While the USWNT is abroad eating macaroons, escargot, visiting the Eiffel Tower, oh and dominating on the world’s biggest soccer stage at the World Cup in France, the NWSL moves along in the regular season.
For the Portland Thorns, that means losing Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Adrianna Franch and Emily Sonnett to the big stage. But in their absence, there is opportunity for others to step up. One of those players chomping at the bit, working hard and paying her dues is former Oregon Ducks soccer stud Marissa Everett.
It took just nine days for Everett to make her mark in Thorns history.
“It was unbelievable. I literally didn’t know what to do,” says Everett after watching the ball hit the back of the net. “I didn’t think the opportunity was going to come. I knew I was going to try my best when I came in but just took the opportunity… and celebrate with my team.”
Everett has always been a west coast girl. From growing up in California, to playing for her dream school the University of Oregon, and when the time came for her professional career, she couldn’t be happier playing in Portland, Oregon.
“I’ve always watched the Thorns growing up and I knew they were a team with such a passion for the game,” says Everett. “I wanted to be apart of something like that. To have the opportunity to do that straight out of college is unbelievable.”
There is no denying that Portland is one of the premier soccer cities in the country. Rowdy fanbase, beautiful new stadium expansion, and a city that supports women’s sports to the fullest. 17,000+ fans showed up to the Thorns’ home opener in the newly renovated Providence Park.
On Sunday, June 2 and in front of a near sellout crowd, Everett made her name known.
Scoring goals is one thing. Scoring 13 in one match is uncanny. 13-0 isn’t your typical soccer score. In the case of the USWNT at the World Cup, it was a statement, an utter dominance, and resulted in the U.S. getting some flack both in running the score up and continuing to celebrate.
But the people who are saying this act is disrespectful aren’t wearing cleats or wearing red, white, and blue.
“I think in a tournament this big, you have to compete to your greatest level. If that’s scoring 13 goals, be happy about it,” says Everett.
Just imagine running through warm up lines, shooting drills, playing keep away, and someone yells in your direction “Yes, ball!” and that person is Tobin Heath. If you think players, like Everett, who are just coming into the league don’t get starstruck, think again.
Everett has the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the game.
“Their presence on the ball is just super calming,” easy Everett. “I’m envious of that. I could freak out a bit sometimes when I’m out there.”
The Portland Thorns (4-4-1) currently stand in third in the NWSL rankings and next face Houston on Saturday, June 29.