The Portland Thorns end their two-game east coast road trip with a loss against Racing Louisville.
I’ll repeat what I said on the match thread: to be an “epic collapse” this would have had to have been 1,000 times better from both squad and coach. Instead the squad looked like shit from the opening whistle, rode a freakish lucky goal, Bixby, and the woodwork for an hour until the shifty defending, poor individual play, and lack of a coherent tactical plan put them to the sword.
We didn’t deserve points from this shitshow, and deservedly didn’t get any.
I hope this provokes some anger and soul-searching. I hope Norris looks hard at himself. I hope to hell that Paulson gets off his dead ass and gets the new broom in here ASAP. Because there’s no excuses for the dross we all just watched. None.
NC Courage: 7 NWSL trophies, or 1 for every NC fan in attendance today.
Wow, Soph is nominated for Ballon d'Or.
And well-deserved, says I.
Too bad. I’d have liked to see Racing get some silverware.
Seemed like they reported for a league match and a Challenge Cup broke out. Only it was not a Challenge Cup starting XI.
Can't explain the bipolar nature of this squad--the 10-on-11 match was so much better when it should rightly have been a disaster like yesterday. For certain, Loovulle's hammer-and-tongs start caught Portland by surprise and they never really had field composure afterwards. It was gratifying to see Morgan try and pull the team onto her shoulders--we're seeing a leader grow before our eyes. And that's my sole positive from the entire debacle.
Okay, Bella played her guts out and was the sole reason the Thorns were not behind for 85 minutes.
That game felt a lot like last year's NWSL Championship game: One team clearly better, the other team proud just to have made it that far, one goal in each half for the winner, the losing team not able to generate much danger....
Congrats to Louisville and NC for making it to the final.
Oh, and now we finally have some idea why Phallon T-J is sitting -- she's rumored to be heading to ManU.
None of that was good, and the thorns have put themselves in a bit of a hold.
I don’t blame Norris for the whole team forgetting how to pass. When Sam Coffey is cheaply giving up the ball in your third, that’s a sign that things aren’t going well.
However the game management from the head coach is bad. There are numerous things you can do: switch the system at half time, because it wasn’t working. Make subs at half time - bring in Crystal Dunn, for example. Maybe Reyna Reyes for Kuikka who quite frankly did not look like a professional soccer player.
But Norris did none of that. He doesn’t react, his subs are safe, conservative subs, and not for the first time the thorns have been blitzed away from home and just had nothing to offer in response. Houston, Orlando, Louisville. 3 games where the Thorns led. Not a single point from those 3 games.
Don’t want to misery-wallow too much, but MAN, that was the first time I’ve watched a Thorns game and thought they looked fully clueless the full 90. Worst performance of the season (maybe ever) easily. Tactics horrendous. Kuikka absolutely *dreadful*. Hubly -- and the whole team-- totally uncertain in everything she/they did. That was a BAD, spoon-caliber Louisville 11 and they were still the better team by far. Absolutely no excuse for that garbage, Soph or no Soph.
Small consolation- Bixby looked awesome and assertive for the first time in a while and that was the last of the Southern road games; they've looked comfortably better at home. They’re still somehow top of a bad league (and could be until next weekend with Seattle below the line), but they gotta get six of nine at home.
See y’all in the Reign preview, got nothin else to say bout this one! Excited for next Saturday- Hopefully they respond to the fan energy and cool weather cause they can't afford another loss.
OT: Janine Beckie has gotten engaged to former soccer player Ethan Sonis. Best wishes to both of them!
Sam Laity out at Houston after not even a full season.
AC with an interim. KC with an interim. Wouldn't be surprised to see a new coaching search at Chicago with the new ownership. New franchise Bay FC still haven't announced a new coach yet. Vltako will probably go to one of those (KC, if I'm guessing.)
Hoping that our slow dragging sale doesn't mean we have the last pick of the litter if, in fact, our new owners will wanna change up the staff here at the Thorns. Lots of shuffling to happen for many teams in the next several months and into the offseason, and we still need a head trainer/Pierre Soubrier replacement. We also hired some random no names as assistants (not talking about Vytas.) One guy came from some low table Canadian men's team, and the other from a second or third division English team. From what I've heard, staff is very thin and very green behind the scenes. Hope new owners are walking and chewing gum at the same time, before all the top recruits that are left are taken....
OT: WWC23 Golden Boot winner Hinata Miyazawa to Manchester United!
This is great for Hinata-senshu, at least in terms of experience (and salary, I suspect), but I hope she avoids the curse of Japanese women in English and/or American football: being played out of position. Her breakout goal scoring performance notwithstanding, she's more of a facilitating midfielder (with pace) than a pure scorer. Her goals at WWC23 were a by-product of the way the Nadeshiko play...which is NOT how ManU plays.
I'll be hoping for her to shine. I will not, obviously, be cheering for her side overall (*shudder*). ;P
Chicago No Stars beat DC Kang 2-0. So they did us a solid AND they returned KCFUBAR to last place.
Pride (In the Name of Love) aren't doing us any favors, though, currently down 0-1 to PSWST. They've been playing -1 since the 5th minute, after a red card on Moorhouse. Speaking of keepers not in the game, I see that Phallon T-J is sitting again today. Whatupwiddat?
Man, no one in this league is very good. If Rhian hadn’t had to resign, the thorns would be running away with the shield.
Huge week for Loovull.
3 matches in 8 days. Win at home over Portland, win on the road over Reign, loss on the road to NC.
Per Clarke from Berman (via Xitter): 1) Thorns sale on track to be done before ‘24, and
2) Paulson off NWSL Board. No ID on who’s been rep for Portland.