The Thorns pull off the draw and reclaim their spot at first in the NWSL.
Phew! To my eye, Coffey was WOTM by a country mile - she was everywhere and of the 10 corners she took, Sheridan caught zero. Also good was Reyes (pretty great actually), Dunn, Weaver, and Sugita. Hubly had a very ragged first half with her awful passes leading directly to every chance SD had in that half. Better in the second half thankfully. Bixby was better although there were two cases where she retreated from a long ball that she could have charged and scooped. But nothing came of them, and she did as well an any keeper could on the goal. I will be curious to see John's ratings.
Sinclair needs to retire tonight. She contributed less than nothing, actually getting in the way a couple times. Almost no touches, no defense, no business being on that pitch. We win that game if Moultrie starts - we almost did anyway when she came in late.
The announcers said Norris's response to the "why Sinclair" question was "I have a wealth of riches". In other words, "I am obligated to start Sinclair every now and then, regardless of her contributions or other players' form. So I picked the most important game of the season so far to throw, and put her in for an hour of jogging." The announcers then proceeded to fawn over Sinclair, "She is always in the right place at the right time". Cite one single instance of that in this game, or just STFU. This stuff is getting really old.
Finish ladies, finish. Two, three good chances slipped away. Score first, make SD chase the game. Liv comes in, two shots on frame in less than 5 minutes. Why would you not want to put your best 11 out there at the start? Other priorities,I guess.
What a game of ups and downs.
First half: Up! Surely the Thorns will turn this dominance into a goal, right?
Halftime: Nope. Down.
66': Moultrie for Sinc! Up!
77': Vasconcelos for Sugita. Down.
80ish: Thorns looking very dangerous against tired Wave legs. Up!
86': Goal Wave. We fought hard, but we're going to take the L here. Waaaay down.
90': GOAL THORNS!! Reyes with the header! Waaaaaaaaaaay up!
Final whistle: I'll take the last-minute, come-from-behind road point and scamper home, thank you very much. Up!
Carefully watch the replay of Reyes' header. She does something critical to putting the ball in the far side of the goal just beyond keeper's lunge. In mid jump, she pulls her knees up, throws her butt back, and pushes her head and torso down all in one motion as she makes contact. It gave her enough force to score.
Whether it was instinctual or by design, the move shows a level of sophistication you don’t see in a rookie.
Start at the 4:10 mark . https://twitter.com/ThornsFC/status/1662321308833845250?s=20
OT: A great idea!
The Hamida Nadim Memorial Fund, in honor of Dr. Nadia Nadim's late mum, provides support to refugee families in the Louisville area, including access to soccer for refugee kids and families.
The fund is managed by the LouCity & Racing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) of Soccer Holdings (parent company of Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC). This means that donations are fully tax deductible. Soccer Holdings and Louisville's former mayor have made the initial gifts.
Donation Link: https://loucity.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a78d31332e43ca5d266c7587b&id=ffa78b12ce&e=a74e926661
Contact: Jeremy Jarvi, Executive Director, LouCity & Racing Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org
With Gotham and the Spirit drawing, the NWSL has a *four*-way tie for second place, only one point behind Gotham in first. That means the five teams at the top are separated by a single point - and NC is only two points behind. Talk about a parity league!
Preposterous Power Rankings: Driven to Tiers
Tier 1: Scoreboard
Gotham - Thanks for Williams, KC! Thanks for Ryan, Portland! (and they're pretty deep too)
Tier 2: Between the 16s
DC Kang - not OL Kang good, but good
Portland - too much of roster devoted to non-contributing squad players
PSWST- hurting with Lavelle's ongoing absence
SD - Stoney is riding Sheridan, not the offense
Tier 3: Moving Up
NC - better than expected, just outside the 16s
Houston - slowly climbing, with recent wins against Portland and KC
Tier 4: Moving Down
Louisville - as many internationals as points
Orlando - still... farther along than expected
ACFCNFT - Haracic concedes 4 but is WOTM - yikes!
Tier 5: Wooden Spooning
Chicago - at least Naeher is sharp!
With Reyes scoring the team now has 14 individuals who have scored at least one goal for the Thorns (including the pre season.) 12 if just the regular season as our one and only Challenge Cup game was a 1-0 loss. This does not include own goals. The list of players 0 goals is shorter than the list of at least 1 goal now.
Can you name all of the Thorns goal scorers up to this point?
So much going wrong for USWNT right now, but one thing that's going right is that Naeher is in top form.
Claire Frickin' Emslie. She's been dynamite on her service from the corner and right side of the box this year, as we know all too well, but she just delivered a Pinoe Special -- an Olympico -- on Pinoe's home pitch. Jeezus. You go, ACFCNFT!
BTW, Props to Weaver for some excellent high pressure on Sheridan, blocking one ball and forcing her to waste another one. I also recall one 2nd half sequence when Weaver basically put pressure on everybody on San Diego's side of the field, just chasing the ball wherever it went. Crazy energy for that late in the match.
Speaking of which, I would have preferred to see Leon instead of Vasconcelos come on for Dunn to continue that kind of energy. I think it helped.
Jakobsson is a beast, and props to Kuikka for largely fighting her off all match.
Korneick, OTOH, is a damn thug, and if PRO won’t card her for it she’s going to hurt someone again.
Just finished the game after missing it live- Can’t be mad at that at all. Dominant first half even with Sinc playing, Menges looking by far the best she has so far, some relatively cohesive midfield play against a real team for the first time in a while, and Reyes looked excellent. Most importantly, I thought Sam was awesome and didn’t seem particularly overwhelmed- Curious why SD didn’t start Shaw.
Obviously would like more than a point, but that was a very competent away performance (on an exceptionally slow pitch!) at a good team. Playing like that yields three points more often than not.
Oh, and give me how the Thorns play 10x/10 over that nasty bus-parking route 1 shell Stoney has the Wave playing.
Good news / bad news division
Good news: We're in first place! Just on goal difference, but that counts, especially since it's such a huge goal difference.
Bad news: We won't be in first anymore come Sunday. Either Gotham or the Spirit is guaranteed to pass us.
Good news: We'll still be in second place after Sunday. We'll be behind by either 1 point (Spirit-Gotham draw), 2 points (Spirit win), or 3 points (Gotham win).
Frustrating to play so well in attack and settle for the road point. And to see SDW do just what they always and what we should expect them to do - go direct over the top - and succeed twice (but with Menges bailing out the backline the first time...).
And why start Sinclair? I don't know if that made a huge difference, but having Moultrie's speed and aggression in there instead? Might have found the early goal...
I'll take the point. But...dammit....
Think I get this: If Gotham wins in DC they launch three points ahead of the three other teams now tied at 16 points; a draw puts them a point ahead of four teams, as Spirit joins those other three 16-pointers; a Spirit win vaults them two points of the four current 16-point teams (none of which is the Current).
Whew. Parity, I guess. Thorns form doesn't look good, with only two wins in the last six.