Dougherty, Morgan goals give Thorns Cascadia triumph

Richard Farley April 21, 2013 153


PORTLAND, Ore. – Bouncing back from their opening day draw in Kansas City, Thorns FC saw goals from Marian Dougherty and Alex Morgan lift the team to a 2-1 result against Seattle Reign FC, giving Portland Thorns FC a victory in the NWSL’s first edition of a Cascadia Derby.

A crowd of 16,479 attended the rivalry’s birth, with the game between Pacific Northwest neighbors due to out-draw seven of the nine Major League Soccer games played this weekend. Beyond setting a new league record, Saturday’s crowd at JELD-WEN Field eclipsed any single-game attendance from Women’s Professional Soccer.

“The reception I have received and this team has received from Portland has just been unbelievable,” head coach Cindy Parlow Cone said after her team’s first victory. “[The fans] were the 12th person on the field. It’s hard for a team to play against 12 people.”

“I was walking around the field (with Rachel Buehler) and she was like ‘this is like the World Cup,’” Parlow Cone explained. “It was an unbelievable atmosphere.”

Alex Morgan, Portland Thorns FC

Alex Morgan celebrates her game-winning goal vs. Seattle on Sunday. (Copyright Patricia Giobetti | http://www.printroom.com/pro/psgiobetti)

That standout crowd witnessed a match the Thorns controlled throughout, even if their initial possession looked like the stoic play that led to last week’s draw in Overland Park, Kan.

Midway through the first half, the Thorns started to create chances on goal, with a 29th minute corner from Nikki Washington drawing a diving catch from Seattle keeper Michelle Betos, keeping a Becky Edwards’ header from opening the scoring.

Seven minutes later, a ball over the defense from Christine Sinclair led to a chance for Morgan in the left of the area. A rifled shot off Morgan’s left foot drew a save off the line from Kate Dienes.

It was another set piece in first half stoppage time that finally allowed Portland to get on the scoresheet. Off a restart along the right side 35 yards from goal, Washington’s short ball near post allowed Doughtery to flick the ball past Betos, who was frozen on her line anticipating a touch from the oncoming Morgan.

“It was huge [goal],” Sinclair confessed after the match. “Especially to get into halftime with that lead. We played pretty well in the first half, and I thought we deserved a goal. To get it so late was a nice way to end the half.”

Thorns FC increased their dominance at the onset of the second half, pushing Seattle deep into their own area from shortly after the game resumed. The pressure almost allowed Washington to double Portland’s lead in the 48th minute, with an opportunity from the spot set up by Sinclair blocked out for a corner.

Four minutes later, Morgan did what Washington could not. After a Seattle turnover allowed Sinclair to carry the ball into the right of the penalty area, the Thorns’ ‘number nine’ was left with an open shot as her teammate played a ball back across the area. With enough time to take a touch to set up her right-footed shot, Morgan went far post for her first NWSL goal.

“She has great vision and awareness of her teammates,” Morgan said of Sinclair, who put in a Woman of the Match performance from attacking midfield. “She just played a through ball. I knew if I placed it far post, I’d beat the keeper.”

Seattle were able to pull a goal back in the 74th minute through Jessica Fishlock when a collision between Keelin Winters and Rachel Buehler at the edge of the penalty area allowed a ball to drop for the Welsh international. Her finish inside Karina Leblanc’s right post was Seattle’s only good chance of the day, one that still left Seattle one goal short.

“We’re disappointed,” Reign FC head coach Laura Harvey confessed after the match. “We didn’t think we played well today. The goals that we conceded were definitely preventable. “

“I’m not disappointed in the players. They’re just disappointed in their performance,” Harvey explained. “It’s just something that we have to work on.”

With the win, Portland climbs to first place in the NWSL, their four points leaving them one clear of Sky Blue FC, which did not play this weekend. Seattle stays in a five-way tie for fourth with the one point they earned last Sunday in Chicago.

Portland Thorns FC (1-0-1, 4pts) vs. Seattle Reign FC (0-1-1, 1pts)
April 21, 2013 – JELD-WEN Field (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland 1 1 2
Seattle 0 1 1

Scoring Summary
POR: Dougherty (Washington), 45
POR: Morgan (Sinclair), 52
SEA: Fishlock, 74

Misconduct Summary
POR: Long (Caution), 10
POR: Kerr (Caution), 11
SEA: Reed (Caution), 30
SEA: Nairn (Caution), 33
POR: Washington (Caution), 68
SEA: Fishlock (Caution), 78

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Karina LeBlanc, D Marian Dougherty, D Kathryn Williamson, D Rachel Buehler, D Nikki Marshall, M Nikki Washington, M Becky Edwards, M Angie Kerr (Danielle Foxhoven, 76), M Allie Long (Courtney Wetzel, 80), F Christine Sinclair, F Alex Morgan

Substitutes Not Used:GK Adelaide Gay, D Jazmyne Avant, D Emilee O’Neil, M Meleana Shim, F Jessica Shufelt

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Morgan, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Morgan, 2); FOULS: 11 (Long, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 1

SEA: GK Michelle Betos, D Emily Zurrer, D Lauren Barnes (Jenny Ruiz, 84), D Kate Deines, D Ellie Reed, M Kaylyn Kyle, M Teresa Noyola (Kiersten Dallstream, 54), M Jessica Fishlock, M Keelin Winters, M Christine Nairn, F Liz Bogus (Kristina Larsen, 66)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hayley Kopmeyer, M Lyndsey Patterson, M Kristen Meier,

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Three players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Fishlock, Nairn, 1); FOULS: 10 (Fishlock, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3

Referee: Josh Wilkens
Assistant Referees: Felisha Mariscal, Desmond Miller
Fourth Official: Jason Perlewitz
Attendance: 16,479
Weather: 51 degrees, overcast

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/535519-nick-p nick price

    great game great atmosphere great stream great commentators EVERYTHING about this game was amazing.

    • Michelle

      Agreed – I loved the play by play commentator. I never managed to catch her name (Ann something?) but she was fantastic.

      That crowd was amazing – I had multiple friends there, including one who was skeptical, and she told me that it was a fantastic atmosphere and way better than she was expecting.

  • NYRick

    Fun game to watch! Incredible crowd as expected, major kudos to the Portland fans.

    Thoughts on game:

    1. Love love love Fishlock. What a player. The look, the style, the talent and chippiness. The passion. Just love to see it all. If she was a USWNT player she would own the fan base.

    2. Morgan plays at a different talent level and basically a different game than everyone else (including Sinclair). She is the most physically gifted athletic girl the sport has ever seen in my opinion, and her tech ability is getting downright scary now too. Sorry to my friend, newsouth on that too who will strongly dispute. It’s just so absurdly obvious to see.

    Furthermore, she is made out of titanium. I’m convinced she can’t be injured. Any sliding hard tackle on her she gets up from. All the time and it happens several times a game in every game she plays. There was one today where if it happened to an EPL or La Liga player they would be out for a minimum of a month. She gets up like it’s nothing. Even the ankle injury in the first Scotland game, she could have played 3 days later but they held her out for precaution. She is indestructible. I’ve never seen anything like it. I say this because the only way to stop her is literally to try to injure her off the pitch. If I was playing against her, I would try that because she is indefensible. It’s that simple really. Every 90 minutes she plays means 5-7 great scoring chances by herself.

    3. Now you know why all these girls wanted to be allocated to Portland. When Heath joins this team they will score 4-5 goals a game.

    4. Has Allie Long stopped fouling yet. I counted at least 5-6 with one yellow. She was pretty active though, I’ll give her that.

    • heremerawr

      Something tells me Fishlock is going to become a fan favorite for Seattle, especially with the way she was taunting that Portland crowd.

      • NYRick

        Fishlock won me over. I’m a fan. Very cool that she stood up to the Portland crowd too. Although they are great supporters, their act gets on my nerves too.

        • notasdepressed

          Going to be? I think after game 1 she already has been and this game. she’s clearly everyone’s favorite player by far (for active players)

          • stephy_paola

            I cant wait for her and Pinoe to play together!!!

        • LCLondoner

          What act? We were really booing her. ;-). No, Jess had a great game. Just some good banter on both sides.

          • KT5000

            Ditto! I will profess my loooove for Fishlock (damn, she’s a BAMF) unless she’s playing my team. I was looking forward to seeing her play and she didn’t disappoint. And if my cheering and support of a women’s soccer league gets on someone’s nerves, well, that says more about them…

          • NYRick

            Sorry about that. Meant it in a fun way. I wish the fans on the East coast supported like that. Problem with the NY area is that we have too many teams and too many sports to follow.

          • NYRick

            Sorry about that. Meant it in a fun way. I wish the fans on the East coast supported like that. Problem with the NY area is that we have too many teams and too many sports to follow.

          • Steglitz49

            25m people live in the greater NYC area.

          • NYRick

            I know. And about 24.95 mil of them are obsessed with American football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Soccer, men’s included, is but a blip on the radar out here. Amazing when you consider that it’s the media concentrated NY market. There are 2 pro baseball teams, 3 area hockey teams, 2 pro football teams, 2 basketball teams and the Red Bulls and Sky Blue. That’s not even getting into all the local college sports that are very big (especially basketball) in this area.

            That’s why Portland can do what they do in soccer attendance. Other than the basketball Trailblazers there isn’t another sport other than soccer to draw fans. It’s also why stars like AM needed to come into the NY market. It’s the untapped reservoir for soccer. But as you have said, the female pop (ages 20-35) need to support the sport for women and create a buzz and movement. But the heavy media TV coverage of the above NY sports I mentioned will drown out much of the leeway achieved. The Red Bulls barely get a mention and maybe a paragraph reporting their games in the NY/NJ papers. And it all focuses on Henry. But even a huge name like him could only do so much. The MLS needed Beckham in NY, not Henry. He was the better fit here.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily. It is difficult to break into an established market. For the same reasons, a women’s pro-soccer in the Bay area may not work. The NWSL strategy of establishing teams in locations where there is a chance for them to put down roots and grow is smart.

            In Europe one of the obvious common factors is that ladies’ football thrives where there is no men’s team, that is the desire for live in the flesh soccer trumps it being women on the field.

            Sometimes I wonder whether in USA, it is an unholy alliance in the media to keep soccer out, not least domestic ladies’ football. Does that make sense?

          • Anton

            Until I’d say the 2009 Confederations Cup, the mainstream media could have really cared less about soccer. It was mocked constantly by anchors and writers alike as a ‘wuss sport’ and stuff like that. But after we beat the odds to advance by beating Egypt 3-0 and Brazil beat Italy 3-0 then upset Spain and barely lost to Brazil in the final after leading 2-0, a lot of people were turned on to the sport. Nowadays, networks like ESPN and NBCSN talk about it all the time, MNT, MLS, EPL, La Liga, WNT everything. The sport has never been as popular as it is now in America.

            The 2010 U.S. World Cup team deserves a ton of credit for the growth of soccer here, for both men and women. Even though they were eliminated in the Rof16, the draw against England was huge because many expected that to be a blowout, the screwjob against Slovenia got so many people worked up and talking about soccer and of course the winner against Algeria was one of those moments where you remember where you were when you saw it. The momentum from that carried over to the ’11 WWC team and they kept it going and it hasn’t stopped since. As Klinsmann said ‘You can’t stop soccer in America anymore.’

          • Steglitz49

            Is it (wounded) national pride or love of soccer? Or, turn it around and look at it from a different angle, can broadcasting media in USA afford for live soccer to dominate during prime time? Recorded highlights or delayed transmission, where you can stuff any number of adverts in, fine. But, 2 x 45′ without interruptions live during prime time?

            How much does a ladies team cost to run? $3m? Maybe $5m. It is chicken-feed for big corporations — and they would have a team of the best players in the world. Where does the shoe pinch?

            America has been the consistent dominant force in women’s soccer for 20-25 years. Yet, as you write, it took the men’s 2009 Confederations cup to impact mainstream media, body paint or no body paint, let alone knitting. What is the missing ingredient?

          • NYRick

            There may be some truth to that. It’s almost as if American baseball became real popular in England and started ingraining itself into English culture. I guarantee there would be some type of large anti-movement to discredit the sport and not publicize it any way possible to preserve English values.

            That’s why the fringe US markets like Portland, Seattle, Houston and KC are the strongest soccer hotbeds in the US and not the major US cities. NY for instance, with a strong immigrant population has huge followings to S. American and European football teams. Not the Red Bulls. I could be off base here, but Portland or Seattle, a younger hip, not too ethnic area will tune into the local team better and organically support it. They are not competing with history of other sports there. I know the LA Galaxy have dominated the MLS recently, but the media attention they got was due to Beckham. Now that he’s gone it will be interesting to see how that shakes out for them in terms of buzz. Mike McGee could score 30 goals in a season and no one in the US will care. You’ll notice that Chicago, NY, SF and Miami (major US media markets) are all relatively absent to the soccer craze in the US. They have some penetration but it will never be a big deal. Maybe there is some type of corporate/media mogul conspiracy to somewhat lock out the sport. Personally, I don’t think it could ever crack the big 3 in the US. Replacing hockey as the 4th favorite sport is possible. You also have to understand the enormity of US college sports. Football and basketball on the elite collegiate level in the US is big money sports and garners incredible media attention. Some of our US college stars are more popular than our pros. And they are folk heroes before they even turn pro (RGIII, Andrew Luck, Johnny Manziel). Our college coaches like Alabama’s Nick Saban and basketball coaches like Rick Pitino are as famous as SAF is in England.

            We can converse for days on this subject. I’m rooting for soccer. I especially love women’s soccer and will support it any way I can and try to influence my friends.

          • Steglitz49

            Derby County, the first team that Brian Clough was successful with, played at the “Baseball Ground”. This peculiar name was not illogical because the industrialist, who had started the club way back when, believed that baseball was the world’s best sport. He made a determined effort to introduce it in Britain. It failed. Cricket remained supreme and only the name “Baseball Ground” lived on in the stadium that became used only for soccer.

          • KT5000

            You could also say that Portland is the untapped reservoir for soccer. We like it! Give it to us! :-)

          • Steglitz49

            Could you have two teams in Oregon? Like in Manchester and Liverpool, and several other cities.

          • KT5000

            My thought was the same as Steglitz49. Just raw #s-wise, it seems logical for leagues to assume that the population can support that many teams and every league wants a team in that huge market. If the NYC area market is 10-12 times that of Portland, it makes me think there’s more to it than “Portlanders don’t have other teams to root for.” I think there’s something about PNW culture that correlates with soccer fandom. (And THANK YOU NWSL for finally giving us teams here!!)

            Kinda off-topic, but I don’t see it mentioned often and I think it’s important. Let’s not discount the effect that Jeld-Wen field itself has on the turnout. That place is great. It’s just on the edge of downtown and easy to get to on light rail, bus, foot, bike. People WANT to be there; it’s a good time and has a sense of “place” to it, even with all the changes and updates in recent years.

            I say if major-league sports are hesitant to take a chance on smaller markets, and you have sports/soccer fans here with too few teams to watch, just HUNGRY for more, then we DESERVE Alex Morgan. (NYRick I am totally just saying that to rile you up. :-))

          • NYRick

            First off, Jeld-Wen rocks. I’ve been to Portland several times but will definitely make a special trek to Portland just to see either a Timbers or Thorns match (probably both) there. The fans there DO deserve AM and Sinc. But can Sky Blue please have Tobin when she returns? She is from NJ. That would be an awfully nice and sporting gesture by the Thorns. LOL.

            It’s interesting that you mention Jeld-Wen being on the edge of downtown and easy access. I don’t know if you’ve been out to Red Bull arena but it is an absolute nightmare to get to and from. There is no parking and I mean none, and the PATH service from NYC and Hoboken to the tiny Harrison NJ station across the street from the arena is a dangerous stampede waiting to happen. Not kidding about that. Apparently, they are taking measures to build more parking and expand the size of the PATH station. Right now, it’s a small door opening that hundreds cram into following a match. As for Sky Blue, the Rutgers local is no picnic either for fans. I’m a Rutgers alum and that area can really only be accessed by car and is viewed as out of the way by many. My dream when I knew the NWSL was forming was that the team could play in RB arena. Kind of do what you guys are doing in Portland in a beautiful MLS stadium. But I do agree with you it may be a culture thing. I wonder how close the culture is though to the Portlandia TV show (which is quite awesome). Who knew Carrie Brownstein was this funny?

            It really is a question if soccer in general (mens and women’s) can truly make it in the NY area. There really is a lot to do out here and many cultural and sporting destinations. The Red Bulls, embarrassing only fill half to 3/4 of that arena for many of the matches. So I do worry about the support for Sky Blue. But congrats to you guys in the PNW. It is wonderful to see such support and makes me a bit jealous.

          • Steglitz49

            It is said that when the great Håkan Loob first played for Calgary Flames, he could not understand why the home crowd was booing him when he got the puck, till some friendly soul pointed out that that was the way his name sounded when the crowd cheered him in English.

        • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

          She’s awesome. The exact type of player that needs to be lured over from Europe. Seattle found a face for the team for sure as scrappy and stubborn swagger will probably be a theme this season. It was nice to see her in HD instead of a couple pixels flapping around like with the Chicago feed. I hate the Thorns, but I’ll watch their $treams and cheer against them just because I can see what the flip is going on. I get why other teams don’t have the MLS infrastructure to make that work out, but this just goes to show when the women’s game is packaged better it is way more watchable.

          • notasdepressed

            I’m convinced and sold I will not watch any other NWSL games online unless the Thorns are playing at home and maybe away. Lets see how WNY/Seattle home game live streams look. It’s seriously tooo painful to watch online any other way (#BAON) lol

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            Starfire is probably better set up to film than most and Reign’s first home game is in May so they have a lot of time to see how bad/good it can be done and adjust. I don’t even mind a steady distance pan as long as it is a good resolution. I’m a fan of Reign so of course I’ll watch either way, but if someone else is deciding what game to watch it could come down to what game is less like Atari.

          • Steglitz49

            Not just €urope. There is Japan and South-Korea also. The advantage with Japan is that the JFA organizes financial support for the players in Japan if the JFA considers the team they are joining of good enough quality, ie it costs the team less. Any of the NWSL teams should clear that hurdle.

      • CubesCompanion

        She is one of those players that opposing fans will love to hate. They will bad mouth her and her game but would be thrilled if she came to play for their team.

      • Steglitz49

        Ms Fishlock has played 67 times for Wales and scored 22 goals (1 in 3). Her club career before joining the Reign is many and varied. Jessica shows the value of filling the 2 foreign slots with quality players.

    • Monique

      Ha you are rating Heath way too high. She is not even one of the more productive midfielders on the USWNT.

      • NYRick

        Careful there. She’s one of my favs, and a Jersey girl to boot.

        • notasdepressed

          Sinclair MUST play offensive mid. Otherwise the midfield won’t get the ball.

          Also add Tobin and get more goals? If you traded Cheney for Tobin, then YES because Cheney has way better chemistry with Alex than Tobin.

          • vert2013

            Nah man. Tobin and Alex read each other’s minds. Cheney can get some good long balls in to Alex, but Tobin and Alex have chemistry that I haven’t seen in awhile. They just know where the other is going to be. It’ll be fun to watch up in Portland.

          • notasdepressed

            Where have you seen a sick pass from Tobin to Alex? I’ve only seen 1 I can remember. I can think of two already from Cheney and the Cheny ones were way more impressive.

            What chemistry are we talking about? Please describe in detail?

            Don’t get me wrong Tobin can play well, but Cheney is just stronger on the ball. and knows how to play a ball to Alex that puts her in the best position to score.

          • vert2013

            USA vs France in the Olympics. Tobin to Alex for the 4th goal I think it was. Alex’s 2nd goal in the Algarve final this year was Tobin to Alex. USA vs Japan in the Volvo Winners Cup last summer was Tobin to Alex. Any game where they’re on the left side together gives so many examples of them working well together.

            Cheney has one of the strongest long balls on the team and Alex has benefitted from that but in terms of being able to find each other on a regular basis, on both scoring and non-scoring plays, that’s Tobin and Alex.

          • notasdepressed

            USA v France goal I wouldn’t exactly say it was a “chemistry” thing. It was a square pass to an open net/player.

            I will say the goal in Volvo Cup was the one I was thinking of, nicely weighted. the Algarve Cup goal wasn’t exactly chemistry, more like Alex Morgan making the most out of ANY ball that’s played over the top. If Tobin played more balls over the TOP Alex will run crazy. You don’t see that kind of pass from Tobin as much as you do Cheney where Alex Morgan shines THE MOST.

            Good Points, I think Alex shines MOST when it’s a ball over the top and if that’s the pass, we need Cheney playing it. But overall Cheney v Tobin or Megan as best USWNT passer is a great debate. They all have great moments and I think all 3 should be on the field, even if Tobin plays too much like a Long/Washington sometimes at least she passes forward.

          • heremerawr

            If we’re talking assists Alex also assisted Tobin’s goal in the Germany game. It’s not just about the assists, though. When on the same side I see Alex and Tobin (and Kelley as well when they’re playing together) making great overlapping runs and passes to one another. Like the time Tobin nutmegged someone, got the ball to Kelley, who got it to Alex, who then scored (2nd Australian game).

          • vert2013

            Very true. The left side with those 3 is really fun to watch. They just click at a different level. What really impresses me is that the team as a whole has pretty good chemistry so seeing pairs or groups that have chemistry stronger than the rest of the team is pretty damn impressive. For Kelley and Tobin in particular, I think it’s a testament to the strong youth program, they’ve been playing together since they were 15.

          • Steglitz49

            Was it not Heather O’Reilly who hit the pass? The Canadians should neither have allowed the pass to be put in nor let Alex get her head on the ball. It ought to be standard issue for CANWNT to have a photo of Iwashimizu by their mirrors (maybe Miyama also).

          • vert2013

            Against Canada yeah, but no one had referenced that game…

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed. Thanks for keeping me right.

          • heremerawr

            Most of your analysis I’ve agreed with, but there’s no way Cheney has better chemistry with Alex than Tobin. Those two are on a whole ‘nother ball park, it’s frankly quite ridiculous.

          • NYRick

            Cheney’s pass to Morgan in the Germany game was sick. But Tobin has the best chemistry with AM on the team. She gets her and understands her talent. Cheney has great vision too in the midfield too. I agree with you on that.

      • heremerawr

        But the fact that she even is a midfielder for the USWNT rates her as one of the best midfielders in the league if you ask me. Plus she’s only been getting better as she plays in France, with a coach who can improve her style, and her chemistry with Alex is off the charts. I wouldn’t be surprised if she combines with Alex and maybe even Sinclair for some fabulous goals late in the season.

        • Kernel Thai

          No one is saying Heath isnt an upgrade, but not a major one. Who does she replace, Kerr? Washington and Long were the most active players for Portland and Heath certainly isnt replacing Edwards at DM. Worse, Im pretty sure they r a better team with Sinclair in the midfield where she gets a lot more touches.

          • NYRick

            Surprising that you would say that. I know you’re a fan who knows their stuff.

            But c’mon. You wouldn’t take Tobin in your midfield over Kerr, Washington and Long any day of the week, under any circumstances? Really!? None of those 3 are anywhere in her league as a player. Edwards as the DM I agree. And of course, putting Sinc in mid is interesting and probably a better move for this team too. But Tobin plays 90 on this team any day she suits up. Besides, she has a great friendship and incredible chemistry with AM that can’t be understated.

          • KT5000

            Heath replaces Washington. Washington, Kerr, or Foxhoven will be the 2nd forward, and Sinclair stays as the attacking (very high-attacking) center mid. (or Sinc goes back up and Kerr stays in mid.)

          • vert2013

            I’d take Kerr out of the mix. She’s been pretty unimpressive in both games so far and that’s saying something because the midfield in general has been pretty unimpressive.

          • TsovLoj

            I’d also consider putting in Wetzel instead of Kerr or Washington or maybe Edwards. She played quite well.

          • vert2013

            Edwards played better yesterday than last week. Don’t really remember much about Wetzel to be honest. Kerr just stood out to me has having 2 particularly less than stellar games.

      • vert2013

        You’re kidding right? She’s no Pinoe, but she’s a very productive member of the midfield. I’d probably say she’s the 2nd or 3rd best attacking midfielder on the NT right now depending on which HAO shows up.

      • Steglitz49

        The USAWNT will probably play Ms Rapinoe and Heath as alternates, that is one will be the substitute for the other, because they do not seem to play well when they are both on the field. Should Ms Heath chose to continue in Paris, she might not make the NT squad.

        • vert2013

          I don’t think Paris would keep her from the NT. Press, Averbuch, Engen and Kling all have multi-year deals in Europe and that hasn’t stopped them from making the team. I don’t think Tobin will stay though, just a hunch but from interviews she’s done about it, her comments didn’t strike me as someone who was planning on staying there long term.

          • Steglitz49

            PSG almost certainly will qualify for the CL. They stand a decent chance of making the final, even of winning the CL. That alone would be incentive for Ms Heath to play another season for PSG.

            At the same time, your point that her position in the NT, whether as starter or a substitute, is not under significant threat, is well taken.

    • Kernel Thai

      1. Fishlock and Rapinoe r going to so fun to watch together.

      2. Um…Jinx? Ur right about how athletic Morgan is but Sinclair is the better all around player. On the Morgan goal Sinclair wins the ball in transition then give Morgan the sweetest pass. 3. I complained a ton about the unfair allocation, but u know, maybe Portland does deserve it. They may have doubled the NWSL attendance all by themselves.

      • NYRick

        The on-going question: who’s better AM or Sinc? I’m a guy who thinks Cristiano is better than Messi too. Maybe it’s the athleticism. Both of course are great, but I view it as which one could do things that the other can’t dream of doing. For all his brilliance, Messi can’t dream of doing the things CR7 does in the air, or his speed or his blinding cross-overs. Maybe that’s what I’m seeing in AM. She’s doing things now on the pitch that the other girls (including the amazing Sinc) can’t do. Pretty much every game she plays in.

        • TsovLoj

          See, I’d say Sinc. AM does a couple things pretty well. But did you see all the times tonight Sinclair came to rescue the Thorns midfield? Alex can’t play everywhere at once the way Sinclair’s always had to. Alex might be a better forward, with her speed and technique, but she’s highly specialized. I’d argue Sinclair’s the better player overall.

          • NYRick

            OK fair argument. Sinc as the better “all-around” player. Yes, I agree. AM more dynamic. Both are probably the best players in the sport right now. Silly that they are on the same team after an allocation process.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            Lotta, cough. Though if you want to be North American based then yeah. Personally I’m hoping the ballon d’or is more club/euros focused this year.

          • NYRick

            Yeah you’re right about Lotta. She doesn’t get the cred and pub she deserves. A really fun player to watch. And actually, the ballon d’ french award was a big joke this past year. AM deserved that in a walk and came in third. Abby had no business winning that. Marta was even second and she barely showed up at the Olympics (the biggest event of last year in women’s soccer).

          • heremerawr

            Didn’t Marta only score, like, two goals against Cameroon or something? It wasn’t very impressive if I remember, although I could be wrong, as it’s been extremely difficult for me to find the games of other national teams. Also, agreed on the Ballon d’Or. Alex should’ve won with Abby coming in second. The problem is people voting on name recognition, plus Abby and Alex probably split votes they’d otherwise get.

          • Anton

            Marta has to do everything herself on Brazil, she plays everything sans goalkeeper for them. I shutter to think how good Brazil could be/could have been if Marta had a Wambach or a Sinclair to play with. She deserved each one of those POTY awards.

          • heremerawr

            People say Marta carries Brazil, but wasn’t Brazil very, very good in 2007 and 2008? I dimly recall a quote from Abby or someone saying Brazil was at its peak during that time… and they still didn’t place first at either the World Cup or the Olympics. Not to take away from Marta, as I agree she’s very good and deserving of her POTY awards, but I’m not sure I buy this “Marta carries Brazil” thing.

            Really, my point is that if you can score a ton of goals in an okay league or on a rich club that buys other great NT players, then good for you. But at this moment, a woman only really shows her strength on the NT, because that’s where the major tournaments that matter are, that’s where the big crowds and pressure are, and that’s where you face TEAMS that are very, very good. Is there still a drop off at the NT level? Oh yeah, sure. That’s a problem of the women’s game in general that’s slowly improving. But it’s not as drastic as at the club level, where the rich European clubs basically outspend their opponents to get their hands on the best players. Until that changes the years when there are NT tournaments are going to be deciding factors for the POTY award… as it should be.

          • Steglitz49

            At 18 Marta joined Umeå in 2004 and played 5 seasons for them. She played for Brazil from the 2003 world cup onwards (maybe already in 2002). It could be argued that Marta’s years in Umeå were her best. She was fantastic.

            Last season, when Marta’s current club Tyresö visited Umeå, 3125 turned out to watch while Umeå’s median for the season was 525 (inter-quartile range 425-611). That was the second highest attendance in Damallsvenskan that season, only bested by the very last match between Malmö and Tyresö that decided the league. In their glory years, Umeå averaged ca 3900 per game.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            I am more than ready for it to be less about NT tournament years and more about a full resume for the year. The USWNT play too many games compared to other NTs anyway. They act more like a club so get club-like stats. Some of the best players are on underfunded or struggling NTs. Marta in particular. It’s criminal how little support her NT gets. I felt bad for her after the Olympics and how she practically pleaded for more support and just looked heartbroken. Meanwhile she’s has had an excellent club career. There are way more club games to get a better sample from. Like how the men are evaluated. Maybe that’s dreaming.

            Lotta is still by far my favorite forward. She’s just so calm and her style is very elegant, something I wish would show in the American game more. Press is closest I’ve seen to that. I’m glad she stayed in Sweden to keep learning. We don’t need more of the same coming through the factory.

          • heremerawr

            I’d agree with you IF there was more parity at the club level in Europe. But the fact of the matter is that there are only a couple teams in each league that are really good (the Bundesliga a possible exception according to Steg and Sol), while the rest are really… terrible. Granted, you could argue the same for the NT level, but I still feel it’s where better quality play is found in comparison to club. If the women’s game can improve that aspect of their game then by all means, focus on the club level to determine the best players in the world. But until that happens, I can’t help but feel the NT level is a far better indicator of talent.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            It indicates the talent you want it to then. I prefer the two non-WC/Olympic years in recognizing the best players because it seems closer to my eyeball test. :)

          • Steglitz49

            We can expect that the Player of the Year this time round will be dominated by nominations from Europe and Asia. It will be a more even spread than last season.

          • Steglitz49

            The USA has the NCAA at varsity and high school sports. Europe has nothing comparable. Would that they did but they don’t.

            Germany, Europe’s most populous country, has 200m inhabitants less than USA; Sweden and Norway have 300m less. Even Japan has 180m less than USA.

            The NWSL took a leaf out of the NFL’s book and endeavored to introduce parity between the 8 teams. Europe, following Lyon’s lead, is increasingly dominated by the wealthy teams — ie going the way of MLB and, eventually, the Dodo.

            Not surprisingly the NTs are the better indicators of talent.

          • Steglitz49

            Abby was best in all three categories of Coach, Captains and Media. Marta was 2nd among the Captains. Sawa was 2nd for Coaches while Carli Lloyd was 2nd for the Media.

            In terms of Media votes, Rapinoe scored worst. She collected the same few points as the invalid votes. Second worst was Miyama (Japan’s captain), while 3rd and 4th from bottom were Sawa and Fukumoto. Discrimination seems to have been rife this year.

          • Steglitz49

            Seeing that Japan and USA have been top dogs in 2011 and 2012, maybe we should think of one or two fine Nadeshikos to put into the mix, like Miyama, Kumagai or Ogimi?

    • newsouth

      2. Morgan plays at a different talent level and basically a different game than everyone else (including Sinclair). She is the most physically gifted athletic girl the sport has ever seen in my opinion, and her tech ability is getting downright scary now too. Sorry to my friend, newsouth on that too who will strongly dispute. It’s just so absurdly obvious to see. ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’

      Sorry, this is so over the top it’s hard to laugh at it. She’s the best thing the game has ever seen. Cap Press 50 times, and she is a probably diverse scorer, was in college, the wps, and isn’t too bad in Sweden. No one can explain the Pia thing with her. I won’t even bring in Marta before her nasal surgery and Sinclair, who keeps that portland squad above water or looking have decent.

      • NYRick

        I knew that would get you. Ha ha, I was waiting for your response.

        Listen when it comes to Press you’re not going to get much of an argument from me. If you cap Press 50 times, she may have about 38 goals or more. She probably is the best pure striker on the US team and playing with the ridiculous US team talent including AM up top with her, would create enormous opportunities that she would definitely finish.

        I think my point as it always is pertaining to AM is that her athletic gifts seem superior to the others. I completely understand how good Marta and Sinc are. But AM, I think anyway, is the most exciting player in the women’s game. Almost like when a HR hitter (say Bonds is his steroid crazed years came up and you didn’t go to the fridge to get a beer, you watch the at bat) steps to the plate. That’s how I feel when Alex is running full speed and the ball is in the air and two defenders are running with her. No other player presently in the sport makes you feel that way. At least me anyway. Does that make her the best? Probably not. But whatever she is, she is very close to the top to anyone in the sport.

        I know you think I go over the top with the AM praise, but the girl is a unique talent and great for the sport. Personally, I would much rather the star of the US team be Press. I just like her overall persona better. And I think she would grab all the headlines if made a starting striker.

        • Don B.

          Rick, you need to understand that if Alex Morgan walked across the Mississippi river, newsouth would conclude only that she can’t swim. All you need do is read his posts on other sites such as Big Soccer to see that as far as he is concerned, AM has been handed everything because US Soccer and Nike have conspired to make her the face of the team while keeping Press and Syd capless in order to further the AM mystique. No matter what AM accomplishes, there will always be a reason why ten or fifteen other strikers are better.

          • Steglitz49

            I blame the body paint.

          • NYRick

            You need only eyes as a pure soccer fan to see that she is the most dominant and electric player that takes the field every match she plays.

            Yes, Sinc, Marta, Lotta, Sawa, Pinoe, Press, Maroszan and the rest (some of the French girls too) are all outstanding players and deserve mention and have their moments. But there is only one Alex. And it is a great thing for women’s soccer and speaking a bit as a Patriot here, a great thing for US soccer as well.

          • Steglitz49

            I put it to you that your comparison is a wee bit biased and damages your case.

          • NYRick

            “Sinc, Marta, Lotta, Sawa, Pinoe, Press, Maroszan and the rest (some of the French girls too) are all outstanding players…”

            I think I’m giving credit to most of the best players in the sport there, no? Yes, I favor the American girl a bit but she is in the conversation as certainly the best in the sport no doubt.

            I’m not necessarily going out on a limb by saying AM may be the best player in the woman’s game. If I said Press right now. Yes, that would have been a wee bit biased.:–)

          • Steglitz49

            Of the ladies you mention, only Ms Press at 24, Ms Maroszan 20 and Marta at 27 years are near Alex in age. Ms Sawa is >11 years older, Sinclair 7 and Schelin 6 years older.

            2011 was, of course, Sawa’s year, and also Schelin’s, so Ms Morgan has some years in hand. Of the players, Marta is the greatest.

          • NYRick

            I think Maroszan may turn out to be the best of the them all by WWC15. Alex is always going to have competition for FIFA player of the year, and namely it will come from Maroszan, even more than Sinc in about a year or two. She is scary good at 20 right now. Krieger raves about her from the women’s German league. She’s kind of the whole package too of athleticism, size and skill. I really like her game and she will be something to watch in my opinion moving forward.

            So you see, I’m not that US biased after all. Alex and Press are my favorites though.

          • Steglitz49

            My reading of it is that Alex and Christen have that star quality, which reaches across the orchestra pit and touches the audience. Some sports persons have it and others don’t. All countries can list examples of both.

            Of course, Sawa has it (several of the Nadeshiko do) and Marta did when she was younger, Schelin has played abroad so long now that it is harder to judge but she is hugely popular in France let alone in Sweden.

            But, as far as American soccer is concerned, it is Alex all the way. (We can ponder other sportswomen who has that it-factor.)

          • NYRick

            For American soccer, I think several of the members of the USWNT have the “it” factor. Of course Alex leads the way and she has it really more than any female US athlete, maybe ever. But in my opinion, most definitely Christen too. She just has that something that can’t be defined, almost an intangible about her. Looks and talent always help in these matters, and both girls certainly have that.

            Plus, I think Hope, Pinoe and Abby all have the it factor for the US team. Maybe Kelley to an extent too in terms of popularity and likability. The USWNT current team is a very interesting collection of personalities. I think that’s what makes the team so popular.

            In terms of overall sportswomen I would have to say the hands-down number one is Sharapova.

          • Steglitz49

            Hope’s contributions are generally undervalued and Abby seems taken for granted, like part of the furniture.

            Sharapova may be a big ticket in USA but outside she does not seem to shine so bright. Maybe the Williams sisters are simply too respected?

  • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

    We gonna get a Seattle version of a run down because that was all Thorns POV. Every paragraph.

    • KT5000

      True… and odd. I didn’t expect that here.

    • notasdepressed

      What would you add if you had a Seattle version? Harvey’s quotes say it all from a Reign POV. I’d just add Winters and Fishlock controlled center mid for the most part.

      • http://twitter.com/cascadiafooty Jeremiah M. Braeback

        Only Coach Harvey was made available from Seattle, I believe…

    • http://twitter.com/geauxmace Mev

      Bout time someone said this

  • heremerawr

    Great game, great atmosphere, and more goals, which will hopefully make people happy. Honestly, though, Portland pretty much dominated that game, and it was through the sheer willpower of Fishlock and the defense that kept them in the game. Plus the ref was awful and let some pretty blatant fouls on both sides slide. But no matter, it was a great game regardless, definitely the best of the season so far. Here’s hoping the rivalry continues to improve once the players who are injured/in France get back.

    • newsouth

      portland is built and allocated by the league to win at home for that type of attendance. it’s that plain and simple. nothing special again this week. sinclair moves to the mid-field and gets the offense going, is the most flexible player on the portland side, not morgan, who gives you the run, fight for possession and try to get a shot off routine. their mid-field is a personnel issue, not a games played or practice sessions. skyblue, wyn and kc will give them major problems, if they have to continue to move sinclair to the mid-field. offense was dead again until she took control. sinclair > morgan, is still the better “OVERALL” player. a-rod may not have finished as usual but would have given the portland back line issues. and i’m not sure morgan could get the ball pass solo, who plays well with her legs at blocking balls. seattle is so incomplete and offense-less it isn’t even funny. but excellent turnout by the portland fan. they fill the stadium, the league gives them an offense that can win 9 to 10 home games.

      • NYRick

        Pretty spot on analysis.

        Just pure spec, but I agree that Hope makes that save on the Morgan goal and is no way caught at that poor an angle on Morgan’s 1 v 3 attempt in the first half where the defender saved it off the goal. Seattle also has no one in the final third with an ounce of creativity or finishing ability. With Fishlock, they would be an interesting team with Hope, ARod and Pinoe.

        In terms of Portland at home, figure 10 wins, 1 draw. Even with their weak mid, which will force Sinc to technically play there most games they will breeze through this season with the best record. In playoffs, they could get tripped up by a Skyblue or KC though. Any idea on where the championship game will be? At the home of the team with the best record? If that’s the case, they won’t lose in that building.

  • Kernel Thai

    I didnt see the Boston stream so I cant compare but this was nice. The commentators were good and so was the camera work. I did have a problem dropping the stream in the first half and there was also some audio problems but both cleared up for the second half. My biggest complaint is u cant show replays while the other team is counter attacking. Yikes! Nice job for Portland media people tho.

    • http://twitter.com/BostonRedSoccer Boston Red

      And who is this player “Morgan Sinclair”?

      • stephy_paola

        hahahahaha I was laughing so hard when i heard that.

    • heremerawr

      The Boston stream was good in that the players wern’t a bunch of pixels running around. They also had, I think, three cameras, but they were rather poorly positioned to catch plays. Basically, the Boston stream was nowhere near as good as the Portland stream, but it was certainly much better than, say, the Washington’s stream.

    • heremerawr

      The Boston stream was good in that the players wern’t a bunch of pixels running around. They also had, I think, three cameras, but they were rather poorly positioned to catch plays. Basically, the Boston stream was nowhere near as good as the Portland stream, but it was certainly much better than, say, the Washington’s stream.

    • Michelle

      The reason that there were replays during game play was because the stream was the one played inside the arena on the big screen, so the replay timing didn’t matter as the people there have the actual game in front of them.

  • DJ

    HD stream, fireworks, lots of creative chants…Amazing job.

    But, next time they just have to mic the Rose City Riveters so we can hear them even better! Wonder if Seattle might add seats to Starfire for Thorns games??

  • Ashley

    The live feed was way better than the Washington game yesterday, that was torture watching that.

    Agreed with NYRick on Long, she has been a fouling machine for some reason – amateurish fouls that could be avoided, too. Has she been hanging out with Kia McNeill? Though she had a lot of energy and a lot of decent touches, so I’ll give her that.
    Fishlock, Nairn and Betos seem like the only real standouts for Seattle, though they held off Portland all right. I’m certain Rapinoe is what they need to convince me (and lots of other people) that they can play with the rest of the league. Good player overall, but really, am I the only one on here that doesn’t like the Wayne Rooney-esque attitude? I was hoping Washington would come back from that tussle and give Fishlock something to think about for being a pompous ass. :)
    Go Portland, they were the better team. There’s no stopping Morgan, cut her down all you want, she’ll still score on you.

  • TsovLoj

    If we’d had a decent midfield we’d have won by 2 or 3. Certainly better than last week though.

    • notasdepressed

      amen sister. read my post.

  • notasdepressed

    Soooooooooooooooooo…….same story as the PTFC v KCFC game. The PTFC midfield is the worst spot on the field for PDX. Everyone thought Defense would be their weakness, but it’s clear midfield is.

    If Morgan and Sinc don’t get more help, they both won’t be as effective as they are on their National Teams. PTFC midfield needs to FIND these players at all costs. Look at how many times when the defense just played it down the line and BAM Morgan on the break.

    Washington doesn’t have the ability to beat players anymore, same with Long. Again I’m so annoyed they play with their shinguards on the SIDE of their leg (stupid athletes). Both were soooooooooooooooooo slow. They had so many chances to start fast breaks then bam both would slow down or put their heads down. Kerr was pretty much invisible. The thing is PTFC has absolutely NOOOOOOOOOO width and that should be something they need to use with their home field, they barely did, but when they did they had some success.

    Both Long and Washington and Kerr still had bad games OVERALL. If it wasn’t for Sinclair being in midfield more, Fishlock and Winters would have had more goals.

    Now thinking about it almost every other team in NWSL has a much better midfield that’s so much STRONGER physically than Portlands. PDX plays these baby touches in midfield and goes no where (Barcelona, without the purpose)…..I’m kinda concerned that when Tobin comes it’s going to show EVEN more because Long/Washington/Heath all play a like. Hopefully Tobin will play the ball forward into space more for Morgan, that’s why Cheney for WNT is so great in midfield. VISION with a purpose.

    I honestly think Winters and Fishlock were the players of the game, they really did a good job overall controlling midfield switching the ball, etc. winning battles, etc. Just IMAGINE if one of those players were on PTFC…what a diference they would immediately make.

    Also on a side note. I’d have to give LeBlanc the cockiest womens GK title. She’s got a good personality, but She plays out of the box way too often and I couldn’t even think when she’s actually made an amazing save. They need to have someone replace her as a backup on CA WNT. Her play always seems so nonchalant.

    correction: A rifled shot off Morgan’s right foot drew a save off the line from Kate Dienes……should be off morgans LEFT FOOT.

    • heremerawr

      Another problem I’ve noticed with the Thorns midfield is that if they’re not doing ineffective short or back passes then their holding the ball too long (ha, puns). There were several times when both Washington and Long had me banging my head in frustration because Alex would be making a run and instead of passing it off they’d hold onto the ball and attempt to plow through multiple defenders to get a shot off or something. They’re selfish players without the technical talent to back it up and it’s annoying.

      • notasdepressed

        YES YES YES!!! Washington was the biggest offender in that case. I was laughing when it looked like she was going to take a player on…Oh really? You think you’re fast? You never were in college. Head down dribbling to the corner. and I shouldn’t even say dribble more like WALK while pushing the ball forward since that dribbling was sooooooooooooooo slow.

        Coach Cone……listen to US!!!!!! Trade Long to NY where she’s from and send Washington to KCFC close enough to TX where she’s from. We need actual midfielders that PASS FORWARD! We will take Veronica Perez from WNY and Lauren Cheney or Mewis from KCFC. LOL wishful thinking

        • heremerawr

          Lol Pinoe would be most likely, considering she actually wants to play for Portland. Like, a lot. Plus the people there love her.

          • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

            Portland’s deal with the devil to get Morgan and Sinclair (extreme shade cast here) seems to have been forcing out Pinoe who had a claim to the city. Gonna have to live with that for years to come I’m afraid.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe Ms Rapinoe will stay in Lyon?

        • Anton

          Long and Washington are friends with Alex, they’re going nowhere.

          • notasdepressed

            LOL. You’re seriously giving that as the reason?

            If you think she has all the say, she would have probably been in Seattle where her BF lives! Hello!

          • Steglitz49

            Is there a story there? Is there something we should know? Time to ferret out the news, if there is any.

          • notasdepressed

            LOL No, but this person Anton thinks because Long and Washington are friends of Alex they aren’t going anywhere. A pretty silly statement.

          • Steglitz49

            On a more serious note, has there been any announcements about how a transfer market would operate in the NWSL?

            Will the managers simply get together in a smoke filled room and swap players like kids used to swap baseball/cards? Or, will they be able to buy from each other? An auction?

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe the defense on the other side are thwarting them? Then what you see is ineffective play that peters out into nothing, as yesterday was for Barcelona against Bayern Munich.

    • NYRick

      Great line about the Thorns mids: “baby touches in midfield and goes no where (Barcelona, without the purpose).” LOL.

      I mean look up once in awhile. AM was running free down the flank all game and begging for the ball. And it was so bad that Sinc had to play most of the game in the mid just for possession. Morgan played in the center of the pitch too much too. Fishlock and Winters did control the game. The problem is that Seattle has no one in the final third who could make a play in/around the 18 yard box other than those two.

    • Steglitz49

      Portland’s midfield is in Paris and Seattle’s in Lyon. Once they are with the team both will improve.

      Seeing that this is women soccer, maybe the Nadeshiko rather than Barcelona would be a better comparison. We need to grow the brand of ladies’ football.

      Does California have a WNT of their own? Should it not be CA SNT? Might Stephanie Labbé return for Canada?

      • notasdepressed

        Good call regarding Nadeshiko, but it’s soccer so the pinnacle of the passing game is Barcelona. We don’t need to womanize it. We don’t need to segregate this. The women even would say they want to play like men aka Barcelona. Lets not minimize a woman’s goal by saying they play like Nadeshiko, when in athletics its better to be compared to a man. Like wow you see her, Marta she could play with men…etc.

        CA is abbreviation for Canada. WNT Womens National Team

        • Steglitz49

          I was, of course, a bit tongue in cheek about “CA” because I got lambasted a week ago because I abbreviated The Netherlands “NL” and not “NED” or the “NEDs”. Nevertheless, CA is ambiguous, is it not?

          As for comparisons, the Nadeshiko are the reigning world champions and they played in the last olympic final (abysmally refereed from their point of view), so we need not drag Barcelona into a discussion of ladies football.

          It could be argued that the reason that the Nadeshiko and Barca play the same way is that both teams are shorter than their competitors, not least in attack (and midfield). People will always discuss whether Barca’s style should be ascribed to Cruijff or Robson; probably both. Japan’s is Sasaki.

          • notasdepressed

            In the context it was written it’s straight forward that it’s Canada. It’s written about Karina, and WNT is the most common abbreviation that’s used all over the internet, ussoccer, twitter, facebook, etc.

            It’s silly to say not drag Barcelona into a discussion of ladies football. Seriously? If you ask 99% of the women’s players out there and you say, who’s the best passing team in the world…they probably would say Barcelona becuase even women follow men’s soccer because when men play it, it’s played at a whole nother level. Before Marta, there was really no player in women’s soccer that girls could TRULY say ohhhh XYZ player does that all the time and I want to practice that trick. Because girls playing today are still coached by men influenced by men’s players, that’s the IDEAL METHOD to teach girl’s soccer players. In the US women’s soccer is still so far behind in our technical awareness. I forget the article, but I think it was DiCiccio saying that’s the worst part of US Women’s football and we need to develop more players like you guessed it Tobin.

            For the Japan’s reason for playing that way I would agree that Sasaki really has done a 180 for women’s football there. He understood that physically Japan will never be able to keep up with the Canadas/USA/Germanys of the world, so they needed to work on something they could be superior over these countries.

            And to be honest, USA/Germany/Canada/Sweden/even China have all NEVER been known as GREAT passing/possession teams in terms of their style of play.

            That’s exactly the same with what Bruni or whatever has done with France. He has brought their technical ability to probably the top 3 in Europe.

          • stephy_paola

            I agree with you 110%! Women soccer is used to long balls into space. Us (women) need to develop our technical skills and also have more possession of the ball. If you watch any women soccer match you can see how the ball just bounces around everywhere. Controlled, technical soccer shows the true beauty of the sport.

          • notasdepressed

            Only 110%? lol. That’s why Brazil and even Spain now is still in the eyes of the world is everyone’s favorite team besides their own country.

          • Steglitz49

            Brazil’s brand-name is verily strong in ladies’ football as witness last year’s Olympic tournament. No Brazil match was watched by less than 28k and the median was 30k. Most other matches had attendances of 10-18k, incl USA-France which many saw as a top match.

            Brazil-Cameroon had 31k & Bra-NZ 30k, and the QF Bra-Jap 28k, all 3 played in Cardiff, better known for its rugby than soccer. The other matches played in Cardiff had Gbr-NZ 24k, Gbr-Cam 31k & Japan-SA 24k, so attendance in Cardiff generally was good. In Manchester, USA-North-Korea attracted 29k while the USA-Can SF got 26k.

            Apart from the final, the Gbr-Bra group game was at Wembley 70k as was Fra-Jap SF 61k.

          • stephy_paola

            Yeah only 110% lol

          • Steglitz49

            Judging by today’s match maybe it is Bayern Munich that should be the model, but let’s wait till after the return leg to decide.

          • Steglitz49

            And Dortmund, judging by yesterday’s. Let’s stick to comparisons between the ladies.

  • NWSLFan

    I am really hoping there is another article coming out for this game. I can’t handle Equalizer running away with only Portland, too. Fishlock was amazing all game long. Let’s get an article that discusses this.

    • TsovLoj

      As a Thorns man, yeah, she carried Seattle most of the game.

      • NWSLFan

        I’m actually a KC season ticket holder, but I really dislike unfair reporting. Nothing against Portland, they obviously deserved to win this game. Seattle needs all the help they can get (in regards to publicity) with fair reporting after their rough start with allocated players.

        • Clifford Eiffler

          To the victor goes the spoils :) Fact is that even with the impressive Seattle midfield this was Portland’s game. Dangerous throughout the game and could have seen 1-2 more goals.

        • notasdepressed

          People People…..lets be FAIR…………who WON the game? Portland. Why? Because they scored more goals than Seattle. Is that fair enough? Oh wait I didn’t talk about EVERY single Seattle mini positive.

          Seattle scored one goal off a scrappy play. What else did they do offensively? Oh wait….lets talk about how great their defense did and only allowed PDX to score 2 goals!!! Great Job Seattle!!!!!!! lol.

          This article is rather straight forward honestly. Seattle had one bright spot and it was 1 goal that deserved 1 paragraph.

          THIS IS SPORT!!! Not our whacky education or lower school level sports where everyone’s a winner! lol

          • NWSLFan

            If you notice, I originally said that I hope there is another article coming out on the game. I assumed most people would understand that I am okay with this article if there is one later that says more than a little bit about the other team. And I understand this is more of a brief description of the game. I am hoping of a more even analysis.

            And in regards to your “lower school level sports” comment, I follow the EPL (mainly Arsenal) and read tons of articles where they give a good dialogue on both teams regardless of the score. Obviously Seattle did some things right since the score was 2-1. Even if they did nothing right, the author could write about needed improvements. If the EPL writers can give good discussion on both teams when there are blow out scores, then certainly Equalizer Soccer can on this score line.

          • NWSLFan

            If you notice, I originally said that I hope there is another article coming out on the game. I assumed most people would understand that I am okay with this article if there is one later that says more than a little bit about the other team. And I understand this is more of a brief description of the game. I am hoping of a more even analysis.

            And in regards to your “lower school level sports” comment, I follow the EPL (mainly Arsenal) and read tons of articles where they give a good dialogue on both teams regardless of the score. Obviously Seattle did some things right since the score was 2-1. Even if they did nothing right, the author could write about needed improvements. If the EPL writers can give good discussion on both teams when there are blow out scores, then certainly Equalizer Soccer can on this score line.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Anton

            If Seattle ‘scored more goals than -copyright of Merritt Paulson-’, the article still wouldn’t be about the Reign. We both know this.

  • STT

    Seattle isn’t tied for fourth – they’re solidly in seventh, above WNY on total goals scored but behind the other one-point-ers on GD.

    • Steglitz49

      Maybe the Equalizer can help us by publishing a little standard soccer table?

  • ST

    Seattle better hope they get forwards Cameron and Taylor back soon. Bogus is not a forward who can lead this team. She has occasional good moments but it’s outweighed by her non-existent defense, easy giveaways and useless energy chasing plays. Reign needs some power up top instead of relying on an overstocked midfield.

    • http://twitter.com/hercircumstance hercircumstance

      Yeah, all that hard work in the midfield isn’t going to pay off without anyone to finish it. Too bad about Arod being gone. She was always good at club level even if she was fading from the NT. Cameron was good for them in preseason. It feels like we need a google spread sheet to keep track of when their real team will be trickling back in.

  • notasdepressed

    Seattle: I think they have probably the coolest jersey sponsor. The Moda logo is pretty cool and makes it look european. Glad it doesn’t look like the Times Roman font of the PTFC sponsor’s name.

    Chicago/WNY/Seattle have the best jerseys by far. The rest are just boring and generic. I understand why the others are boring, but ugh. kinda sad from a marketing standpoint.

  • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

    I think “Cleats Up” Kaylyn Kyle needs some sort of recognition for something other than being hawt. How about naming her the inaugural “Worst Player of the Week”?

    • notasdepressed

      NO NO NO. She wasn’t the worst. I’d give Bogus the MOST INVISIBLE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD. Or Long for the Most Ineffective Player Of The Week

    • Anton

      That’s Allie Long. The fact that she didn’t get sent off after like 10 fouls is a joke.

      • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

        Kyle makes her share of dirty tackles, albeit it not in this last game.

  • Steglitz49

    16,479 is a fabulous attendance for a ladies’ club match. The second leg of the Wolfsburg-Arsenal CL SF in Wolfsburg drew 8,000 spectators while the first leg in London only 1,500 (which was still 3-4x more than Arsenal usually get).

    What will other teams do when Portland visit them? Hire a bigger venue? Or, do Portland fans not travel?

    • http://twitter.com/BostonRedSoccer Boston Red

      Other than to Seattle, Portland fans won’t be traveling in large numbers to support the Thorns. It’s just not feasible right now (I’m not sure it will ever have much impact on a game other than perhaps a playoff).

      • Steglitz49

        This is the general experience in Europe also. Potsdam and Tyresö have travelling fans but the rest don’t.

        • sol1711

          traveling fans in german buli, wolfsburg, turbine potsdam, frankfurt, duisburg, bayern münchen

          • Steglitz49

            The attendance figures are interesting and you have to help us interpret them.
            Last season the average attendances at home were: Potsdam 2533, FF 2466, Wolves 1791, Dbg 1655 and BM 534, while away these teams had figures of 1472, 2081, 1007, 1117 and 1110, respectively.
            So far this season the averages at home are: Potsdam 2088, FF 1910, Wolves 1221, Dbg 782 and BM 337, while away 1042, 1215, 462, 861 and 1024, respectively.

    • sol1711

      spectators in wolfsburg 8173

  • Anton

    This Seattle team is impossible to hate, such a scrappy and resilient bunch. For everything that’s gone against them from the get go, to play fairly well in two games against Chicago and Merritt Paulson’s All-Stars is awesome to see. The return of Pinoe will give some much needed flair to the attack and if the defense keeps this level when Hope comes back, possible sleeper. A lack of finishers might be the main issue though, missing A-Rod hurts big time.

  • http://twitter.com/JeffKassouf Jeff Kassouf

    Obviously, you are all free to think what you want. At the end of the day, we’ll all have varying opinions. But the misconceptions on what this article is — a straightforward gamer — are ludicrous. This is a match report and it has a lead that carries on through the story, like any good piece has. Go to your favorite major sports media outlet and look at an Associated Press article, which every service uses, and you’ll see the same sort of syntax for any game. Plenty of you will disagree with me, which you are welcome to do. You’re also welcome to support or totally despise the Thorns, either way is cool with me. But to call this “unfair,” inaccurate or one-sided is delusional. I won’t comment each time these arguments arise, which will inevitably be often, so I’m putting that out here now.

    • notasdepressed

      LOL. Thanks. People shouldn’t be arguing about how things are written unless there’s a typo.

      That’s why you have a comments section where the ARGUING can realy take place in a healthy debate regarding different aspects of the article and the game.

      The comment selection gives even more in-depth views of the game which are fun to read.

    • KT5000

      Thanks for chiming in. Re-reading some of the comments, I think there may be a camp outside those who would call the article “unfair” but who simply came here hoping for something different. Not that anyone is obligated to provide it, of course. In my case, since I knew so many other sites would be covering the high points (straightforward gamers, as you said), I was hoping for more nuanced stuff on how teams are shaping up in week 2 from the writers here who have seen these players throughout their career and have perspective to offer.

      Unfair and inaccurate? No. One-sided? Well, that doesn’t seem like a totally delusional description, even if the writing style is perfectly normal and common.
      I greatly appreciate this site and my original comment on the subject was not a swipe at anyone’s professionalism.

  • sol1711

    16500 spectators very good, 2-1 victory good, a real soccer field very very very very good.

    now the new league must only survive the first 5 years.