Soccer

Women’s Soccer Recap: Another World Cup Win and a Thorns Draw – Blogtown

Sometimes it hard to be a woman...

Sometimes it hard to be a woman… Photo credit Portland Thorns FC

HOLY GUACAMOLE! It’s been an action-packed and gobsmacked week of stellar soccer! The US Women’s national team won their second game in the 2019 World Cup against Chile 3-0 and the Portland Thorns gained one point with a 1-1 draw against the North Carolina Courage! SLAY MUCH? YAAAASSSSS QUEENS!!

GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE
The Thorns traveled to North Carolina to play and tie the Courage on Saturday. Say what you will about the I-5 rivalry between the Thorns and the Seattle Reign, but the beef the Thorns have with the Courage will always be THICKER for me. THICK MEAN BEEF!! Were you at Providence Park last year when the Courage beat the Thorns 3-0 for the 2018 Championship? I WAS AND IT STUNK LIKE FORGOTTEN SEAFOOD PAELLA IN THE BACKSEAT.

Oh, and were you in Orlando when the Thorns beat the Courage 1-0 for the 2017 NWSL Championship? I WAS, AND IT WAS HUMID AND HOT AND TOTAL SOCCER EXTASY!

The Thorns have battled this team for years and it’s always been a barrage of toughness, grit, and contention. Saturday evening’s match was especially interesting considering both teams’ top players were gone due to the World Cup in France. But the current contenders proved ready for battle.
The game started with some fast and furious drives and misses for goals, and it wasn’t until the 26th minute when Midge Purce connected her right foot with the ball to RACK-N-THRASH the net for a goal. TAKE THAT, NEIL DIAMOND! I GOT YOUR SWEET CAROLINE RIGHT HERE!!!

Purce has scored in the last three Thorn’s matches and it’s thrilling to watch her speed in collaboration with other players—especially with Thorn’s forward Simone Charley. I LOVE seeing the beast and butterflies that this World Cup season births in the NWSL. SO MUCH TALENT AND SO LITTLE PLAYING TIME!

MIdge Purce is pure ACTION!

MIdge Purce is pure ACTION! Photo credit Portland Thorns FC

The second half seemed more challenging for the Thorns after the Courage made adjustments to match Portland’s attack. NC got the equalizer in the 59th minute when Merritt Mathias fed a picture-perfect ball to Julia Spetsmark for a chipper over the head and hands of Portland keeper Britt Eckerstrom. DAG NABBIT!

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That was certainly not the end of the game, but it was the end of the scoring. THANK YOU, BABY JESUS! If you know me I always say two things: “There ain’t nothing that three martinis and a cold compress can’t fix,” and, “I’ll take a point on the road anytime.”

Another tactical foul from NC Courage.

Another tactical foul from NC Courage. Photo credit Portland Thorns FC

USA ALL THE WAY
In World Cup action, on Sunday I woke up early to watch Sweden beat Thailand 5-1 in their group stage match-up. The USWNT is in the same four-team group as Sweden, Thailand, and Chile. After they all face off, the best two teams (and maybe third if they manage to be better than most) move forward into the next stage of the tournament… THE KNOCKOUT STAGE. We aren’t talking about GOOD LOOKS, folks, WE ARE TALKING SUDDEN DEATH. There ain’t no bathing suit competition in this one, guys—IT’S ALL TALENT.

DRAMATIC STING!
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The US started their match at 9 am Portland time on Sunday—about an hour after I arrived at our group’s meeting spot for the Portland Pride Parade (I marched with The Siren Theater’s Dance Team—no big deal… IT WAS AWESOME!)

I had initially intended to watch the match on my phone, but to my surprise, our float was parked outside of Life of Riley—a Northwest sports bar that opened a few hours early for the match. No, it’s not a soccer-specific bar, or a lesbian bar, or a Thorns/Timbers affiliated bar, it’s just a bar with a bartender who thought, “Sure, I’ll open early because someone called in and asked if we would be open.” Well to her surprise busloads of glitter-clad soccer ladies and gentlemen were thrilled to grace her barstools to watch, cheer and drink their way through the second USWNT game of the 2019 World Cup! ASK FOR THE GAMES AT YOUR BARS/ RESTAURANTS/BAT MITZVAHS/ETC!

This game was a banger. Remember just last week when people were ranting that the USWMT were celebrating TOO MUCH and going TOO FAR with pursuing a 13-0 win over Thailand? Well, Sunday’s US team looked and slayed just the same.

The US started a whole new line-up against Chile. Mainstays like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapino, and Tobin Freaking Heath all got a nice big break while some newer team members logged some playing time. The US showed that they have not one but two solid teams on the roster that can seriously compete in this tournament.

HIP-HOP HOORAY
US National team legend Carly Lloyd scored TWO GOALS on Sunday. She’s scored in the last six USWNT match and I don’t think she could stop if she tried. Lloyd’s first goal came early in the first half when a long ball was fed into the box but deflected by a Chile defender, then headed past the goalie and into the back of the net by Lloyd! KNICKKNACK PATTY WHACK, GIVE THE LLOYD A GOAL!

The second goal was a literal perfect ponytail whipping header by Julie “The Endless Competitor” Ertz. She was served a corner from fellow Chicago Red Star Tierna Davidson and scored while I slurped down—WITH NO STRAW—my third (or maybe fourth) cocktail of the day. SORRY TO BRAG AND HICCUP IN YOUR FACE.

THREE’S A CROWD
Lloyd scored her second goal off ANOTHER stellar Davidson corner in the 35th minute! BODY-ROLLS ON STRANGERS WHILST WEARING EXCESS GLITTER! We all wanted Lloyd to grab her hat trick third goal of the game with a penalty kick in the 81st minute, but nay, it was not to be.

This win means that the US will be advancing into the KNICK KNACK KNOCK ‘EM OUT ROUND OF 16! But there’s still one more game left for the USWNT to play in group F… SWEDEN. ANOTHER DRAMATIC STING!

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You can watch that game on FOX, Thursday at noon here in Portland. And if you want to see some live soccer action this weekend, grab some tickets to see your Portland Thorns face off with the Utah Royals at Providence Park on Friday night!





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