The Thorns drew 1-1 against New Jersey's Sky Blue FC on Wednesday night, and boy oh boy were fans bummed out after this one. R.E.M. WAS RIGHT, EVERYBODY DOES HURT! Sky Blew FC is still the last-ranked team in the league, with zero wins to their piss-poor noncreative name. And to top it off, Sky Blows FC holds the record for the longest streak without a win. SOUNDS LIKE BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN IS THE ONLY BOSS OUTTA NEW JERSEY.
If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. I waited a bit before I started this blog because I generally don’t like to advertise myself as a negative person and I certainly would never want anyone to think I am a poor loser who pouts on the way home and makes fun of people’s names and silly, shallow stuff like that ... I WOULD NEVER. It’s always freaking sunshine and rainbows out of this gal. But some games land harder than others, so here goes my noble attempt to grab the bootstraps and make some GD lemonade.
A BEAUTIFUL BEGINNING
A record number of 18,237 fans came out to Providence Park to cheer the Thorns after they’d been on the road since May 30th. A handful of key players were back from injury and it was PRIDE night. Fans seemed DOWN TO CLOWN from the moment they traipsed into the stadium, and when the Riveters hoisted a majestic rainbow tifo that read “We Are Family,” the glee was palpable. It was great to be back in the stadium with the Thorns family. But just like any family, you have your ups, your downs, and your drunk uncle.
The first half was a real seat-squirmer! The Thorns had some fantastic opportunities and New Jersey had some breakaways and near goals as well. We saw some close=range shots from Sinclair, Crnogorčević, and a real should-a-could-a shot from Andressinha, all in the first 25 minutes. Meanwhile, Carli Lloyd and Savannah McCaskill were consistent threats up the wings for Sky Blue. Imani Dorsey knocked a nice ball right into frame giving Thorns goalie AD Franch a majestic save. LOOK OUT PINK FLOYD—THERE’S A NEW WALL IN TOWN.
Just before the whistle for halftime, Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg skimmed a free kick straight into the center of the box where Christine Sinclair graced it with her head, and then Lindsey Horan finished it into the goal with her head. WAY TO PUT YOUR HEADS TOGETHER!
The second half was a headache of weird calls from the referee, beautiful chip crosses from the Thorns, and more near goals that looked to frustrate the team more than inspire. It never really felt like the Thorns “had it in the bag.” And in the 75th minute, we found out why. While driving toward the goal, Carli Lloyd went down after Thorns midfielder Celeste RASPBERRY Bourille’s feet got tangled with hers. The referee quickly whistled for a penalty kick and, well, you can guess how that ended. The last 20 minutes had more near goals from both teams but nothing that counted. The whistle blew. The game was over and the crowd erupted into boos. Sure it was a draw, but boy did it feel like a loss walking out. I COULD NOT BE CONSOLED.
How do I remedy my sadness? CURED MEATS AND CARBS. That’s right, there’s really no loss or disappointment that a little chorizo and a baguette can’t handle. Sure, we lost, but I still had a great time at the game! The IPA was crisp and I really enjoyed the two ladies behind me trying to figure out what the blue and pink flags stood for. NO CAROL, THOSE AREN’T GAY BABY FLAGS. I got choked up listening to the 11-year-old girls sitting next to me talking about formations and set-piece strategies the teams were using. FUTURE STARS AMONGST US! Win, lose, or draw, we really do have something special here in Portland and this southern girl is stoked to share it with ya’ll. I LOVE YOU BUT I’M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU. GOT IT?
The Thorns are traveling up I-5 to face the Seattle Reign on Saturday. The Reign also played on Wednesday and ended in a scoreless draw against Utah. The game is at 7, and you can catch the live stream from the NWSL here. Or, if you like, you can get your Thorn-loving butt up the Washington way and see the game in person AND SIT WITH THE RIVETERS WHEN YOU USE THIS LINK AND THE CODE WORD "RIVETERS."
Get your tickets now for the next home game on Fri July 6 against the Utah Royals BOO HISS. Join the fist-pumping Thorn-loving fun!
Follow me to the game and follow me @erinjeanius.