Forget vest season! SCARF SEASON IS BACK!
Forget vest season! SCARF SEASON IS BACK! Image courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

LET THE SUMMER OF SOCCER LOVE BEGIN!
The Portland Thorns are back in play this Sunday against the Orlando Pride, and I'm so excited my left arm is numb and I have a tightness in my chest. CALL A DOCTOR OR JUST GET ME SOME SWEET NWSL ACTION! Set your soccer clock alarms for 2 pm to watch these two top-notch teams face off in sunny (and humid) Florida on Sunday April 14. UNRELENTING AIR HORNS!!!
Lindsey Horan has a new jersey and shes not afraid to use it.
Lindsey Horan has a new jersey and she's not afraid to use it. Image courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

LOOKING BACK AND MOVING FORWARD
It was a tough ending to a great season last year with the Thorns losing the championship match to the NC Courage right here in our own Providence Park. Seeing a packed stadium cheer on powerful and talented women gave me appropriate goosebumps—BUT I WANT MORE! It’s too bad we won’t get to visit our palace of a stadium until June 2 when the Thorns host their first home game of the season after SIX away games. I can’t imagine being away from home for that long. My tummy would be so... congested... know what I mean? But Providence Park is getting some major renovations—like Jennifer Grey nose job major! You won't even recognize the stadium when they're done. STARS, THEY ARE JUST LIKE US! Read the details here!

And that’s not the only challenge the Thorns will be facing. Our delightful summer soccer season will soon be COMPLETELY DERAILED with the 2019 Women’s World Cup—the French Edition. OOO LA LA!
I'm sure France is beautiful in June/July, but the Thorns will likely be losing a total of NINE players to this tournament. NINE. For those of you who struggle with numbers, NINE is almost ten, more than eight, and in my opinion, MUCH MORE AND EXCESSIVE THAN I WOULD LIKE IT TO BE.

Don't panic! Focus on this cute picture of Christine Sinclair with a puppy!
Don't panic! Focus on this cute picture of Christine Sinclair with a puppy! Image courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

Here's my list of Thorns that will soon be temporarily departing to the World Cup:

Lindsey Horan (USA!)
Emily Sonnett (USA!)
Tobin Heath (USA!)
AD Franch (USA!)
Christine Sinclair (FREAKING CANADA)
Ellie Carpenter (AUS)
Caitlin Foord (AUS)
Hayley Raso (AUS)
Andressinha (BRA)

DEEP BREATHS INTO A PAPER BAG. Is our pint glass half full or half empty? I FEEL SO TORN! I love World Cup: I love how folks that generally don't engage in soccer leave work early to catch games at the local pub and rattle off names of pro women athletes like they know what's up. BUT THAT’S NINE OF OUR BEST PLAYERS!
I choose to think of it as a glass FULL OF POSSIBILITIES!
I am full of confidence (gulp), and I'm sure Thorns head coach Mark Parsons has given this some major thought and has a great plan.

Mark Parsons is calm. Super calm. NEVER WAS THERE A CLAMER PERSON.
Mark Parsons is calm. Super calm. NEVER WAS THERE A CLAMER PERSON. Image courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

SERENITY NOW
When talking about how he feels during the first week of the regular season, Parsons said, “I feel that (calm and excitement), a natural feeling, because the group has done great work. I don’t feel like we have thousands of things to work on, which sometimes we do, at this time.”
In fact Parsons must have used the word calm five times in a two minute statement. That’s about as reassuring as having a seat cushion that floats in a plane crash.
Whether the glass is half-full or half-empty, I know for sure it’ll be a fun soccer season for fans. The only thing better than summer is a World Cup Summer. I can’t wait to sneak-watch games at my desk at work!
Fans were treated to some preseason fun at the University of Portland's own Merlo Field! Dagný Brynjarsdóttir is back!
Fans were treated to some preseason fun at the University of Portland's own Merlo Field! Dagný Brynjarsdóttir is back! Image courtesy of Portland Thorns FC

HOW TO WATCH THE GAME
Great news! We no longer need to rely on a majorly unknown and unreliable source called go90 to watch our away games this year! HAIR FLIPS AND COOL WHIP! This year you can stream all of the games from Yahoo! Sports.

That’s right, you read that correctly: Yahoo! Like your Aunt Carol’s email address. I guess this is a thing and it’s the best we can do. I mean, ESPN has like five channels including one that's dedicated to women, but it looks like the demand for competitive axe throwing and bowling is higher than the greatest female athletes of our time.

I guess we're going old skool and so Yahoo! Sports it is. Was AOL not interested either? There are streaming directions here!