The Portland Thorns are winless in their last three matches after drawing 0-0 against Kansas City NWSL in Kansas City. Meghan Klingenberg reached a milestone of 10,000 minutes played in the NWSL as the clock ticked past the 56th minute.
The match started with KC’s Katie Bowen and Portland’s Crystal Dunn trading long shots. In the 6th minute, the teams stopped play and linked arms in the center circle joining in the league-wide demonstrations, in recognition of the six years it took for Mana Shim, Sinead Farrelly, and others who fought to be heard.
The first half was choppy and congested. The Thorns struggled to move the ball with their usual efficiency on the baseball field-turn-soccer pitch and chances were limited. Smith dribbled to the top of the box in the 14th minute. She was surrounded by defenders and fired from distance but couldn’t keep her shot down.
One minute later, KC created the best chance of the half. Kristen Hamilton ran onto a quick throw-in and crossed to Darian Jenkins, who redirected the ball wide of the goal.
Lindsey Horan headed a Natalia Kuikka pass wide of the post before Kansas City had a shot/cross graze the crossbar. In the 37th, KC had the ball in the back of the net. Hamilton bulldozed her way toward goal and finished well. But she fouled Becky Sauerbrunn in the build-up and the goal was disallowed.
Jenkins turned past Horan and shot from the top of the 18-yard box. Bella Bixby comfortably made the save. Late in first-half stoppage time, Horan attempted a flying scissor kick but scuffed it wide.
Kansas City put together a good spell to start the second half but the Thorns responded. Rocky Rodriguez turned past a defender and pulled back a cross to the on-rushing Klingenberg. The left back struck it well but a KC defender deflected it out of bounds.
Rocky Rodriguez lined one up from distance in the 59th minute. She blasted the ball toward goal and it nearly found its way into the back of the net but flew just wide of the goal.
Morgan Weaver and Simone Charley came on in the 61st minute and added a spark. Charley almost connected on a header immediately after entering the match.
Bowen crossed and Kansas City hit the crossbar again with service from the wide areas. Portland quickly went the other way. Charley crossed it to the head of Weaver and she thumped it wide of the goal.
Weaver was denied by a great Adrianna Franch save in the 75th minute. The Thorns swung in a corner kick and Weaver rose to meet it. She headed it down but Franch was able to parry it wide.
Weaver continued to cause problems. She drew a penalty kick late in the match. Christine Sinclair stepped up to the spot and put it off the post. That was Portland’s best and last chance to break the deadlock and the match ended 0-0.
The Thorns are back in action against rivals OL Reign on Wednesday. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. PST.