The Portland Thorns will play the North Carolina Courage for the 2018 NWSL Championship this Saturday here in good ol' Portland! CAKE IN THE FACE! THEY'VE DONE IT AGAIN!
The Thorns have FOUGHT and SPARRED through a season of HIGHS and LOWS ... full of INJURIES and ADVERSITY... full of THIS COULD HAPPENs!! and WHAT IS HAPPENINGs??… to come full circle and DROPKICK their way into the number two spot in the league.
After a tumultuous regular season, the Thorns WRANGLED a semifinal win last weekend against their I-5 rival, the SEATTLE REIGN, which puts them right here in Portland for the Championship match on Saturday against North Carolina. I’M FULL OF NERVOUS EXCITEMENT AND I’M SWEATING IN WEIRD PLACES!
The Thorns will face the North Carolina Courage for the final—the same team they beat last year for the Championship. GO FRIGGIN' FIGURE. Here’s why I want to the Thorns to beat this team AGAIN and FOREVER.
1. The Courage is a good team. Really good... like only-lost-one-game-this-whole-season good. With that loss, the Courage also has 17 wins and six draws. Three of those wins were against the Thorns. AND YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT THAT.
2. This team is big, bold, and has been firing with all cylinders for the entirety of the season. If there’s one thing I hate, it's confidence—especially when it’s not mine. HOW ARE WE THE UNDERDOGS IN OUR OWN CITY?
3. The Courage is coached by Paul Riley, the Thorns' previous coach who was replaced by our Marc Parsons. I hate when my exes are happy.
4. The Courage is STACKED with MONSTER players that dominate in the air, making set pieces like corner kicks TOUGHER THAN A TOENAIL. Jessica McDonald and Crystal Dunn play up front and are always in SWEEP THE LEG JOHNNY ATTACK MODE. Then, in the back they have Merritt Mathias playing defense in a ruthless, yet delicate way. SHEESH, THE MORE I THINK OF THEM THE MORE I PANIC.
5. If you wonder why the hometown crowd bursts with boos every time North Carolina’s #15 touches the ball—in short, Jaelene Hinkle decided not to play for the US National team for “Personal Reasons” in 2017 citing her religious beliefs regarding wearing a jersey celebrating PRIDE month. UGH, GET THIS OFF MY COMPUTER.
OKAY—enough negativity. LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS GODDAMN THORNS RAINBOW I'M TAPDANCING ON. This Portland team is ready for this game and this city is ready to host. Last year I traveled to HOT AND BACK SWEATY Orlando to see these two teams play one of the toughest, roughest matches I’ve ever witnessed. It was like a parking lot fight with linesmen and hot dogs. It was incredible watching the Thorns TAKE IT ALL in Florida. About 200 or so Thorns fans found their way out there to see it all happen, and being there will stay with me for a long time. Now super fans and bandwagoners have the opportunity to get wrapped up in the fury and stone cold savagery of the final between these two teams. Please soccer Gods, give us a good, fun, clean, competitive game—just like we’ve had all year here in Portland.
Want to join the fun? It’ll be tight in that stadium. You can try to get your tickets here! But honestly, Twitter might be your best route to find tickets at this late hour.
Want to watch the game? Catch it on Lifetime TV!
I will also be tweeting about the game, so follow that @portlandmercury or @erinjeanius