Episode 48: The End Of An Era

We talk about Mark Parsons’ last game as the coach of the Portland Thorns and the leaked news regarding the coach that will replace him. We revisit the question of who knew what when back in 2015 and answer listener questions that lead us to ponder possible team formations.

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2 thoughts on “Episode 48: The End Of An Era

  1. I agreed with Richard’s comment that after Chicago scored I had the same feeling that the Thorns were not going to score two goals to win. Chicago played really well.
    While I am going to miss Mark Parson, on the other hand I think that we need to hit the reset button with the NWSL refs. This sounds like victim shaming, but I never disagreed with Parson’s beefs with bad calls, but his comportment…well did he draw some unfavorable karma? I have thought that Smith should not let bad calls go by without complaint, but if Koraleva makes a bad call; which she often does, complaining only makes her more unreasonable. Smith was complaining and IMO it didn’t help.
    I like some of the ideas you guys had about how to change the formation to take advantage of the teams talents. I like Kuikka as a target forward, but I also love her as a rampaging fullback.
    So what are our forwards strengths: Smith’s speed and strength on the ball; Weaver’s speed, height and strength, same with Charley. So, you could use Weaver or Charley as the target forward, but you lose the advantages of their speed.
    I don’t know. We will have to see what this new coach wants to try. Also, we don’t know yet how much Smith, Charley and Weaver will improve in the off season. They will improve and we have not seen even half of what Ryan is capable of doing. She looked good in the first half but was shut down in the second half.
    Also, agree that if this game goes to penalties Washington wins. I don’t see Hatch and Rodman being anymore successful than Smith and Weaver against that Chicago’s back line. It is highly likely that Pugh will not play so Dames will have to find a way to get a creative attack against a very good Washington back line. I want Washington to win for Sonnett. It would be great for Dames to get a win too. Still it is Washington for me.
    Also former Thorns playing in the UEFA Champion Series are doing well. Foord, AMC, Carpenter, and Catley have all looked great.

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    1. I can’t agree that Koroleva called a bad match. She’s at least consistent, which Simon and Penso were not. She lets a fair amount of rough play go – which didn’t favor the Thorns against Chicago, whose plan called for a LOT of negative soccer – but not to the extent that, say, Marco Vega did in the ’16 semi. She’s “tough but fair”.

      No, the problem was that the Thorns looked all to pieces in the semi. There was little coordination and no rhythm, especially up front. Smith, Weaver, Sinclair, and Rodriguez might just as well have been on the pitch alone for all that they were able to work together. Weaver was probably the biggest offender – she was invisible and ineffective when she wasn’t.

      Neither of the young forwards can shoot worth a lick, either, and that was really driven home in the semi – what shots they put on frame were butter-soft and harmless. Either Rhian Wilkinson figures out how to change that or she needs to go shopping for a lockdown hardcore #9. That’s “Sam Kerr” territory and damn near rare as fairies.

      We’ll see if the youngsters progress in the offseason. Ryan, in particular, had issues with her touch in the semi that I’d never seen before, so she actually regressed in that area. And Smith was a trainwreck – worst I’ve seen from her this season. RW has a lot to deal with, that’s for sure.

      Sorry to see Chicago fall at the last hurdle again – if I had a dog in that fight it was the Red Stars – but even sorrier to read that Dames turned out to be just another sonofabitch. It just seems that this year is determined to spare us nothing.

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