NWSL Chaos continues! Who are this week's risers and fallers?
Oh this is GOOD good
Here's a fun little preview of the WC from a Portland soccer perspective, with some flattery of the Thorns as well (also filming this at Prov Park apparently.) This was just released a few days ago, and honestly, they're three folks who I really wouldn't be surprised if they were part of the new ownership/FO group in the future. All are former US Women's National Team players: Michelle French, Shannon Boxx, and Tina Frimpong Ellertson. All very respected people as well. I know Tiffeny Milbrett also lives up here and works on the academy level, I think for some other youth program in the Portland area.
French and Frimpong Ellertson are the coach and assistant coach respectively of the Portland Pilots, and well, we know who Shannon Boxx is. I think she's been doing a lot more woso broadcasting the past year and is pretty involved in the Portland community with things like Lupus awareness...They all talk about the joy of going to Thorns games and how unique the woso scene is here, more so than anywhere else in the world. I would LOVE for them to all be involved in this team going forward. Just gonna dream a little dream and pretend the three of them together at Prov Park means something positive...but for now, enjoy!
Trying not to be all sour grapes here, but I didn't think Gotham was all that impressive (outside of Abby Smith). More a case of us being comically ineffective and wasteful in the attack.
Best general audience discussion I've ever seen:
Slightly embarrassed to admit that I find these state media pieces about Soph loving Portland are vaguely reassuring lol
Rumor down at Goose Hollow Inn is that this is mandatory viewing during Thorns film sessions:
OT: Imagine the golazo celebrations Steph Curry would deliver on the pitch...
Seeing Naho in the masthead pic reminds me of watching her play with the Reign in opulent Memorial Stadium, and the boisterous group of Japanese Naho fans and family there cheering her on. A wonderful, gorgeous summer evening. Her parting note to Seattle fans on moving on to Sky Blue:
"Hello, our precious fans of Seattle Reign FC.
I am going to play for Sky Blue FC this season.
I tried to do my first challenge to play outside Japan in U.S.A.
Seattle Reign FC gave me such a feeling that playing in NWSL is so fun!!
My teammates, coaches, staff, fans, and the city of Seattle has been the best for me.
Although I’m very sad to leave my favorite club, please say hello again because we are friends forever.
I hope Seattle Reign FC will achieve a good outcome.
I appreciate all of you, Seattle."
How can you not love that? God speed, Naho.
Just got an email from Thorns Member Services, which includes this line:
"We are also beginning to plan for next season and renewals. Are there any changes you’re looking to make to your account for 2024? Please let me know any questions that you have so I can ensure you’re all set when renewals launch!"
I'd say it's time for the Annual Members to start asking for updates on the status of the sale.
More transfer news (but not for us):
NC Courage have announced the signing of Rikako Kobayashi from Tokyo Verdy Beleza. Condolences to Mr. Verdy Beleza we have on this message board. Nice to see NCC bulking up before their next league game vs the Thorns.
Mia Fishel also rumored to be headed to Chelsea. Absolutely hoarding talent over there lmao. Wonder what/if this means anything for Kerr....hopefully it means Smith will be off the radar for a while. Chelsea is the club I could've seen her leave for more than any other....
Iceland, Austria, Belgium, Scotland, Russia, Czechia, Finland, and Wales are the only top 30 countries not to make the field.
We have a Finn, of course, but why on earth didn't we try to bring over anybody from any of these other countries on a short-term loan? OK, not Russia, Fishlock is already spoken for and we probably couldn't get Little. But really, nobody else?
Apparently we’re getting a striker on loan from…I think the Norwegian league? Alyssa Walker, for two months, from what I can gather. I get we need it, but, why not a month ago lmao. This FO…lmao. I guess if Soph and Dunn win the WC and then have a victory tour, we may really need a striker, if even o ly for two games. But really, it should’ve been over the line already for the last two league games.
From what her club is saying, it’s already done- Brann, the Champions in the Norwegian league.
Don’t know anything about her…anyone?
Some more from her specifically, from another article (using Google translate). She mentions being home in August, which would seem pointless but maybe she’s off on that:
“Alyssa Walker on loan
The Portland Thorns are one of the biggest clubs in the United States and are the reigning champions of the National Womens Soccer League (NWSL). This year, they are currently in 2nd place.
- ‘I am so grateful to have the opportunity to play for the Portland Thorns this summer. I am so happy that Brann has given me this opportunity and supported me in this process, says Walker.
The American hopes she can fill the void left by the big attacking players Christine Sinclair and Sophie Smith, who have traveled to represent Canada and the USA in the World Cup.
- There is so much learning potential for me through this experience, and it will be exciting to see how I can match the level there. It will definitely be challenging, but I expect to learn a lot and I know it will be good for my player development, she says.
The loan period will be around 2 months, and the 25-year-old will be back in Brann after the summer.
- Thank you very much for all the love and support everyone in Brann has given me, it means everything. I'll be back in August, she concludes.’”
Would be interested in the story behind the story here. Not how you want to head into the World Cup.
"Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw says her players "feared for their bodies" during Thursday's abandoned friendly with Colombia in Brisbane. The Republic withdrew from the behind-closed-doors friendly after 20 minutes, describing it as "over physical".
"Midfielder Denise O'Sullivan, injured during the game, has a badly bruised shin but has avoided a fracture. O'Sullivan, 29, is in a protective boot and will be assessed before Thursday's World Cup opener with Australia.
"In an interview with Off The Ball, Republic boss Pauw said: "We do not fear any physical contact, you know that, we are ourselves a team, that within the rules of the game, we are a very tough playing team.
"The players, [for] the first time since I am coaching them, they feared, they feared for their bodies."
"North Carolina Courage midfielder O'Sullivan, a key player for Pauw's side, is now in a race to be fit for the Australia game in Sydney. The Republic, taking part in their first World Cup, will then play Olympic champions Canada on 26 July before their final Group B match with Nigeria on 31 July.
"The uncapped friendly was abandoned following O'Sullivan's injury at Meakin Park after the Football Association of Ireland consulted with match officials. The Colombian Football Federation released a statement saying that while the training of its teams was "framed within the rules of the game, healthy competition and fair play", it respected Ireland's decision to abandon the game."
Interesting convo with Horan. Says one of the reasons she stayed in Europe was because of Portland's turf and that it's much harder on your body, especially for older players. Says the Thorns should have their own training facility and grass fields to avoid more wear and tear on the body, and calls out the inequities with the Timbers. I can only imagine that with the rise of info (and occurrences) of ACL's within woso, lots of top players who may have considered Portland prior would turn the club down now because of that factor. I kinda hope Horan was vocal about that aspect when discussing contracts with the club, so they might actually take seriously that this could really be a negative for the club going forward (and do something about it.) A first priority of new ownership absolutely needs to be a new training facility.
Also, talks about how much further behind the US league is than Europe, with regard to the style of play (Ie..possession-based play) I don't disagree with her, but it's funny that the only American on the USWNT who is playing in Europe because it's style is preferred is the captain of the USWNT.
Weekend Power Outage
This, on the other hand... Vintage Power Station!
We do not have tickets for tonight's Republic home match and do not especially feel left out. At kick it will be something like 105.