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Portland Thorns Woman of the Match: Rough Around the Edges

The Portland Thorns played their very first game last night and, while the came away with a draw, it was clear on both ends that the teams have yet to gel.


Christine Sinclair got a goal by penalty kick, but not much else happened aside from that. Disappointingly, aside from a few plays, Alex Morgan seemed completely quiet all game. Despite that, however, there were certainly some positives for the Portland Thorns' first ever NWSL game.

So who made our first ever Woman of the Match? Here's where we lie:

Jonanna: Christine Sinclair

Truth be told, at first I was leaning toward Allie Long (and even a tiny part of me wanted to push for Nikki Washington), who looked like the only Thorns player besides Sinclair who came to to play. Long pretty much won me over with her confidence and solid work --she was the only Thorn on the pitch I saw directing traffic and taking any sort of command, much less connecting passes. But you can't argue with the first goal ever scored in Thorns FC history, nor can you argue with the blazing shot Sinclair took in the first half. With a midfield that struggled to get the ball anywhere near the front line, Sinclair didn't touch the ball near enough, but when she did, she looked like a woman amongst girls.

Andy: Christine Sinclair

Up and down the roster the Thorns looked out of shape and not quite ready for prime time on Saturday. The midfield in particular looked lost and far too easily broken down. Only when Sinclair took over the attacking midfield role did the team seem to have any creative presence, creating opportunities. For that reason she gets my vote for Woman of the Match.

Ryan: Christine Sinclair

Her first half shot and the perfect PK in second were the two best goal scoring opportunities for the Thorns. Once she moved into the midfield and played as a play maker the Thorns looked even more dangerous than they did when she was up front. Honorable mention to Danielle Foxhoven for drawing the PK and looking dangerous the moment she stepped on the field.

Stacey: Allie Long

Long was the only Thorns player who had a real presence in the midfield, something the team really needed. She was often the starting point for the Thorns' attacking plays. Her set pieces do need some work though.

Will: Christine Sinclair

The first ever goal scorer for the Thorns was a huge influence on the match, particularly when she was dropped into a deeper midfield role with the introduction of Danielle Foxhaven. It will take some time for the Thorns internationals to gel with the rest of the team, but Sincy seemed to make significent strides just over the course of one game.

Geoff: Allie Long

Sinclair might have gotten the firs ever Portland Thorns FC goal, but it was Allie Long who I noticed creating the biggest impact on the game. Throughout the game, the Thorns' midfield might as well have not been there save for Long. It was she who kept danger as mitigated as possible and when able she was driving the ball towards the Thorns' forwards. Without her on the field, I'm thinking the result looks a bit different.

Who's your pick for Woman of the Match? Vote in the poll and tell us in the comments.