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It’s Niller Time!

Service Update: No podcast this week. It’s been increasingly difficult to coordinate three schedules on a weekly basis. Expect the pod to go up every other week from here on out.

Other news: We’re adding writers! Over the next few weeks, you’ll see increasing content on the website as we onboard fellow Thorns fans to write about our club’s exploits! If you’re interested, drop us a line or hit us up on Twitter!

On to the game recap…

Last weekend, the Thorns earned a single point when they visited the league-leading Washington Spirit in a 0-0 draw, the proverbial “Niller,” in front of 4,333 fans in the Washington, DC, suburbs. Adriana Franch started in goal for a second straight match, saving all six of Washington’s shots on goal. One of Franch’s saves is up for save of the week:

Kat Reynolds started in place of the injured Kat Williamson, and Mana Shim was on the right wing in what generally was a 4-2-3——-1 (little Nadia Nadim offside joke there). Hayley Raso, Mallory Weber and Meg Morris all made substitute appearances.

ThornsFC_2016-May-07

The Spirit lined up in a 4-3-3 with former Thorn Alyssa Kleiner starting at left back and U.S. National Team star Crystal Dunn up top.

WashSpirit_2016-May-07

For the record, I greatly prefer the Spirit’s graphic over the Thorns’.

As I mentioned above, Franch saved all six of Washington’s shots on goal. Washington had another 10 shots that weren’t on frame or were blocked. That’s sixteen shots to Portland’s seven. And only three of Portland’s shots were on frame. The Thorns aren’t going to win many matches if they only take seven shots in a match.

And then there’s Tobin F*****g Heath. I’m guessing Mark Parsons was saying that in a slightly different tone after Heath earned a second yellow and therefore a red card for slamming the ball on the ground in protest after being called for a foul.

Oops.

Fan opinion online has run the gamut from “She shouldn’t have been carded for that” to “Strip her of the captain’s armband.” Both are extreme. Yep, she committed the foul. Yep, the protest was absolutely cardable. And yep, Heath most definitely should have realized her actions would lead to the ejection. In Heath’s defense, a lot of times this season the Thorns have looked like 10 random people on the street and Tobin Heath. Sure, Horan, Dagny and Long have had amazing games, but none have the lasting impact of Heath. It must be incredibly frustrating to know that there are nights when you simply have to carry the team on your shoulders to prevent a loss.

Here are the NWSL’s match highlights.

You should also read John Lawes’ excellent piece on the match over at Slide Rule Pass and the Stumptown Footy discussion.

Tobin will miss this weekend’s match against Seattle in Seattle. My Riveting compatriots, Patrick and Emilie, will both be on the bus, so say hey! The Reign were dropped 2-0 by the Orlando Pride last week and only managed four shots, with two of them on frame. Makes me think we might be in for another NILLER TIME! post next week.

Portland Eric
Portland Eric

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