Houston came to town looking to stay in the playoff hunt, but fell to the Thorns 3-1 for the second time this season. Some dodgy goalkeeping cost the Dash two goals and even when the Thorns returned the favor, it wasn’t enough. Despite the toasty temperatures, players and fans alike found the energy to see the crucial three points bagged.
On the terraces, the most noteworthy feature of the match was the heat. It was damned hot. Fortunate scheduling avoided the worst scenario – imagine playing that match at 3:00 pm in full sun! – but it was still hot. Temperature at kickoff was 94°, at halftime 89°, at the end of the match 86°. The Riveters were going through water like it was water.
In the 70th minute, the Thorns scored off a corner kick. As red smoke started billowing from the stage, the AR belatedly, and wrongly, raised her flag for offside and the goal was waved off. The smoke was promptly extinguished. Our smoke normally has an acrid smell, but it was extra-stenchy when choked off mid-burn. The odor was still lingering, with our bitterness at the lost chance to sing Three Goals Beyond, when we left the stands half an hour later.
A highlight of this match was a post-game visit from the adorable Edie Parsons.
The banner was produced from an idea proposed by Meghan Klingenberg. Edie came on the main stage to admire the artwork and give the wispiest of high-fives to the folks in the front row.
The banner gnomes had some new images gracing the walls.
Did you notice that the east side construction has progressed to building the second level?
There were 15,327 fans at Providence Park. At kickoff, the crowd looked much thinner. But as the first half progressed, more folks showed up. Given the heat and late start, this seems a respectable turnout. The Thorns are now 4.3% behind last year’s attendance. And even if we finish with three sellouts, the team will not match last year’s record for season gate.
There were three mid-week games and four on the weekend. The Reign and Courage had their second lowest turnouts of the year – this for the two best teams in the league. Only Utah had a good showing – their second best of the season at 8,761. League-wide attendance remains at up 13% over 2017.
The game-of-the-week broadcast was the Royals hosting Orlando on ESPNews. Once again, the telecast failed to register in the top 150 shows of the day. Coming in at #148 was American Flag Football Finals on the NFL Network. So sad…
The Thorns visit Sky Blue on the 21st. US Soccer has announced that all the USWNT players will be pulled from their teams before the weekend to prepare for the Tournament of Nations which starts July 26. Two days of training for a meaningless friendly is more important to USSF than playoff-run NWSL play. For the Thorns, this means no Heath, Horan or Sonnett. For Sky Blue, Carli Lloyd will be missing although probably not much missed – she has been all but invisible since her mid-season trade. I suppose that if we must be handcuffed by USSF, this is the best possible game for it.
The match is at 4:00 pm on GO90.com. This will be the last NWSL match shown on GO90, may it rest in peace. The official viewing party is at The Station on Alberta Street.
After that, there is an international break for the Tournament of Nations featuring the US, Brazil, Japan and Australia. The Thorns then have two road games at North Carolina and Orlando before returning home to host the Red Stars in what could be a very important match on August 18.
Onward Rose City!