The Riveters present Tyler Lussi with her commemorative goal scoring rose. While the rest of the team preps for a line dance. TRADITION
The Riveters present Tyler Lussi with her commemorative goal-scoring rose. Photo courtesy Portland Thorns FC

Everything’s coming up roses! The Portland Thorns cinched another win on Saturday when they crushed the Houston Dash 2-1. RECKLESS WINDMILLS IN SMALL PUBLIC SPACES!

The game was originally scheduled for 12:30 pm, but due to the fact that it was hotter than the back of Hades’ knees, the league thought it best if the game started a little earlier. FINE, I WILL RESCHEDULE BRUNCH. Sure, it was warm when the game started, but Portland had just come off a stretch 100-degree days. And while 88 degrees felt refreshing to most Portlanders, it was difficult for folks to find something to complain about—and you know Portland peeps love the complain game. I guess we’ll have to settle for talking about the most peculiar places our body sweats and try to outdo each other’s moist stories of mystery. THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID "MOIST."

I watched the first half of the match from the press box, and it was a bonafide Michael Jackson THRILLER! The Thorns must have skipped breakfast because they came out HUNGRY. It was TOTES OBVS that they wanted to score first, and it was great to see such speed and urgency without sacrificing passing connections. After only 12 minutes into the match, Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg whipped a free kick right in front of the box, and while it was deflected from the goal, Emily Sonnett batted the ball in with her head to put the Thorns on the board with a goal. INDISCREET YET TASTEFUL SHOULDER SHIMMIES!

Horan making it happen.
Horan making it happen. Photo courtesy Portland Thorns FC

The footloose and fancy-free fun continued with some lovely saves from Franch and some close-but-no-cigar shots from Portland. The record scratch that sucked the air out of the stadium came when Horan ACCIDENTALLY MAYBE laid out a Dash forward while trying to stop their drive for a goal. Houston evened the score when Carli-with-an-"I" Lloyd tucked that penalty kick into the net. SON OF A MOTHERLESS GOAT! WE ARE TIED UP!

You've heard me sing the praises of longtime Thorn/Canadian sensation Christine Sinclair, AND NOW I WILL DO SO AGAIN. Sinclair simply makes things happen. She does so with quiet precision and inventive decisions... the same way a really good chess player anticipates their opponent's next two moves, then creates an opportunity in a split second. (I can only assume this, as I do not know how to play chess.) Sinc gained possession of the ball around midfield, connected with Klingenberg, and sat back and watched the magic happen. Grab some Juanita’s brand tortilla chips, because HOLY GUACAMOLE, Portland forward, Tyler Lussi found a way to finish things off with another goal for the Thorns!
I dont know if Christine Sinclair wants to score more goals or eat a baby.
I don't know if Christine Sinclair wants to score more goals or eat a baby. Photo courtesy Portland Thorns FC

This was Lussi’s first NWSL goal, and we all know: YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST! She was the 21st overall pick in the 2017 college draft and was signed with the Thorns at the start of July. She scored A LOT of goals while at Princeton. Here’s to hoping we see more of that determination!
Come for the soccer, stay for the funny flower hats.
Come for the soccer, stay for the funny flower hats. Photo courtesy Portland Thorns FC

I spent the second half sitting in the stands with a friend visiting from out of town. I love showing off Providence Park and the Thorns to buddies that have never been to a game of this caliber. The crowd's reactions are enough to make the hair on your arms stand up. (And trust me, there's a lot of hair on these arms.) Saturday’s 18,243 screaming and sweating fans DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Sure, the press box is pretty sweet, but I sure do love eavesdropping on the women sitting around me when I sit in the stands. I just love the recipe hints ("a quarter-cup of ketchup!") and low-grade drama. (Sounds like Carol may not make it to the eclipse after all, because Sarah’s 24th birthday is that same day, and who knows what Sarah is going to want to do. SARAH, PLEASE DON’T KEEP US HANGING!)

This win puts the Thorns in the number three spot as far as the standings. NOT TOO SHABBY, SISTERS! But keep in mind that Portland plays five of their next seven games away from home, and that might be tough. The Thorns' next game is on Saturday, August 12 in Chicago. The Red Stars are currently just ahead of us in the standings and, like most teams, they do not like to lose at home. The Thorns should have super-speedy forward Nadia Nadim back from the Euros, and Ali Long did not register a lot of time this past game, so she should be ready to rocket on Saturday too.

You can catch the game on the NWSL network on Saturday. Oh, and check out this sassy, brassy little clip that Lifetime put together to showcase your favorite group of sing-songy rabble rousers, the Rose City Riveters. You might recognize the overly excitable voice over at the top and bottom of the clip. OBVIOUS WINK.