Portland Thorns FC Woman of the Match

Stavey Neve

The Portland Thorns played their home opener in front of 16,000+ fans, here are the players who stood out the most.

It's always tough picking just one player when the team plays as dominantly as they did against the Seattle Reign. In this situation, there are usually plenty of stand out players to make their case for the honor. For tonight, we have three:

Ryan: Nikki Washington

She was a terror on the outside and when Seattle was not fouling her she was able to get behind the defense. She was also able to hit the long diagonal ball over the defense to Alex Morgan on multiple occasions which lead to multiple chances. When Portland was on the defensive she tracked back well and recovered the ball to help jump start another attacking sequence.

Andy: Marian Dougherty

Certainly she deserves credit for the Thorns' first ever goal from the run of play (yes, I went there), but Dougherty also played very well defensively, sticking in a few key tackles. And she contributed some of the most promising crosses from her right side, although none of them went for goals. She and Nikki Washington need to communicate a bit better, but when they do the Thorns' right wing will be unstoppable.

Jonanna: Marian Dougherty

I gotta go with Marian Dougherty. Not only did she score a fantastic header for the opening goal, she played with a calm confidence, using excellent judgment as to when to hang back and when to charge down on an overlapping run. When she did push more offensively, she passed well, including a very nice feed from all the way back in the Thorns' defensive third to Sinclair, who was streaking to the net.

Stacey: Christine Sinclair

The Thorns captain is, as Cindy Parlow Cone pointed out after the game, not just a goalscorer but an excellent passer. Sinclair did wonders as the link between the back line and the attack and helped get Alex Morgan way more touches on the ball than the previous week, eventually getting the assist on Morgan's goal. She also helped the team out a few times on defense and broke up the Reign's midfield play very well. Nonetheless, when she got the ball in the attacking third, I couldn't help but look forward to (presumably) seeing her up top alongside Morgan when Tobin Heath joins the team

Geoff: Nikki Washington

Was their a bigger pain in the ass to the Reign than Washington? In some ways, she reminded me a lot of Fishlock, only without as much of an attitude. Regardless, anytime she got the ball, she was heading for the net, making crucial passes, and, ultimately, getting helping others score the much needed goals.

Who was your Portland Thorns Woman of the Match?

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