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Hammered Rivets: That was ugly

After the Thorns match we take a brief look at happenings off the pitch.

Kris Lattimore

The North Carolina Courage came to Portland on Wednesday night and administered a severe beating to the Thorns. Four to one. It’s the worst loss the team has taken under Mark Parsons and almost the worst ever. The noteworthy Portland highlight was Kat Reynolds scoring the consolation goal — her first ever — in her 100th NWSL appearance.

The stands were quite loud with booing. Some of it was for the referee’s penalty kick award. But most of it was for an opposition player — again. Last week, it was Katie Stengel of the Utah Royals for unnecessarily disrupting our post-game ritual. This week, it was Jaelene Hinkle of the Courage who earned the Riveters’ rage for announcing her homophobia on Bible-thumper TV. You can read the details on Deadspin, and one articulate reaction right here on Stumptown Footy. During the match, Hinkle was booed on every touch of the ball. Reports post-match say that she noticed and was upset by it. Good.

The banner gnomes whipped up a new display on match day, just for the occasion.

Kris Lattimore

There were several new banners honoring players this for this significant match.

Hey Ana-Maria, time to score more goals!
Kris Lattimore
For a wonderful Pittsburgh girl
Kris Lattimore
For a wonderful Michigan girl
Kris Lattimore
Kris Lattimore
Jay Elkins

The Numbers

Wednesday’s attendance was a respectable 15,018, which brings our season average to 15,709 at the halfway point. Last year, the Thorns average after half the season was 16,392. Attendance is down 4.4%. Leaguewide attendance is up 17.8% over the 2017 average.

Nationally, there have been eight Wednesday games played so far this season, compared to 13 last year. Attendance is 69% of average for those matches in 2018; it was 83% of average in 2017. This seems inexplicable – what is different about Wednesdays in 2018? Perhaps the clubs are reducing their marketing efforts?

The only exception is Portland – the Thorns’ attendance for one Wednesday match in 2017 was 92% of average, while in 2018 our one Wednesday match crowd was 96% of average. But our average is lower, so this is not a perfect comparison. Still, Portland is a LOT closer to their average for mid-week matches than any other team in the league.

In my last report, I promised the television ratings for last weekend’s Lifetime Game of the Week. The pregame show drew 232,000 viewers but the match itself drew 110,000. Both are good numbers, but it does raise a question about the method of collecting this data. Were people just slow to change the channel from whatever was on before the pregame show? In any case, 110,000 is a decent number by Lifetime’s standards — they only have two other shows that occasionally draw a bigger audience than that.

Up Next

The Thorns next match is at Chicago on Saturday June 16th at 12:30 pm. It will be shown on Lifetime and the official viewing party is at North 45 on NW 21st Street.

Until then, we have international play. Or you can pass the time by perusing the Riveters’ just-released coffee table book, Make it a Double, celebrating the 2017 season. It’s filled with photos from the pitch, terraces, and celebrations throughout that great year.

Upcoming International Matches

Matchup Date & Location Time & Broadcast Probable Thorns
Matchup Date & Location Time & Broadcast Probable Thorns
USWNT v China June 7, Salt Lake City 6:00 pm FS1 Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Midge Purce
USWNT v China June 12, Cleveland 4:00 pm ESPN2 Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Midge Purce
CANWNT v Germany June 10, Hamilton 8:00 am TSN2, TSN GO maybe CSA YouTube Christine Sinclair
Belarus v. Switzerland June 12, Minsk 8:00 am for broadcast links Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic

Our next home match is another Wednesday — June 27th at 7:30 pm — when Sky Blue comes for the first meeting of the year. Perhaps the Jersey Girls will have won a match by then, but most likely not. It will be Pride Night for the Riveters, so expect a loud, colorful, and generally fabulous evening.

Onward Rose City!