Tonight’s Thorns meeting

Takeaways from the club meeting tonight.

From the club:
Heather Davis
Karina LeBlanc
Mike Norris
Dr. Robin Beavers (community outreach person)

Surprising for someone who’s used to coachspeak I thought that Norris was the most interesting and informative.

Here’s my tl:dr report.

1) obviously metric tons of questions about the sale and stuff I generally lumped under “how will you make me love you again?”. KK’s reply was that the plan is to have Gavin Wilkinson return for halftime this Sunday where Mana Shim will decapitate him.

Kidding aside, all the usual “we’re doing this and that”. I didn’t get a sense that anyone felt that the new ownership will go in any sort of new or sharp-turn sort of direction.

Beavers wants to have quarterly meetings with fans and a regular newsletter.

Davis took the heat round for the website being shit and not updating it, but didn’t suggest a concrete way to change that.

2) Couple of questions about Reyes and Ryan. KK says Ryan was the one mostly pushing for the move – wanted to be the big noise somewhere rather than “forward who’s not Sophia Smith” here.
Same with Abby Smith – too far behind Bella and Hogan, wants to start.
Said the problem with Reyes was injury and worries that she’d push her playing time if pressed on contract, now in her agent’s hands (but didn’t say whether they’d heard from the agent).
Said the club is talking to Horan, her agent, and OL but had nothing concrete.
KK made some hints that we might see trade to replace Beckie.

3) KK/Norris said that the WNT players report 6/26, and are planning for them to be gone until late August, missing something like 7 games. Nothing concrete on how the club will deal, but sounds like they’re at least thinking about it.

4) Davis – No grass. Period. Too expensive to maintain. Talking to new owners re: Thorns-specific grass training ground, will continue to to look at options but didn’t sound optimistic.

5) Norris – 4-3-3 it is. Attack from wide spaces, wants width (very RW-ish on that). Admitted to being poorly prepared for Louisville and made errors in first half vs OL (specifically on question about Sam Coffey) said he dropped/let midfield drop too deep and overplayed possession in MF, looking for an outlet that wasn’t there and nerfing Coffey. Did better second half (I’d agree) when he asked the forwards to play more off the Reign back shoulder.

Said he was aware of problems in slow buildup being too predictable and easily shut down, working on that.

Said he was pleasantly surprised by form of Crystal Dunn this spring, also D’Aquila and Reyes.

Funny about opponents – had to be reminded to coachspeak after he mentioned that he thought that KCC and Gotham had bolstered their front six but that their backlines still sucked ass (well, not quite that way, but clearly not impressed). KK and Davis shushed him up before he could say more.

6) Late question on “quality of officiating” that EVERYone tried to pass. Finally Norris (who’d said that he’d asked about the VAR-Smith-PK-reversal earlier and got nothing but shrugs) admitted that the officials are gonna be what they’re gonna be, and we just have to suck it up. League is tring but time and money is limited.

Anyway…kind of interesting, and I like Norris better than I was prepared to, and not just because he’s a Newcastle supporter. Howay the Thorns!

John Lawes
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2 thoughts on “Tonight’s Thorns meeting

  1. I thought Horan was signed thru 2025? If she was on a 2 -year loan, isn’t she obligated to return for 2 more years or be traded?

    1. There are all sorts of trade/buyout opportunities. We don’t know if there was an option to buy in the original loan, or if Lyon want to buy Horan now like they did Carpenter. If Horan doesn’t want to come back here it is bad news for everyone if we can try to make her. She can just not report, take a very long time to recover from a niggling injury. Keeping unhappy players is almost never a good option.

      If they are in communication with Lyon and Horan’s agent it is likely there is a desire to extend her stay in France somehow. She apparently has a significant other working for another French club now, the ties to Portland are limited.

      She has achieved all there is to achieve with Portland the Portland Thorns. 18 MVP, 21 challenge cup, 16 & 21 Shields, 17 Championship. Best 11 NWSL.


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