Thorns showed heart and effort but needed goals.
Thorns showed heart and effort but needed goals. Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

The Portland Thorns fell to the Seattle Reign 1-0 on Saturday evening at Memorial Park in Seattle. SLOUCHING SHOULDERS. WHAT HAPPENED? This loss pushes the Thorns down to the fifth spot in the league rankings and pushes the Reign up to second.

This game started like most Thorns games against Seattle—highly emotional, erratic, and seemingly unorganized. Fans were thrilled to have Thorns forward Hayley Raso get her first start after a long absence due to injury. WELCOME BACK! But the absence of Tobin Heath on the roster was surprising and disappointing. WE MISS YOU TOBIN! It’s been a while since this key player has been consistently healthy and available.

I was relieved to see the Reign’s Jessica Fishlock off their roster. I love love love watching Fishlock play against any team BUT the Thorns. SHE’S TOTAL FIRE. The absence of Heath and Fishlock seemed to even things out, and I had nothing but a super positive, bluebird-on-my-shoulder feeling when the ball went into play.

The game went scoreless until the 89th minute, and felt tentative for the majority of the game. Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg was dealt a yellow card early in the first half, and the Reign—specifically forward Megan Rapine—set the pace for the majority of minutes. The Thorns had zero shots on goal and recorded only 10 shots through the entire match. Much of the time and energy was spent stifling Rapinoe near the goal, and it wasn’t until the 89th minute that she found a way to cross the ball in to the front of the box to find Jodie Taylor’s feet for a Seattle goal. CRAPSICLES!

Thorns goalkeeper AD Franch had an amazing game. She not only stopped hard to reach shots, but she did more than punch or push balls out of the way. She stopped them and reset play. She refused to allow the Reign too much confidence. It was astonishing. I DIDN'T MISS BETOS ONE BIT.

AD Franch is easy to love - especially after games like this.
AD Franch is easy to love—especially after games like this. Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

The rest of the Thorns defense were also on point, patient, and composed. Being without Emily Mengus was a super scary spot for fans to be in, but Sonnet, Klingenberg, and the rest of the defensive squadron built walls and deflected the consistent push of Seattle's front line.

This was the fourth soccer game I watched in a 12 hour period on Saturday. Is that something I am proud of? YES. Was Saturday an amazing day? UNDOUBTEDLY.
Sure, I miss my non-soccer friends during the World Cup, but I love making new pals every day when I slip out of work “to run some errands” and scream at the TV with strangers. If you are interested in watching any World Cup match with a group of avid, respectful fans in a comfy environment you can join me at Revolution Hall in the Sunset Room. A friend has set up a great space to watch the games with free coffee, pastries, and bagels. I promise you there is no catch: No timeshare presentation, no drink minimum, and no jockeying for a decent seat. Just a guy who loves the game and wants to share with a like-minded community. Plus free World Cup swag and a raffle! Tell Jeff that you heard about it here!

After two World Cup matches, I watched the Timbers beat the Sounders and thought for sure there was another win in the cards for the Thorns. And while I was deeply disappointed in the result, I woke up Sunday with a clearer more positive perspective. I live in Soccer City, USA. I got to wake up, pull on a floor shirt, and make my way to watch soccer with other lovers at 7 am. I feel super fortunate—like I'm a part of what makes this place so magical. And if we can build such a following and commitment to women’s sport and soccer here in Portland, we can spread that love to other parts of the league that need it.

I still cannot belive this is how it ended. Was it just a bad dream?
I still cannot belive this is how it ended. Was it just a bad dream? Photo courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

Over 400 Riveters traveled up I-5 to root for the Thorns against their close rivals. MORE SUPPORT THAN A BRAND NEW SPORTS BRA! And while I did not attend, it sounds like others shared in a similar experience that I had last summer when I went I went to a Reign vs. Thorns match. Then, I enjoyed my pre- and post-game time in the Emerald City, but my game experience was not just disappointing—it was also disheartening. Being in Memorial Stadium makes me sad. Not just because I want the Thorns to absolutely crush the Reign, but the facilities are absolute crap and I think it's an outright shame that the Seattle Reign team plays in such a shithole.

This is not a “Portland stadium is better than Seattle’s stadium” statement. This is me watching the Timbers play the Sounders a few hours previous in a beautiful stadium and then the Reign host the Thorns in a second-rate prison yard. It’s unacceptable and I feel so conflicted by it. I want to start a kickstarter for the Reign and get a tetanus shot when I think about that Orange Is the New Black bathroom situation.

I don’t want to lose any one of my five or so readers, but: When can we start to look at this league as a whole and figure out not just who’s the better team on game day, but how we can help elevate each other as professional women?

Phew! I got all emotional there for a minute. It might be time for a shower and a break. I hope to see you at Providence Park on Friday when the Thorns take on the number -four ranked Utah Royals. Get your tickets here! Thanks for reading, and hey, Thorns fans: Keep your chins up. You are a part of this beautiful city and should be proud of what we’ve built. Spread the soccer love and follow my spicy snark on Twitter @erinjeanius.