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Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Thorns 0, Kansas City Current 1
Portland drops their 1st regular season game at home and 2nd consecutive game in all competitions with another 0-1 loss, this time to Kansas City Current.
After Wednesday’s disappointing loss at home against OL Reign in the NWSL Challenge Cup, Portland was looking to rebound from one of the worst performances on the season.
With the internationals headed off to prepare for the Women’s World Cup, the Thorns were hoping to avoid another consecutive loss at Providence Park, hosting Pride Night on one of the most important days in the season thus far.
The team has been led by the brilliance of Sophia Smith who had 10 goals and 5 assists before heading off to the USWNT, and so Mike Norris was challenged with a short bench and limited options. This would be a game that will show the true grit and depth of a team.
Kansas City Current would also have a long list of injuries, but only missed two players due to international duty.
Unfortunately, Portland’s scoreless drought without their MVP would continue.
Portland would lose 0-1 for the second consecutive home game. Michelle Cooper’s PK goal in the 36th minute would be the difference.
The Thorns outshot Kansas City 26-5 (9-3 shots on goal), had the majority of possession 60%-40%, but came away without a result.
After Wednesday’s disappointing loss, Portland was extremely sloppy on their way to a 0-1 loss.
Lots of shaky moments in the opening few minutes. Players were passing to the other team or holding the ball too long. The Portland Thorns also looked like a team that has not practiced enough with each other, which may actually be the case. The amount of miscommunication was apparent on Wednesday, but also Saturday for stretches.
In the 35th minute, Klingenberg fouled Alexa Spaanstra in the box to give up a PK opportunity. Spaanstra beat the Thorns left back with a speed move inside and was fouled. The #2 overall pick, Michelle Cooper, calmly finished to Bixby’s right to put the visitors on the scoreboard first.
Portland outshot Kansas City 12-4 in the first half, but could not find a goal.
Kansas City played on the back foot for the majority of the half, but were devastating in transition and almost capitalized on multiple bad Thorns giveaways.
At the start of the second half, Reyna Reyes subbed in for Michele “Murph” Vasconcelos. This was her second consecutive game she appeared at winger.
This substitution would allow Reyes and Kuikka to switch from defense to attack interchangeably.
Minutes after being subbed on, Reyes’ header nearly equalized for the Thorns.
The Thorns brought wave after wave of attacks, but Kansas City was content to sit back with numbers and counterattack with their frontline.
They hit the post a few times. But most of the shots did not test the keeper at all.
Portland absolutely dominated the game — but that’s not how winning the game always works. Without Sophia Smith, they have not figured out how to score yet.
Sam Coffey has been the best player on the pitch the past two games. The finishing has been abysmal and this team has to figure it out without their superstars.
4’ Sloppy giveaway by Taylor Porter nearly gifts the visitors the first goal
10’ Weaver with Portland's first shot on goal, but Miller is there to make the save
16’ Winebrenner rips a laser from way outside the box and grazes the post
22’ Murph nearly puts away a header from a well-struck cross from Weaver
24’ Menges beats Hamilton to the ball to preserve the shutout
35’ Kling commits the foul in the box on Spaanstra and KCC get a PK
36’ 0-1 KCC Michelle Cooper calmly puts the penalty kick away
43’ Olivia Moultrie gets a shot at the top of the box, but not enough power behind it
45’ Sam Coffey hits a shot through the defense, but Miller is there
46’ Reyna Reyes on for Michele Vasconcelos. Second consecutive game she has received minutes at winger.
48’ Coffey loops the ball into Weaver. She can’t generate enough pace to test the GK.
50’ Weaver places the ball onto the head of Reyes who almost equalizes.
61’ Kling served a ball into D’Aquila who got a boot on it that was close to getting past Miller
63’ Natu slots a perfectly placed pass to an onrushing Izzy D’Aquila. The shot hits off the post.
68’ D’Aquila collects the rebound, and fires. Not enough to beat the keeper.
69’ Hannah Betfort on for Taylor Porter. Izzy shifts out wide and Coffey back to the 6.
80’ Moultrie earns a dangerous free kick outside of the box. D’Aquila wins another header, Miller denies yet again!
90’ +5 Game ends
After the game - The ref gave a yellow card to? Will confirm shortly.
These players are putting out all the effort imaginable, but the results aren’t there. Sophia Smith is no longer here to bail out the team, and it has shown. The lack of finishing outside of Smith, Dunn, Sugita, and Sinclair has been too evident the past two games.
Don’t be mistaken, there are definite bright spots. Sam Coffey, Olivia Moultrie, and Reyna Reyes have shined in the spotlight.
Every season has its rough patches and this is no different. Is this team as deep as previous years? It doesn’t look like it — but they do however have the pieces to get results.
Someone is going to come up huge for the Thorns, the opportunity is there.
Who will it be?
We’ll find out on Sunday, July 9 when the Thorns travel to face Gotham FC. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.