Portland Thorns win 3rd NWSL Championship with 2-0 win over Kansas City Current

It wasn’t flashy, and it wasn’t particularly flashy except for the crucial moment. However, the Portland Thorns worked as relentlessly as they had all the challenges on and off the field throughout the 2022 season, winning the club’s third NWSL Championship by defeating Kansas City Current 2-0 at Audi Field in Washington DC on Saturday. The win took Portland first in the NWSL with a league-best three titles. Saturday’s trophy win, always a late season contender, confirmed the league’s class as Portland came out of its first decade of existence. And Rhian Wilkinson was the second female manager in NWSL history after Cindy Parlow Cone, who won with Thorns in 2013, to win her first year leading Thorns as manager. Proud of this group of women who spent a year there. I’ll leave it alone,” Wilkinson said. She said, “I think the first half was a little tense looking at today’s appearance. We scored early and helped, but I thought they were fantastic and I am a very proud coach today.” The title is offered while Thorns and the entire league subsequently explore issues of misconduct and abuse. Wilkinson spoke about the announcement of the US Soccer survey and the upcoming league/player association survey. “You can easily break up as a team and you can be disconnected from each other. And they really decided to be together,” Wilkinson said. . “This year has been the continuation. Through adversity they are connected in a very special way. Today is not something extra to do, it’s a beautiful thing. With true joy.” It was about showing up and playing, and we did it.” Under the bright lights of the capital, Thorns scored an early grinder for League MVP Sophia Smith’s goal and scored the second from Current’s brutal mistake that led to an own goal in the second half. . On the 4th minute, Smith dropped the marker and easily put the ball into the net, beating Kansas City goalkeeper AD Franch. Then she shrugged to the crowd, “Did you expect anything else?” There were a lot of people thinking.” Smith said after the game, “So, it’s ‘that’s it.'” Portland held their 1-0 lead and conceded a few dangerous runs but didn’t really threaten to make it 2-0 in the first half. Smith, Yazmeen Ryan and Morgan Weaver each had a chance, but either missed a frame or easily saved into Franch. Aside from that, Portland’s defense, led by basic play from veterans Becky Sauerbrunn and Meghan Klingenberg, was overwhelming. “This is a team full of leaders,” Wilkinson said. “We have an incredible gaming icon on the pitch. .. you can see them show up and play different roles, we knew Kansas(City) and their big threat would be a turnaround. I watched her and Bella Bixby learn behind the scenes. I thought (Klingenberg) was playing a fantastic game, Natu (Natalia Kuikka) and Sam Coffey. made.” Thorns took the lead 1-0 on break, a unique and advantageous situation allowed them to score twice early in the second half Smith missed but Current mishandled it in a dangerous space to make Thorns 2-0 eventually became an own goal Weaver made close to 3-0 in the 59th minute and put a powerful shot into the frame to save Franch’s forced jump. “I’m really proud of the team,” Smith said. “Everyone came out and did their part really well. Take care of what they need to take care of It was honestly just a game to have fun Not all games are that fun Some games just polished but this one was fun I felt the energy coming from everyone We feel confident I felt it and it felt good.” Portland replaced Rocky Rodriguez and Weaver in the 63rd minute and replaced Hina Sugita and Janine Beckie Kansas City’s struggle continued regardless of the number of people on the field, leaving Portland as the only team to put the ball at their feet and pose a real threat. It’s been a tough year for Portland,” Bixby said. “There were a lot of external hurdles, and what we achieved this year means a lot to us. We know the City of Portland wanted us to bring it home for them. . And we did. We are very happy to bring the trophy home.” After 73 minutes, Crystal Dunn came on for Portland, replacing Christine Sinclair Dunn was greeted with great cheers from fans of both teams as he entered the arena from Audi Field.The Thorns screamed at each other before rushing into the pitch. With all the pain and uncertainty of the season, Portland has added one more piece of hardware to their ever-growing illustrious cabinet. Thorns general manager Karina LeBlanc said the rain “It’s a beautiful ending,” he said in an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive to cheers from the Rose City Riveters on a cross-national tour in Portland. “In preseason we said we want to win, but we want to win the right way. What they did was they won the right way, all this year, they said, ‘Let’s be careful. Let’s keep up with us. Let’s put ourselves first.’ And that’s what they did.” “They were true to the process and true to their identity. Today they played with their identity,” – Ryan Clarke reported in Washington, DCrclarke@oregonian.com, Twitter: @RyanTClarke.
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