I’m not sure I’ve ever been as pleased with a 0-0 draw. Sure, 0-0 looks ugly, but at 5,280 feet? Against the top team in the league? And Tim Howard? And, oh, what’s that? Valeri and Ridgy are out? Taking all that into account, I’d call it a world-class 0-0 draw.
Or, at least, that seems to have been how it has worked over the last couple of matches.
Go down a goal early. Scratch back into the match. Score the gamewinner late. Worked like a mechanical ass-kicker against Orlando in Orlando, and it worked just fine against Sky Blue FC here last Saturday.
The Joisey Goils are probably already on their way west while the Thorns’ US players are heading east. Tomorrow we’ll see what happens when our Left Behind Girls in Red get stuck into a Sky Blue that has been looking much more dangerous in the past several weeks than they did back in April.
But that’s not that I wanted to talk about right now. I want to talk about the noise from the North End.
The Riveters signature red smoke to celebrate Portland’s goal.
Remember how last weekend I said that the Thorns’ 2016 “undefeated” run wasn’t entirely convincing, seeing as how the team had only looked really overpowering in one match, the home win over Washington back in May?
Okay, well THAT bullstuff’s over with.
In the space of four days Thorns FC took six points off two games. First they seized the then-league-leading Red Stars by the throat and beat them handily 2-nil to go top of table and announce that, halfway though the season, they are going to come at the rest of the league. Then they traveled to the fever-swamp of Orlando’s “Citrus Bowl” and overcame the heat, humidity, hostile crowd, and a 67′ Jasmyne Spencer goal to win 2-1.
Nat Borchers has started 334 MLS games, putting him 5th all-time among field players. After the Houston game Sunday, he said that it was the hottest field he’s ever played on, and by the end his feet were scorched.
I guess I’m just reminding myself that, as hot and sweaty as I was up in the stands, the players had it a thousand times worse. And all I had to do was cheer. They had to run around on a frying pan for 90 minutes.
After two weeks off, the Timbers returned to the field Saturday. Traveling to Utah and playing at 4,226 feet, they came away with an it-weren’t-much-to-look-at-but-we’ll-take-it-anyway 2-2 draw.
From the typically-shaky Western New York Flash video feed it looked like Thorns FC’s 2-nil road win was witnessed by a handful of random strangers.
I don’t “like” the Flash (probably a hangover from the time when Abby “This is me and this over here is my ginormous ego” Wambach was the face of the Rochester Rhinoettes) but they’ve been a power in women’s soccer a long time. Drawing barely over 2,000 for a match between two of the league leaders? That’s kind of…lonely.
That was the final whistle in Chicago;
The Thorns came out pressing hard and pressuring the Red Stars’ midfield and backline and were rewarded with a ridiculous gift of a goal in the 24th minute. Under some fairly mild pressure Chicago’s Sam Johnson blooped a lazy backpass with Christine Sinclair running hard in on Naeher. Naeher panicked much like Labbe’ panicked when Nadim closed her down and with much the same result; Naeher’s frantic clear just bounced off the Birthday Girl and into the net.
Crap goal #1, one-nil Portland. But…