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F*C* KC

Schedules were messy this week, so we couldn’t get an episode recorded. We’ll be back next week!

Saturday night, the new-look Portland Thorns drew 1-1 against reigning NWSL champions FC Kansas City at the Swope Park complex in Kansas City.

FCKC’s Shea Groom (the dirtiest player in NWSL) had her penalty saved by Portland goal keeper Michelle Betos in the 19th minute after she was fouled in the box by Kat Williamson on a diving header. Ten minutes later, however, Groom scored on a beautiful diving header on a beautiful cross from Heather O’Reilly.

In the 40th minute, Groom picked up a yellow card for shoving Emily Menges well after the ball had been kicked, and in the 46th minute, Groom was given her second yellow and ejected for recklessly slamming into Betos in the box.

F**king Tobin Heath sent a beautiful in-swinging corner into the box in the 78th minute, which Lindsey Horan headed into goal for her second of the season.

Kat Williamson went down in the 40th minute without contact. While The Oregonian’s confirmed the injury or how long she’ll be out, it’s likely we’ll be seeing Kat Reynolds at right back this weekend against Boston.

Now Shea Groom isn’t on Nigel de Jong’s level, but she is an overly physical and reckless player, notorious for slamming into opposing players and going into goal keepers studs up.

Here’s the tackle that earned her the first yellow Saturday night.

Groom 1st Yellow CU

Last June, Groom earned a yellow (and received an undeserved boot to the middle of her back courtesy of McCall Zerboni) for similarly charging into Sinead Farrelly.

Groom:Zerboni

Here’s the studs-up sliding tackle into Michelle Betos that earned her the second yellow.

Groom 2nd YC CU

And here’s the studs-up tackle of Western New York Flash goalkeeper Chantel Jones. In this case, Groom, already on a yellow, wasn’t carded. Jones was given a yellow for knocking Groom down after the challenge.

Groom Studs-Up

Ultimately, this is just simply how FC Kansas City (and Sporting Kansas City) play the game: Dirty it up, foul as much as you can to interfere with your opponent’s momentum, and dare the referee to call the fouls.

Long Getting Another USWNT Call-Up
In other news, Allie Long mentioned on Twitter that she’ll be with the U.S. National Team and will miss the May 29th match against the Seattle Reign.

Lindsey & Tobin Playing Soccer On The Rainy Streets Of Paris
Jamie B. Goldberg has an awesome read on new Thorn Lindsey Horan, the first American women’s soccer player to forego college and sign a professional contract.

For the record, Lindsey and Tobin, if you ever need a fourth to even out a 2-on-1 soccer match in the rainy late-night streets of Paris, I’m sure we can find some volunteers.

The New York Times Picks Up On Wage Disparity
Not specifically Thorns-related, but Juliet Macur wrote a great piece in the New York Times about pay equity in soccer that touches on a much bigger issue: while national team players may not be being paid similarly, most other NWSL players have other jobs because the wages are so low.

Portland Eric
Portland Eric

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2 Comments

  1. timmyoh

    As I watched this game my frustration with the refereeing grew to a point I wanted to turn it off. Players talk about it all the time. They just want consistency. There was none in this game, and the players were clearly frustrated by it.
    I think the second yellow card was a horrendous call. Granted I wasn’t on the field and replay wasn’t great. That being said, it looked like to me that Groom clearly got to the ball first, touching it and then it got gobbled up by Betos. Groom appears to actually pull up and try and avoid Betos pulling her legs and feet back after her touch send it into the clutches of Betos. For me that should not be a card of any sort. It did not appear to me that she went in recklessly with studs high. She made a sliding play on the ball, got there first, and she has every right to play the ball. Terrible call in my opinion, but it went along with the theme of terrible inconsistent refereeing all night.
    As far as the Thorns play, they clearly had one plan the first half. Route 1! Bomb balls over the top and hope the forwards can get on it. It didn’t work at all. The second half they possessed the ball and built from the back with far better results. No doubt it helped that FCKC was down a player.
    Once again Nadim was ineffective and disappeared the entire game. Hopefully this doesn’t happen all year. I did enjoy watching Horan and Heath in the second half. They are going to be fun to watch all year. I was very impressed with Raso. I thought she sparked the team with relentless energy and really impacted the game in that second half.

  2. Portland Eric Author

    The only consistent thing about the reffing was that it was consistently awful.

    I disagree about Groom’s second yellow, though. She went to ground with her studs up into a goal keeper in the box. It was a completely reckless decision. Getting the ball first was incidental to that recklessness.

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