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Thorns’ Christine Sinclair, Morgan Weaver and Sophia Smith celebration. (Photo Credit: CBS)

Portland Thorns trashed Orlando Pride

Portland Thorns trashed Orlando Pride

The champions are back! Portland Thorns opened their season against Orlando Pride, a team that is trying to rebuild itself.

Four goals beyond

History says the Portland Thorns has never lost to Orlando in a season opener. They have met four times already on such an occasion, with Portland winning them all.

They were only 16 minutes into the match when Morgan Weaver scored the first goal of the game. Just watch:

Morgan Weaver’s season-opener goal looks a lot like the one she scored in 2022. Source: NWSL

I think it was something very special,” Weaver said about the goal. “Actually, kind of funny, because last year the same goal happened from Sincy (Christine Sinclair); shot, save, and then I was right there, so it’s kind of weird that exactly the same thing happened, but also really cool because [Sinclair] and I talked about it before the game. ‘Let’s do it again, let’s do it again.’ So it was kind of fun.

Not much time passed until the 2022 Silver Boot winner Sophia Smith put her name on the score with Christine Sinclair’s help. After that, Portland’s captain scored a nice goal after stealing the ball but the referee disallowed it.

In the 48th minute, Japanese international Hina Sugita followed Smith’s scoring opportunity closely and took the rebound when the goalkeeper denied her teammate. She slid to get to the ball and scored the third goal of the game.

Orlando did what it could

It was all Thorns in this match, with Orlando trying to stay disciplined but often failing to do so. Their goalkeeper was certainly busy. The stats show Anna Moorhouse made the most saves than any keeper this week, registering 12 total.

Their center-back rookie Emily Madril was busy too, attempting 63 passes – the most of any center back in the league in Week 1 – but only completing 49 of those. You got to respect the Pride, though, for trying to build from the back and not trying to play direct against a tough opponent.

Another positive point was the return of Marta. The Brazilian legend is finally back and we cannot wait to see more combinations with her countrywoman Adriana. The left winger registered four chances created, the same amount as Sinclair and Meghan Klingenberg.

Portland Thorns’ scoring power

Last year was historic for the club for many reasons. One of them is that the Thorns showed that pretty much anyone on this team can score. Nonetheless, one of Portland’s latest additions couldn’t put her name on the counter during 2022. Yes, we’re talking about the veteran Michele Vasconcelos.

Nonetheless, that goalscoring drought is over. Just watch:

It’s nice to see Sugita doing Sugita things and Sophia not only scoring but also making assists.

Coming next

Next Saturday we will see a re-edition of what was the 2022 Championship final when the Thorns visit Kansas. The runners-up will want to get their first win of the year, after losing to North Carolina 1-0 last Saturday.

But last weekend was full of action in the NWSL, so jump to the next article to see how the rest of the teams did in their first games of the season.


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