The Thorns take on the Current in their first regular season match post World Cup call-ups.
Okay. I have a lot of problems with this game.
1. The refereeing in this league is a complete joke. Absolute garbage. The penalty call is probably fine, if soft. But the referee let Kansas City stop momentum at every dead ball. She was completely inconsistent. Saying that this league is the only women's league with VAR hides the fact that the referees are DIRECTLY affecting the product on the field because they cannot do the basics.
2. This club has known for...months? that they were going to lose Sophia Smith and Crystal Dunn and Hina Sugita among others. And yet what we have is a defender playing as a right winger, then a defender playing as one of the two attacking 10s and a center forward playing right wing. Which brings me to my next point...
3. The head coach's refusal to deviate from the system is completely bonkers. It's a system that barely works with the excellent players, but without them, it just doesn't work. I have all the respect for Sam Coffey in the world. She's a wonderful player. She's not an attacking 8 in the style of Crystal Dunn. She doesn't have the quick feet and speed in behind. So don't play her in that role; emphasize her strengths, and build a team that reacts to what you have, which includes a 6, in Taylor Porter, who cannot pass the way Coffey does (when we lost Sam Coffey last year, we had Hina who mitigated Porter's passing in midfield). Reyna Reyes is an excellent defender. Maybe she can play further upfront - in a team with Sophia Smith. Izzy D'Aquila has not yet been what we thought when drafted, and that's unfortunate. But then, change the system. React to what you have. Maybe that means a double pivot of Porter and Coffey, with two upfront. Our most threatening player was Morgan Weaver, and at a certain point you have to say, that's who we're going to play in behind too. It was all too comfortable for Kansas City because no one was looking to go in behind.
And this is my final thing. I have some sympathy for the head coach because this is, without Sophia and Dunn and Sugita and Sinc, a really bad attack. But not only is it a bad attack: it's an attack with players who don't have the profile that you need - the pace to run in behind, for example. I've seen a lot of average NWSL forwards who were far more threatening than Betfort and D'Aquila because they ran in behind with pace.
Big game for the replacement players. After a poor showing against OL Reign, this is a chance to show that they belong and can contribute. I have to believe that there is going to be some fire from the players, and hopefully getting THAT game under the belt helps them to focus on playing a lot better going forward. If Weaver is able to go, that would be a huge boost to the scoring potential on this team. I'm hoping they really pull together and get going! Go Thorns!
Still can’t quite understand not getting other NTRP’s over the line for midfield or the forward line. We have literally 3 actual midfielders who just had to play a 3 game week, or at least a two game week…but full 90s. Porter isn’t even 90 mins fit. Sam must be exhausted honestly. Probably Liv as well. There’s been shit preparation by the club in this past offseason leading into this WC (ie or depth issues in multiple spots), and there’s been shit preparation in the short term to even get NTRP’s in time- just, bodies for the stupid CC and a few league games. What happens if Sam or Liv pick up a knock and/or can’t go 90 for the next 4 games? How long have they known the date of the damn WC?! Just, total incompetence by the FO.
Just got back from doing my first PT apt for my long-ago-but-newly-confirmed-ACL tear (17 yrs to be exact) at Prov Park Sports Med Center, and KC was out there practicing. Nice treat to catch a quick glance of!
Moultrie needs to be a ~90 minute starter. I will fight anyone who disagrees. Any time she spends on the bench is a crime against soccer and an affront to the soccer gods. That is all.
Bixby back in goal. Weird to be doing the keeper swap. Hope she’s not shaken and lacking confidence. The KC front line won’t be a cake walk.
Pride (In The Name of Love) v. DC Kang
1-0 Pride early. Brooksie is out there tonight. Also, Barnhart is regular season action between the posts for the first time since the 20th Century.
Now 2-0 Pride, doin' the lord's work. Hope this purple team sees out a 2-0 lead better than Loovull did.
I got kendo in the morning and this shitshow means someone is gonna get a damn good whacking.
I swear, D’Aquila looked better in preseason. What happened?
Keep it up, Loovull. You're doing the lord's work right now. Up 1-0 at Lumen, 73rd.
Losing at home to the last place team is definately the lowest point of the season.
Woof. KC is garbage, and yet we still lost.
We're gonna tumble down the table until the Nats return.
Pretty self-evident issues: Izzy is not only not as good as we had all hoped (hopefully with a “yet” qualifier), but she’s actively bad. Porter has been worse than useless, which is realllly disappointing.
It would be mildly less frustrating if it wasn’t all so avoidable. If we have a Kristin Hamilton or an Elyse Bennett instead of Izzy and whatever the hell you can call our RW amalgam tonight, we probably win that easy.
Fortunately every other good team suffered the same fate tonight....which makes it all the more frustrating that the Thorns didn’t capitalize.
Oh well. This is the team we have. We have a lot of stars and they are gone. It's just a couple of games.
And the fucking Damned go top?
You reeeeally hate me.
Let’s face it; this group lacks attacking quality, and Norris isn’t clever enough to find a way to work around that. Luckily it’s just this and next week and maybe 8/20.
Plus the Cup, but meh.