Providence Park, home of the women's soccer team, the Portland Thorns, hosted the North Carolina Courage on Sept. 11. Photo by Nicholas Nerli

Thorns Column: Two diehard fans break down recent defeat

The Portland Thorns played on Sept. 11, 2019 at Providence Park. Sports commentators Leah Francis ’19 and Kurt Neumaier ’19 break down the game to the best of their ability.

Leah: Well folks, the big one finally happened. No, not the earthquake that will devastate the West Coast, but a shakeup almost as enormous if you care about women’s soccer. The Portland Thorns played the North Carolina Courage and, in a devastating defeat, lost zero to six. Unlike the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL, they had previously been first in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

Kurt: Ouch, low blow there Leah. Yes, my beloved Philadelphia Eagles have not had a strong start to their season, but the Thorns had been playing extremely well up to this point in the season. But just as the playoff picture was coming into focus, they dropped two games in a row, first losing to the Utah Royals 1-0 and then this calamity of a home match against the Courage.

Leah: Hey, I am still for the Birds, although shoutout to the Detroit Lions, if you are reading this: the Francis family is rooting for you. And look, at this point, the Thorns have already made the playoffs, so fans can take a quick breath. They have also already made a slight comeback in their most recent game, beating the Houston Dash 1-0, even though winning by only one point against the Dash is not the most encouraging. 

Kurt: There is hope, though, when you look at the roster there L-Fran. Led by U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) members/part-time superheroes Lindsay Horan, Tobin Heath, Emily Sonnett and Adrianna Franch, the Thorns are still the most dangerous team in the league. Tobin Heath, also known as Swaggy T, also known as Spider-Woman Tobin Maguire, is the most skilled player in the world, leading the attack and using both feet to embarrass and demoralize the opposing team’s defense. Midfielder Lindsay Horan is in the running for best player in the U.S. and the world. Also, fun fact, coach Jill Ellis thought Sam Mewis and Lindsay Horan were the same person for the entirety of the World Cup this summer.

Leah: That is a good point Kurt, and the Thorns have many other good players besides those on the national team. Dagny Brynjarsdottir, midfielder, who was also a minor character in the third season of “Game of Thrones,” made a great start and has an adorable baby. Women really can have it all, folks. Noted kangaroo Hayley Raso, forward, is back and better than ever, so there are many reasons for Thorns fans to have hope. Looking forward to the rest of the season, the Thorns will be playing two mid-level teams: the Reign and the Spirit. One team is from Washington State and the other from Washington D.C., and there is no way to identify which is which. 

Kurt: The Seattle Reign (who are actually from Tacoma and play in Tukwila and are in denial about both) feature my idol and the person who I want to be when I grow up, forward Megan Rapinoe, so the game will not be a walk in Providence Park. But I believe. I believe so hard. Go Birds. Go Thorns.
Leah: That is all from us today folks, thank you to our fellow sports fans and loyal PioLog readers for tuning in. We will be back next issue with more Thorns content or a detailed recount of Kurt’s breakdown directly after the next Eagles game. Stay red, Portland!

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