
Based on last Saturday it looks like we got the Franch of last season, and that’s not an especially good thing.