26 Comments

Mighty Morphin Power Rankings!

I think we just give every team its own tier.

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Liv, gets the social media thing.

https://twitter.com/olivia_moultrie/status/1655069000764887042?cxt=HHwWhMDQ1Zef_vctAAAA

This was retweeted by Men in Blazers, who know and celebrate talent when they see it.

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Looks like there's a U20 Championship tourney for World Cup qualification coming up. 3 players now playing in the NWSL played on that team who went to the U20 WC in Costa Rica last year. But, looks like none of those players have been released by their coaches for the tournament. Alyssa Thompson, Jaedyn Shaw, and Olivia Moultrie are the three. Alyssa Thompson's younger sister has been named for the roster. It sure won't be a walk in the park...in quick succession they play Panama, Jamaica, and Canada.

More about the tournament:

https://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2023/05/usa-will-face-canada-jamaica-and-panama-in-group-play-at-2023-concacaf-womens-u-20-championship

For the Thorns, the games happening during that window (May 24th-June 3rd) are San Diego (May 26th- away) and OL Reign (June 3rd- away)...also potentially Chicago (May 21st- home.)

I'm hoping this means Moultrie is expected to contribute more in the very near future. It would be a bummer for her to not be able to go play for the National Team in an important tournament if she was just riding the bench or getting garbage minutes.

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Tiers:

Tier 1- Consistently good: Seattle, Washington

Tier 2- Underperforming its talent: PDX

Tier 3- On the rise, but unproven: Gotham, ACFC,

Tier 4- Fraud watch: San Diego, KC

Tier 5- Mediocre, but occasionally dangerous: NCC, Houston, Louisville, Orlando(!)

Tier 6- Tragicomic: Chicago

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Also, Ryan and Chris throw their opinions into the ring re: our defense/midfield woes on this week's episode of Soccer Made In Portland....and you won't be surprised about their solutions. (Hint: swap Sinc for Rocky; correct the fullback balance to avoid CB's being so exposed.)

https://www.oregonlive.com/podcasts/2023/05/soccer-made-in-portland-podcast-timbers-flailing-thorns-seeking-better-defense.html

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Here's a great podcast episode of some more nerdy stats discussion of the NWSL season thus far. Not a ton of mention of the Thorns, except mostly high praise for them, but still some mention of Soph being Soph...and some other great stats nuggets in general as well:

https://www.americansocceranalysis.com/podcasts/2023/5/10/the-asa-nwsl-show-small-sample-size-suppositions

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Portland seems about right. They need to tighten up the defense and make a change in the mid-field and we should rise again.

As for Thompson, Vlatko should find a way to get her on the team. She is playing at a high level right now and from my perspective deserves a shot. I'm imagining pairing her with Sophia and watching the attack approach light speed!

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