Kansas City and Portland play to scoreless draw

The Equalizer Staff May 13, 2017 32

FC Kansas City and the Portland Thorns played to the first scoreless draw of the NWSL season on Saturday afternoon at Swope Soccer Village in front of a crowd of 1,796. It was a game of few good scoring opportunities for the two teams who seem to both be struggling offensively.

While the first half was almost entirely a battle in midfield, the best chance of the half came in the 37th minute when Christine Sinclair broke through Kansas City’s back line and hit the far post with her shot.

Sydney Leroux had the best chance of the second half for her squad, a shot in the 65th minute which Thorns keeper Adriana Franch saved with a quick reaction. In the 68th minute, Rebecca Moros got on the end of a Meghan Klingenberg turnover, but her shot went just wide of Portland’s goal.

The Thorns spent much of the second half around Kansas City’s 18-yard box, but could not find a winner. They came close in the 90th minute, when a free kick caused a scramble in front of Kansas City’s goal, but was cleared by Yael Averbuch.

Next week, Kansas City will travel to play the Washington Spirit on Saturday, while the Thorns have another away match, this time next Friday against Boston.

  • guest

    trouble in portland paradise?

    • Steglitz49

      Long longs for Lyon?

  • Lorehead

    This is the first time this season where I genuinely think the Thorns just were unlucky. If you statted up their XG, it would be three or four: in addition to the two highlights of near-misses, there was Raso’s shot just over the bar and a near-miss by Nadim (with Horan also open in front of goal), To take nothing away from Becky Sauerbrunn and a great defense, those weren’t shots that were heroically saved, just unlucky bounces. But there was that last-second clearance off the line by FCKC, too.

    A few bloopers from the Thorns, of which the giveaway by Sonnet that led to Leroux’ shot was by far the worst, but Franch can’t be happy about sending a goal kick out of bounds for a throw-in. Great save there; sets a high bar for the other save-of-the-week contenders I haven’t seen yet. Raso played a very scrappy game for such a small athlete.

    The attendance numbers outside Portland are shaping up to be disappointing. I hope that a Barcelona announcement is something that’ll get a lot of publicity.

    • Silver Frost

      They have to put those in. Otherwise, they are at the level of Pride or Dash. Maybe I should leave out the Pride, as they actually scored a goal vs KC last weekend. And Franch should not be starting. I’ve seen HS goalies with better skills (beyond shot blocking).

      Thorns have a weak offense. Parsons has made no changes to his attacking third from last year. This has resulted in regression, which we see in the standings. Now Thorns are flirting with the last playoff spot instead of leading the table.

      • Steglitz49

        Adrianna Franch kept a clean sheet. What more could you ask?

        • mockmook

          Goals

          • Constant Weeder

            Goals, plural? Even Michelle Betos only scored one.

          • Steglitz49

            To win you must score one goal more than your opponent. Sometimes you put an extra 3 past them but that is not required.

          • mockmook

            “Thorns have a weak offense.”

            “What more could you ask?”

            [insert answer here that has nothing to do with GKs]

          • Steglitz49

            How can Ms Franch help in that department? Silver Frost singled AF out for his/her ire.

            Portland is not missing a defector to the fleshpots of Europe. They have a couple of key players missing because of injury, most notable Tobin, but that is an occupational hazard in soccer, not least WoSo.

          • mockmook

            You and CW need to get a rubber room together — but, just so you will understand (strike that, I know you will miss the point), here is the thread:

            “Thorns have a weak offense.”

            “What more could you ask?”

            [insert answer here that has nothing to do with GKs]

          • Steglitz49

            As you can see from my reply to CW, in this case one single goal would have done it for either side as long as the other did not score too.

      • Lorehead

        There’s a really big difference between an offense that didn’t create chances, and one that had three different players on the same night put it just over the bar, off the right post, and into the side netting at point-blank range.

        • Steglitz49

          Sounds like the USWNT model 2016 and onwards.

    • Steglitz49

      “XG”? WTF?

      • Lorehead

        I doubt you genuinely are unfamiliar with the concept, but what’s hard to understand about saying that the Thorns created at least four really good chances, and on another day, at least one of them would have put the ball in the net?

        • Steglitz49

          Just tell me what XG stands for. I know what X2000 stands for: it is an HST. Clear as mud?

          • Lorehead

            Expected goals. Basically, for each of the team’s chances, you estimate how likely it was to lead to a goal, and then you add all those probabilities up. So it’s a statistical expectation of goals scored (by a team with average finishing that otherwise played the same).

          • Steglitz49

            What would such an analysis show about the Bomb in Brasilia — not bothering to correct for the inept refereeing? Or, Japan vs US in the WC-11 final?

            The funny thing is that soccer has been around for an awfully long time. It comes from the land that gave us cricket. Cricket has long been choc-à-bloc with statistics of all sorts of kinds, like baseball. Soccer has not. One presumes that there is a reason for that.

          • Lorehead

            What’s your point? Upsets happen, especially in PSOs.

          • Steglitz49

            The PSO is not relevant to your XG analysis.

            There is one PSO stat that is generally accepted, namely that the team who goes first wins 60% of the time. Both in Frankfurt and Brasilia the US went first.

            The official match stats claim that the match between Japan and the US was more even than I remember it to be. There your XG-stat would be interesting. The US vs Sweden match was heavily in the US’s favor and I expect your XG-stat would confirm that.

            Both matches suffered from referee and touchjudge errors but because the team affected won the pso, they have never become an issue — except possibly in Japan and Sweden. The XG-analysis can’t correct for that. Thus we need an XR-analysis.

            As regards PSO, UEFA is now experimenting with AB BA AB instead of AB AB AB, like in a tiebreak in tennis.

    • Paul Klee

      They just need Tobin Heath back. That’ll make Christine Sinclair more effective. Sinclair can’t dominate box to box anymore. Having Heath there on the outside will give Sinclair more space to receive the ball and with her clever touches will be able to distribute or create better chances for herself.

    • DNG

      I was only able to watch the match intermittently but an xG of 3 or 4 is almost definitely too high. It’d probably be closer to 1-1.5

  • Guest

    The thorns offense is starting to get worrisome at this point. I do think they were a bit unlucky today, I’m surprised at least one of their chances didn’t sneak in. Still though, they should be performing better.

    I’ll give them time though. They’re missing Heath, and they have played the stronger defenses in the league for the most part. Their games against Washington and Houston should drive up their goals.

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  • Ashley C

    According to some Thorns fans this side would thump Lyon.

  • KCFan

    KC’s two best scoring opportunities came off Erika Tymrak’s foot. One on the high press, forcing a Sonnett giveaway, leading to Leroux’s one-on-one which she should have put away, and another on a nice turn into the box. Now if we could get some finishing. The Thorn’s biggest problem is that they just looked deflated in the second half.

    • mockmook

      It’s so simple:

      PUT TYMRAK AT CF

      • DNG

        Don’t think Tymrak is a CF. Not quick enough or strong enough centrally imo.

        • mockmook

          I’d sure love to see a test of that theory.

          • DNG

            That’s fair, just giving you my assessment. Nothing wrong with wanting to try something new.

          • mockmook

            Well, KC isn’t scoring, they need to do something different.