There were some shaky moments in the Portland Thorns' victory over the Washington Spirit on Saturday, but in a 6-1 thrashing, you expect to see some good individual performances. The Thorns had Verónica Boquete tormenting the defense again and Jessica McDonald staking her claim to third place on the league scoring chart with a brace, but even with a few good choices, we were unanimous in our picks for Woman of the Match.
Ryan: Alex Morgan
When the game was tight and still contested, her assist and first goal were how Portland had the advantage up until the onslaught in the final 20 minutes of the game. Her second broke then broke the Washington's Spirit (couldn't help it) and opened the flood gates for the final three goals.
If Alex only gave us a glimpse that she was back with the USWNT on Thursday, she proved that she is now 100% after months on nagging injuries. Beyond the two goals, she showed brilliant hold up play and an unselfishness not usually associated with a player of her caliber, passing off to teammates in the box when she could have shot. She's back, and opponents should be scared.
The return of a healthy Morgan has done wonders for the Thorns, adding to their attack with her finishing, distribution, and defense-stretching runs. The under-rated thing that Morgan adds, however, is high defensive pressure, which she applies better than any of the team's other forwards.
This is a tough choice for all the right reasons, but Morgan's brace and assist earn her my WOTM vote. Her focus amidst the scramble that led to her first goal was impressive and her second was the deserved result of the effort she gave all 82 minutes she played, even when she looked exhausted.