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.
The Thorns are playing! The Thorns are playing!
Okay, I get it, it’s only training camp and it’s only the first day, but…hot damn! THAT’s the kind of sign of spring worth setting your clock forward for!
Camp notes, and more, after the jump…with some late injury updates as of Friday 3/17.
With the preseason matches now barely two weeks away the Thorns’ roster is looking increasingly set. But there are still bits and pieces to pick up and some positions to fill.
The team did just that this week, signing Australian striker Ashleigh Sykes and trading two 2018 fourth-round picks to the team-that-was-the-Western-New-York-Flash-now-Carolina-Courage for reserve goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom.
The NWSL schedule is finally out! Yay!
Here’s some quick and dirty information you might like to know…starting with the most critical for many of us; when do the Thorns’ and the Timbers’ schedules conflict?
The good-news answer is: not very often.
Let the welkin ring with gladness! Let Red Joy be unconfined! Thorns FC has signed the Menges half of the Great Wall of Emily and all is right with the World!
Oh, yeah. There’s been a couple of other signings, too. Let’s discuss below the fold.
Remember back in November when we discussed the Thorns’ backline and keepers and I said this: “We’ve got some questions to answer and the questions are; should Franch be starting? If she is, will Betos be good with moving to the bench? If not, will Franch be okay with a full season riding the pine? Should the team consider trading one or the other and signing, say, Emily Kruger, or trading for a younger backup?”
Well, it turns out that Michelle was the one who wasn’t okay with chancing a full season riding the pine. Today she announced her signing with Vålerenga Fotball Damer in the Norwegian Toppserien. More…and a little glimpse of Michelle’s new team…below the fold.