We are thankful to have Abe Zepeda of Everything San Diego Sports to help us preview this incredibly important match for both clubs.
Who is going to score a goal tonight?
I’d love to see a lockdown defensive game out of the Thorns. Scoreless draw? Not ideal…but I’d take it if it’s because the defense didn’t give SDW a look. Even Chicago, as hapless as they are, got some joy after Sinc came in and the midfield lost a step because people in back were missing marks or ballwatching.
So hopefully we’ll be strong in back, nick an early goal and make it stand up.
Phuoc, I like how you've been getting these local media people for the opponents each week. Really adds perspectives to the preview and I learn about a new podcast/paper/blog to maybe follow for other NWSL coverage!
Not feeling *great* about this game- SD’s struggles were heavily linked to missing Morgan and Kornieck, and they’ve looked much better -- if still a little muted -- in attack. Sounds like there’s a good chance we won’t see Kling, and with Becky already out and Norris’ penchant for overcommitting the midfield/FBs, I wouldn’t bet on this being the game the Thorns look more structured. I’d expect Shaw to find a lot of space. Girma has also been the Smith-stopper so far...so pls score Soph.
That said, I want to preempt the inevitable Reyes criticisms/Hocking regret that will come *if* she struggles tonight: She’s a rookie defender- She’s going to look a little overwhelmed at times, she’s going to play aggressively and make some mistakes....and that’s fine. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from her so far, but she’s going to take a decent amount of polishing- It’s reallly hard to find good NWSL FBs (look at the national team pool!), and I think she has the traits of a really good one.
In a perf...better-than-average world the Thorns land at that miserable SD airport feeling loose and happy like Sunday, then go forth, TCOB and hand the Wave a 1-2 defeat, giving them a 3-point happy flight back to PDX.
Good news and bad news…
Tegan McGrady is finally off the injury report completely after being listed as out all season. I’m sure her minutes will still be sparse, but it’s great that’s she’s on her way back.
Bad news…Kling is listed as “questionable (thigh).” I remember her going down late last game and grabbing at her hamstring, so, pretty on edge about that. We’re so light in the back already…Reyes (or Nally) on the left side with Menges sounds…very questionable, very nervy against some scary attackers. Kornieck is off the IR as well. I hope those goals our defenders scored can manifest into some confidence and some great defending, because Chicago was not a valid test of strength. Our backline falling apart is the last thing we want in this stretch…everyone light some candles for Kling. She’s had some rough games, but this game isn’t the one we wanna go second or third-string for…
Elton Garcia, the man who ref’d our home game against Angel City, is our ref tonight.
I don’t think Sophia will have any relief. The man missed multiple Ertz yellows, including one that led to a goal for them, and play was generally very rough.
SD rebounded from a pair of losses, and looked lost in both those defeat, with a couple of wins. Thorns deep sixed the worst team in the league. I don’t know that either team has fixed what’s ails them. This game is a good measuring stick for both teams. Thorns will need to get on the front foot, score first, and remind those SoCal people the Northwest rules. And maybe tie Kornieks boot laces together when she sets up in the box. Thorns win the midfield and take 3. 2-1 sounds right.