We finally know who’s going to travel from Portland to Salt Lake City. No huge surprises; all three keepers, all the rostered players except Tobin Heath, and three NRIs.
I assume you’re familiar with all the above except the NRIs, and they are:
Autumn Smithers – I’m assuming that given where she’s listed this is the “Autumn Smithers” who plays midfield for University of San Francisco, not the “Autumn Smithers” who was listed as a Notre Dame goalkeeper on the 2020 NWSL draft list. Redshirt junior, and I can’t find anything else about her, but presumably a DM given that the Thorns seem to see her as defensive depth.
Anika Rodriguez – redshirt senior at UCLA this past season, declared but not drafted. From her brief Pac-12 highlight reel she seems more like an AM than a forward.
So…there we have it. Now let’s hope everyone stays away from the bars and gets back home safe and healthy.
Update 6/23 p.m.: Here’s the revised COVID Cup schedule, now with 100% less Orlando. Dates and times of Thorns opponents bolded:
|Saturday, June 27||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||NC Courage||Portland Thorns FC||CBS & CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Saturday, June 27||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Chicago Red Stars||Washington Spirit||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Tuesday, June 30||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||Houston Dash||Utah Royals FC||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Tuesday, June 30||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||OL Reign||Sky Blue FC||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Wednesday, July 1||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||Portland Thorns FC||Chicago Red Stars||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Wednesday, July 1||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Washington Spirit||NC Courage||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Saturday, July 4||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||Utah Royals FC||Sky Blue FC||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Saturday, July 4||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Houston Dash||OL Reign||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Sunday, July 5||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||NC Courage||Chicago Red Stars||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Sunday, July 5||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Portland Thorns FC||Washington Spirit||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Wednesday, July 8||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||Utah Royals FC||OL Reign||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Wednesday, July 8||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Sky Blue FC||Houston Dash||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Sunday, July 12||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||Washington Spirit||Houston Dash||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Sunday, July 12||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Chicago Red Stars||Utah Royals FC||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Monday, July 13||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||OL Reign||Portland Thorns FC||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Monday, July 13||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Sky Blue FC||NC Courage||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Friday, July 17||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||Quarterfinal 1||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Friday, July 17||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Quarterfinal 2||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Saturday, July 18||10:30 AM||Zions Bank Stadium||Quarterfinal 3||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Saturday, July 18||8:00 PM||Zions Bank Stadium||Quarterfinal 4||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Wednesday, July 22||10:30 AM||Rio Tinto Stadium||Semifinal 1||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Wednesday, July 22||8:00 PM||Rio Tinto Stadium||Semifinal 2||CBS ALL ACCESS|
|Sunday, July 26||10:30 AM||Rio Tinto Stadium||Championship||CBS & CBS ALL ACCESS|
I like that draw, and here’s why.
This thing is, from a silverware standpoint, worthless. Winning seven games doesn’t make anyone a “champion” anymore than putting on a tinsel crown makes me Dragon King of Bhutan.
There is no value in thumping tomato cans like Orlando or Houston. Those sad acts are made to be thumped, and you learn nothing from the doing.
But playing good teams, even when – sometimes especially when – you lose to them, teaches you how good – or not – you are.
So, given the bigger-picture worthlessness of it, if our Thorns are going to play and risk the ‘rona, better that they should play opponents that will teach us something about ourselves and give us something worthwhile to take home from this thing.