Dude. This was a tough call for most of us, as Portland's 3-1 win over Sky Blue last night produced a number of WoTM candidates. The variety you see below is nothing but a reflection of a great team effort on the part of the Thorns.
Will: Nikki Marshall
On a night when the Thorns attack was firing on all cylinders, it was Nikki Marshall that provided the extra dimension that the Thorns needed to stretch, and eventually break, the Sky Blue defense that had shut out the Thorns twice already this season. Marshall's marauding runs down the flanks from her fullback position pulled Sky Blue out of position on defense and kept them honest on offense, opening up the space needed for Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath to ply their impressive skills.
Ryan: Mana Shim
What a great game for Mana, she had an assist and another goal to add to her already amazing July. With Mana and Tobin in the midfield the offense has improved considerably and against Sky Blue they both were a handful. Mana especially with her late runs into the box and the ability to dribble out of danger.
Jonanna: Mana Shim
Four goals in four games, and a beautiful assist on Alex Morgan's goal --Shim just keeps on delivering. Her goal was a result of the kind of hustle she showed all night. Every aspect of her game --passing, off-ball movement, defense, possession-- had a positive effect on the Thorns.
Stacey: Alex Morgan
For a while it looked like Morgan's frustration about SBFC's defending would derail her, but after the yellow card, she managed to channel her frustration into something positive. She didn't add to her tally after her first-half goal, but she wore out the Sky Blue defense and created plenty of opportunities for her teammates, including the one that Mana Shim put away.
Andy: Allie Long
Kalif Alhassan has tried that shot 8,000 times over the last three years, and none of them were as pretty as Long's on Wednesday. But beyond that, Long kept possession wonderfully with quick, smart passes up field and stopped many a Sky Blue breakaway with her positioning and timing, keeping the dangerous Monica Ocampo from pestering the back line. Yes, she owes Heath greatly for her recent renaissance, but that shouldn't take anything away from her own performance.
Who was your Portland Thorns Woman of the Match?