Portland Thorns End Losing Skid, Raso Nets First NWSL Goal


Having lost two games in a row, including a rare defeat at home on June 17, the Portland Thorns returned to Providence Park on Wednesday night to face FC Kansas City. The result: The Thorns looked like the Thorns again. Dominating both ends of the pitch, the Thorns snapped their mini losing streak and came away with a commanding 3-0 victory over KC.

It’s been a rocky (notice my refusal to use the word thorny) season so far for the Thorns who have dealt with injuries to key players and rare consecutive defeats.

Alas, there was a breath of optimism to found against KC as the Thorns saw the return of Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Mana Shim, both making their first starts of the season. Shim was able to stir some excitement early in the first half. But, it was a dose of Brynjarsdottir, Allie Long and finally Christine Sinclair that gave the Thorns the lead in the 15th minute.

Kansas City nearly tied the game minutes later but Adrianna Franch continues to do her thing.

Hayley Raso followed up Franch’s save with beautiful long shot that found its way past the outstretched hands of KC goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart in the 32nd minute, making sure her first-ever NWSL goal was highlight reel quality.

The Thorns thought they had finished off the visiting team in the second half when Sinclair appeared to have scored her second goal of the night, but was called back after the ref called a handball violation. The call prompted a yellow card for some probable, inappropriate but appropriate language from Sinclair. Replays seem to support her argument.

But, fear not, Sinclair went Drago in the 75th minute, knocking in a goal from just outside the box and finally breaking KC.


Portland will now take on I-5 rival Seattle Reign FC at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night, with the Thorns just ahead of the Reign in the standings. Portland’s next home game isn’t until July 15 against the Houston Dash.

Portland may finally be easing into some momentum as it waits for the rest of the team to mend, including Tobin Heath who is still out with an undefined timeline. If this win against KC is any indication, the Thorns are still very much in control of their playoff destiny.

About John Stupak 44 Articles
John Stupak is a senior writer for Oregon Sports News since 2014. John has followed Oregon sports for nearly 30 years. He is a life-long Portland Trail Blazers fan and has had the privilege of covering the Portland Thorns of the NWSL. Along with everything sports, he is fan of movies and of quality television (sorry CBS) in his spare time. John has a beautiful wife, Amanda, along with one soccer-loving, intelligent, and artistic daughter. John is an electrical tech designer by day and a writer by nights and weekends. You can follow John and all his musings on Twitter (@Stupak77).