Portland Thorns

20,000+ watch as Thorns chase the Shield with 3-1 win over Washington

screen_shot_2019-08-17_at_10.16.14_pm.png
Portland Thorns Twitter

20,000+ watch as Thorns chase the Shield with 3-1 win over Washington

More than 20,000 fans once again packed Providence Park for tonight's Thorns game, this time to see them host the Washington Spirit. 

Portland played at the level we have come to expect of the #1 ranked team in the NWSL (currently with 33 points). You can watch all three of the goals here:

The Thorns are chasing their first NWSL Shield since 2016, which is awarded to the team with the best regular season record. 

If you missed the game, or just want to watch it again, you can check it out over at Yahoo Sports. 

Social Media was abuzz after the game as the excitment builds towards the postseason as well as a milestone night for Tobin Heath:

Next up for the Thorns is a match vs. the Red Stars on the 25th. 

Goliath vs Goliath. Thorns victorious in championship rematch

Goliath vs Goliath. Thorns victorious in championship rematch

In sports we always talk about the battle of David vs Goliath. Can the heavy underdog come out and upset the monster favorite. Well, what we had at Providence Park on Sunday was the opposite of that cliché storyline.

Instead, it was Goliath vs Goliath. Two monsters of the NWSL going at it for a chance to jump to the top of the league standings. The matchup between North Carolina and Portland has quickly become a marquee main event, not just in the NWSL, but in American soccer.

Including North Carolina's time as the Western New York Flash, (they moved to North Carolina in 2017) the Courage and Thorns have combined to win four the NWSL's six league championships. No other team outside of these two has won the championship since 2015. In fact, no other team has even played in the championship match since 2016.

Portland beat North Carolina in the championship match in 2017, and North Carolina won the championship rematch in 2018. The two could be on a crash course for a third championship matchup in as many seasons, but first, they had some regular-season business to take care of.

In front of a Thorns and new NSWL record crowd of 25,218, the Thorns pulled off the 2-1 victory over the Courage. Unfortunately for the Courage it was two own goals that gave Portland the victory. Well, two own goals and an incredible home-field advantage.

Fans fill Providence Park:

The home-field advantage was on full display Sunday. 25,000 plus sold-out Providence Park to watch the to best teams in the league go at. It seems like every week the NWSL is setting an attendance record, the league at an all-time high following the Women's World Cup. But Providence Park has always been at the head of the pack.

Courage head coach Paul Riley, who coached the Thorns from 2014-2015 said of the attendance, "it's a fabulous place. The atmosphere was fantastic. We didn't keep the crowd quiet enough... It's a pleasure to play here, to be honest with you. If every game could be played here it would be great for the league."

Current Thorns head coach Mark Parsons gets to experience this home crowd for half of the season, but it hasn't lost its luster. "the advantage of being in the best place in the world with the best fans paid off today," said Parsons. "We're grateful on a record-setting day that we have, on all sides of the stadium, people coming here and supporting these players and setting a new high standard on how to support."

Portland is a special place for women's soccer, and it showed itself off on Sunday.

No match bigger:

When you think Portland rivalries it always takes you on a quick drive up I-5. You think The Timbers vs Sounders. You think Thorns vs Reign. But perhaps the biggest rivalry in women's soccer in 2019 takes place with opponents nearly 3,000 miles apart. Portland and North Carolina have long been the gold standard for the NWSL and their record of excellence has made each match between them must-watch television. Back-to-back meetings in the championship game will do that.

Even Parsons compared it to the rivalry with Reign FC. Said Parson, "when Seattle and Reign come play in this stadium, and that epic rivalry, it's absolutely huge. The fact that Thorns and Courage have developed a similar (rivalry) is a complement to what they've done over the last couple of years."

Riley also loves where the rivalry is going because it's great for the league. "A little bit of...not so much love between the two teams. I think that's good, it's an important part. Rivalry is important in women's sports. We've got a great rivalry with the Thorns and hopefully it can continue."

Bigger Than Soccer:

The NWSL family is sending its best wishes to Toni Pressley of the Orlando Pride. It was announced early in the week that Pressley had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The Pride defender underwent surgery on Friday and was placed on the 45-day disabled list as she begins her treatment and recovery.

Following his team's big win over North Carolina, Parsons took the time so send a special message to Pressley:

"One last thing. All of us at Thorns give our love to Toni Pressley, who obviously got some bad news this week. Amazing athlete. Amazing person. All the best to Orlando and Toni as she goes through her fight through cancer. We know she'll crush it and we know that she'll be back causing us problems in the future."

Next Up:

Portland remains at home to welcome the Washington Spirit to Providence Park on Saturday, August 17th. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.

Social Media Reacts: No Luck up north for the Thorns

screen_shot_2019-08-07_at_9.20.15_pm.png
Portland Thorns

Social Media Reacts: No Luck up north for the Thorns

The Thorns traveled up north to Tacoma to take on rivals Reign FC but they didn't head back home with the result they wanted. Portland couldn't get the offense going and Reign FC picked up an important 1-0 victory to climb up the standings. Lauren Barnes was a force on defense for Reign FC. No matter who got into the box, and no matter how good a look they got, Barnes was able to slam the door shut. She frustrated the Thorns all night and her efforts handed Portland just its fourth loss of the season. 

Here is how social media reacted:

https://twitter.com/bjconant/status/1159307992426323973

Thorns head to Seattle for clash with Reign

thorns.jpeg
Portland Thorns

Thorns head to Seattle for clash with Reign

Another matchup between two Pacific Northwest rivals is upon us. At 7 pm Pacific, the Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign FC face off against each other in what is likely to be a hotly contested game between two of the top teams in the NWSL. Every matchup is a battle both on and off the pitch, and tonight might have an increased importance.

The big storyline for tonight is the inclusion of a few notable players back into the fold. While the Reign defeated Portland in their last matchup, a 1-0 victory on July 5, that game did not feature any of the US World Cup players. Not only have they been busy winning their fourth World Cup, but also the subsequent obligations and celebrations that come with their victory. 

After spending such a long time playing on the same team, Adrianna French, Emily Sonnett, Lindsey Horan, and Tobin Heath (Portland) will try to gain some bragging rights over fellow national team members Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe (Seattle). It might take a minute getting used to these women in different uniforms, as they just played the first leg of their victory tour against Ireland last week. 

Tonight’s contest is even more important when you consider the implications that this game could have on the NWSL standings. Currently, the Thorns have a record of 7-2-6 with 27 points, and the Reign are not far behind with 23 points, sitting at 6-3-5. 

Portland is currently just one point behind the first place North Carolina Courage, and a win could jump the Thorns into the league’s top spot. On the other hand, a Seattle win would firmly entrench themselves into the top NWSL group. With only four teams given spots into the league playoffs, every point/game matters, especially between two teams fully in the mix of contention. 

To watch what is sure to be an exciting contest, fans can livestream the game on the Yahoo Sports App, which can be found on all major app store platforms. 

Portland Thorns shine at Providence Park and at the Rose Bowl

usatsi_13149888_147386290_lowres.jpg
USATI

Portland Thorns shine at Providence Park and at the Rose Bowl

Portland Thorns players were on full display on Saturday night. 

Not only did the Thorns pick up another point with a draw (1-1) vs. New Jersey at Providence Park thanks to a Christine Sinclair penalty kick goal in the first half but fellow Thorns, Tobin Heath & Lindsey Horan, were busy scoring goals at the Rose Bowl where the Women's National Team was taking on Ireland in the first game of their post-World Cup Tour. The Thorns now sit in 2nd place in the NWSL standings just behind North Carolina. The two teams will face off on Sunday next week. 

Sinclair's goal for the Thorn's came after this foul:

Heath and Horan both knocked in pretty goals in the exhibition: 

The Portland Thorn's players making headlines Saturday night is no surprise. Both Heath and Horan were key pieces to the Women's National Team bringing home the FIFA World Cup and Christine Sinclair (who plays for Canada) has been holding down the fort with the Thorns and has now notched a goal in four straight games. 

The Thorns are back in action against the Reign on Wednesday at 7pm. 

The National Team tour picks back up August 29th vs. Portugal at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. 

July 2019 proclaimed Thorns FC Month by Mayor Ted Wheeler

July 2019 proclaimed Thorns FC Month by Mayor Ted Wheeler

Four representatives from the Portland Thorns were invited to this morning's City Council meeting so that Mayor Ted Wheeler and the Council could proclaim July 2019 Portland Thorns FC Month in recognition of their outstanding efforts at the FIFA World Cup where the four Americans brought home a title and five other Thorns competed for their home countries. 

Watch the video above to hear from the Thorns on their experience in Paris and the proclamation from Mayor Ted Wheeler. 

BRACE yourself: World Cup Thorns return to Providence pitch in grand fashion.

thorns.jpeg
Portland Thorns

BRACE yourself: World Cup Thorns return to Providence pitch in grand fashion.

Soccer City USA was on full display on Wednesday. For the first time since the World Cup ended earlier this month, a full-strength Thorns squad took to the pitch at Providence Park. 

Nine different Thorns represented their respective countries during the World Cup, including four on the championship United States squad. 

As they returned home they had quite the welcoming committee. A Portland Thorns record 22,329 fans filled Providence Park, the second-largest crowd in NWSL history.  "Unbelievable. On a Wednesday night, a new Thorns record and only 700-800 away from a new NWSL record," said head coach Mark Parson of the supporters. "Riveters, Portland Thorns fans, Portland as a city, this community... I feel like it's every couple of months they set a new standard and then they smash a new standard. 

Chants of "equal pay" rang through the stadium and the crowd got louder and louder as the opening kick approached. The chants turned to roars as the returning national players were honored during a pregame ceremony. The electric atmosphere in the stands was somehow surpassed by the electric play on the field. 

A full-strength squad for the Thorns is a force to be reckoned with and on this night the Houston Dash played the role of the sacrificial lamb. 

Goals came and they came fast. Just 23 minutes into the action Portland had not one goal, but four. That's right - FOUR! Scoring four goals in an entire game is impressive enough, but to see it in just more than 20 minutes of action is unreal. It was like watching a video game. The Thorns scored goals at will. Haley Raso, fresh off representing Australia in the World Cup, tallied a brace, scoring the team's second and fourth goals of the match. 

"That first 25-30 minutes was full-throttle Thorns. Electric football." said Parsons, "I feel bad for Houston in the sense they were facing a Thorns team that was flying on all cylinders" 

The team was flying both figuratively and literally. Lindsay Horan flew threw the air for a spectacular bicycle kick that was just inches away from scoring the best goal of the NWSL season. Even as a near-miss the attempt was a jaw-dropper. 

"We haven't all been home together in so long," said Horan, "We just wanted to come out and put on a show."

Horan wasn't the only returner turning heads. Tobin Heath played her first game back with the Thorns and along with Team Canada's Christine Sinclair, helped anchor the Thorns attack. 

"I think that was the best half of football that Tobin (Heath) and Sinc (Christine Sinclair) had between the lines... great night for everyone being back together, " said Parson. 

Speaking to Thorns' announcer Ann Schatz after the game, Heath said of her and Sinclair's performance, "Mark (Parsons) was saying something about Sinc and I, and we were just like, 'we just missed each other, that's all it was.' It's just great to be back."

They miss each other, we missed them, and a 5-0 victory over the Dash was a great return gift. 

It was a great night for the players to be back and it was a great night to have them back. However, the return will be short-lived. The four players representing Team USA - Heath, Horan, Emily Sonnett, and Adrianna Franch -  will miss the Thorns' next match while Team USA plays a friendly against Ireland at the Rose Bowl. 

Christine Sinclair scores the goal of the week, or month, or season, but Portland Thorns, Utah Royals play to 2-2 draw

Christine Sinclair scores the goal of the week, or month, or season, but Portland Thorns, Utah Royals play to 2-2 draw

What. A. Game.

Adrianna Franch made incredible saves. Christine Sinclair had a sweet volley from 20 yards out. Lindsey Horan’s go-ahead goal almost locked in three points for the road team.

But Friday’s meeting between the Portland Thorns and Utah Royals was spoiled with a 90th minute equalizer from Rachel Corsie, who gave Utah its second goal of the night and a 2-2 tie at the final whistle.

The old adage holds true: it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Let’s take a look back at the best moments from Friday’s matchup, which fell nothing short of the thrills and spills we could have hoped for.

It all started in the 9th minute when Thorns captain Christine Sinclair found a rebounded ball and took one hit from outside the 18-yard box to give Portland a 1-0 lead. This piece of beauty has to be the goal of the week, or month…or season. Take a look:

Meanwhile, Christen Press had other plans for the Royals. The Utah forward caught NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, Adrianna Franch, and the Thorns defense sleeping, firing off a shot from the far post to level the match 1-1 during the 43rd minute. The internet was shook.

The second half was physical, and tough. Katie Stengel and Kelly O’Hara fueled the Royals, but Adrianna Franch was full of saves.

Just when the match looked over, Thorns defender Meghan Klingenburg found Lindsey Horan in the box, who took a spike to the ankle while scoring in the 86th minute.

When it looked like Horan’s goal had locked in three points on the road for the Thorns, Rachel Corsie had other plans. In the opening minute of stoppage, Utah came back with a thrilling goal from the Royals centerback. 

The match ended in a 2-2 draw and both teams walked away with one point. Up next, the Thorns take on the Houston Dash on Wednesday at Providence Park. 

Thrilling stoppage time goal propels Thorns over Orlando while Christine Sinclair makes history

screen_shot_2019-07-14_at_2.11.59_pm.png
Portland Thorns Twitter

Thrilling stoppage time goal propels Thorns over Orlando while Christine Sinclair makes history

It looked as though the Portland Thorns were going to let one slip away when Orlando scored the equalizer in the 90th minute at Providence Park on Sunday. 

Tyler Lussi would have none of that. The Thorns forward knocked in the go-ahead goal for the win in the fourth minute of stoppage time for a thrilling win in front the nearly 19,000 fans in attendance. 

Not to be overlooked following the amazing comeback win, Christine Sinclair became just the fourth player in the history of the NWSL to log 10,000 minutes for the same team. Sinclair has played for the Thorns since 2013!

More to come on the Portland Thorns throughout the summer as their season continues and their World Cup teammates rejoin them!

 

It took 9 days for Marissa Everett to make her mark in Portland Thorns history

It took 9 days for Marissa Everett to make her mark in Portland Thorns history

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.