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?
While we’re on hold for the international break, here’s some USWNT pump-up music to occupy you.
Oh, and here’s a picture of Mana Shim gardening.
While we enjoy the sight and sounds, let’s talk about the Thorns’ season to date and peek ahead at the next couple of months.
San Jose is immediately above the red line. We’re immediately below it. In other words, this was a six point win. When the season ends, if we’re in the playoffs and they’re not, both teams will look back on Wednesday’s shutout and think that was the game that decided our fate.
In my last column, I said the Timbers were up against a wall and needed to play great the rest of the season. To quote: “I’m talking 2 PPG or something in that neighborhood.” Well, we got three points last game and one point this game. That’s two points a game. And yet, I’m having a hard time seeing the good side of this draw.
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.
We came into this game with our backs firmly against the wall. Lose this one – or hell, even draw it – and there might be no recovering. So how did the boys respond? Like professionals – showing up, punching the clock, and taking care of business.
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.
Since Caleb Porter arrived here in 2013, the Portland Timbers had never lost three games in a row. So much for that streak.