107 Comments
Apr 15, 2023·edited Apr 15, 2023

Feel really bad for Reyes. I think it was a poor decision by the coach to start her in a tough game with one of the best front lines in the league after seeing like 10 minutes of pro time in a friendly and at the end of a game we're winning two weeks ago. And, being tasked with marking one of the best wingers in the league. Sanchez was constantly open behind Reyes. Kuikka does it as well, but she's much faster than Reyes. Also, I saw a Reyes fan on twitter say that she is a left-footed player and that she should have been playing her position at LB. And I agree. We saw what happens with a very good fullback in Kuikka when she got her sides swapped, and it was terrible. And she's very experienced, very good fullback. I just don't understand why he wouldn't have started Kling at RB (or even Nally, good grief) so Reyes could play where she's comfortable. Make a rookie start her first pro game out of position...pay the price. I did think it was a positive coaching sign though, that he made the switch at half to bring Kuikka in.

I was sitting in the area closest to Reyes and she struggled all night. Bixby and Hubly kept yelling at (or, directing) her because she would be out of position or not watching Sanchez. She looked like she had no idea where she was supposed to be. Crystal also looked like she was having miscommunications with her as well. She looked uncomfortable the whole night, and you could tell she was not comfortable or confident with her right foot. Having Vasconcelos on that side made it even worse. Had she had Weaver on her side, she would've had way more help defensively. Vasconcelos would dribble up the right side a bit, but then run out of ideas and wouldn't know what to do with the ball, so she would turn around and drop it back to Reyes often. Houston was targeting that weak side, and they were rewarded for it. Anyways, it was a pretty rough outing for her and she still looks very much like a rookie....whereas D'Aquila looked pro-ready from the jump. I wish she was on the field with Soph and Weaver (and the rest of the starting team)...but that's another story. Would like to see a more cautious roll-out of Reyes next, and at her actual position. These sorts of roll-outs can really deflate a rookie's confidence, and now he will have that to overcome with her as well.

I thought Sam did decently distributing and being in the right spaces, but she often also just went backwards. Moultrie started well and had some beaaaaautiful passes but she kinda disappeared in the second half when Hina and Rocky came in. It was a good time to pull Crystal though....she did a lot of work and was looking fatigued by then. Rocky....woof. She was a mess and looked tired from the start. Hina barely touched the ball. When D'Aquila came in and Hina went back into midfield, the midfield became non-existent. Everyone missed SO. MANY. SITTERS. We coulda shoulda been up by like 4.

Overall, one of the more nervy unpleasant games I've been to in a while lol.

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I dunno what prompted it, but it was great to see Bixby suddenly become unglued from her line , starting at about the 40 minute mark. There were definitely a few less shots coming off of Ordóñez’ dangerous head the rest of the way as a result.

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I think Beck&Bauer said this, but Bixby absolutely did not have possession on the 80th minute drop and the Peterson goal should have stood…so given that the Thorns couldn’t finish they were crazy lucky to escape with the point.

That said, having rewatched this thing…

1) Phuoc is right and the Thorns really were much the better side (except between 20 and 26’ when they got their goal, 54-63’ when Bixby had to stone Ordonez, and a couple minutes leading up to the Bixby fumble).

2) However that didn’t extend to the midfield, where everything went wide to Vasconcelos (who as Thornando points out, had nothing) or Weaver, who had some good attacks but was also her “blast away” shooting self. Laity set up his troops to deny Smith thru the middle and that largely worked.

3) The passing and movement really needs work. Too slow, too predictable, too many people not moving to space. Houston’s press wasn’t as tight as I’d thought seeing it live, but Portland’s movement was even less effective than I’d thought initially.

Thank you, Seattle, for beating SDW to keep us top. But we’re going to need to learn from this one before we meet either of them!

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founding

Sauerbrunn and Nally were consoling Reyes as they came out of the halftime break. Mistakes happen, I definitely think she has some rookie jitters, but that will pass and she’s gonna be great!

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I’ll second David here. The match was fast, but “electrifying”? Too many ugly mishit passes and turnovers for my taste (from both sides; neither squad completed over 75% and Houston was something like 66%…}. Defenses missing marks and looking disorganized.

I’m going to chalk this one up to rotation and lack of training. But it’s a warning shot; we’re gonna see a lot more pressing because this worked so well. If the squad can’t respond better than they did last night it’s gonna be a looooong season.

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A reminder/chide re. the player PTFC passed on during the draft.

https://twitter.com/NWSL/status/1647413466607783936?cxt=HHwWgMDQtbn05NwtAAAA

TBF Beckie's knee was intact that day. Still...

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My daughter and I went to our first real Timbers experience last night. Wow! Just wow. What an atmosphere. What a night. What a bike

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Apr 15, 2023·edited Apr 15, 2023

This chart fits the eye test...

https://twitter.com/arielle_dror/status/1647350052422307842/photo/1

R side was nerfed because Vasconcelos would dribble a bit but not have the individual skill to do much more or connect to other forwards/midfielders, and would just stop, turn, and drop it back to Reyes, who was pretty shaky on the ball (as seen by the blue color.) We definitely need better options at RW, if we don't have a strong threat there, it really means we have only one attacking threat through Weaver/Smith...which teams will learn quickly and extinguish. Midfield still needs to do a MUCH better job of connecting to the F line, because...there were no connected passes from any of them! Really, there was not a lot of passing going on through the middle with our centerbacks either. Disconnection is the word of the day!

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Moultrie looked good out there-and wierdly reminded me of Sinclair- not very fast, but some excellent passes and smart decisions distributing the ball- also just like Sinclair, at this point she’s still too slow to get a shot off around the box without it being blocked

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And there it is--ACFC officially sucks N% less.

"BREAKING NEWS🚨 Sources confirm to The Equalizer's

@JeffKassouf that #USWNT midfielder Julie Ertz has signed with Angel City FC. Ertz could debut in Sunday's match against in-state rival San Diego Wave."

https://twitter.com/EqualizerSoccer/status/1647764635146125313?cxt=HHwWgoCw9ZLNhN4tAAAA

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Sheridan is galactic class tonight in Seattle.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

Mandy can't arrive in LA soon enough. Louisville are up 2-0 after 32 minutes. Woof.

SD v Puget Sound WoSo Team is entertaining, though. 0-0 in 42nd.

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Apr 16, 2023·edited Apr 16, 2023

Looking to today's matchups...

Orlando's superpower appears to be to making most other teams play down to their level. Gotham/Orlando 0-0 86th minute. Orlando's Keeper-of-the-Week, however, has made a couple of nifty one-handed parries of very dangerous balls. Also, I'm not convinced Gotham is any good yet, despite all the off-season additions. Nice to see Sinead out there, tho.

KC Masterpiece is a run-of-the-mill BBQ sauce. KC Shitshow is what this team will be until they get healthy in the midfield and along the backline. Down 1-0 nearing halftime to a similarly depleted Chicago side.

Parsons has the Spirit heading toward 7 after 3, just like our Thorns, after facing Seattle WoSo Club (because, really, what the hell else do we call them now?), Racing, and NC. That's not bad.

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Apr 15, 2023·edited Apr 15, 2023

Laity watched the hell out of the second half in KC, because he sent his troops out to press hell out of Portland and it worked like a mechanical ass-kicker.

Norris mentioned in the post-preseason meeting that he saw issues with the squad building up too slowly and predictably and allowing their opponents to cut off passes and close down players and we saw this all over last night. The best chances came off individual brilliance from Smith or Weaver; when the team tried to build up Houston’s press would close it down. Why we seem to have trouble one-touch passing and moving quickly to space I don’t know, but it hurt last night.

And let’s not EVEN go into the whole “22 shots…5 on goal” issue. Smith, Dunn, Weaver, and Moultrie all missed sitters, or got woodwork. As Schonz used to say, ya gotta hit your free throws. Waste chances and drop points.

Frankly I think we were lucky to escape with a point; it looked to me like Bixby didn’t have that ball in her grasp and their second goal would have stood if the CR had gone to VAR.

Oh, well. Is what it is and now we have to rotate for this damn midweek Cup tie. Ugh.

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Test

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To say that Reyes couldn’t stop Sanchez is too generous. I get that she’s a rookie, but call a spade a spade. The goal was the second CONSECUTIVE Houston possession where she aggressively played the ball and not the other player, letting the Houston player make a clean run down the channel.

She whiffed on both-- one poorly timed (ball was past her before she arrived to cut it off) and the second well timed but she let the ball go right through her to Sanchez.

After the first biff, she should have played it more conservatively on the 2nd.

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