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Hogan’s hope is key to the Thorns’ turnaround

There have been many elements to the Portland Thorns’ shift in play, but the consensus is that it all started from the back

Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Shelby Hogan standing in goal and clapping.
Photo credit: Kyle Terada | USA TODAY Sports

There have been many elements to the Portland Thorns’ turnaround over the last half-dozen games, but the consensus is that it all started from the back. Shelby Hogan was under fire for her performances during the team’s historically poor 0-3-1 start to the National Women’s Soccer League season.

The same week the club made a coaching change, putting Rob Gale in charge and moving Mike Norris to the front office, they quietly acquired Emily Alvarado to join the keeper pool. There was speculation Alvarado could jump right into the first team.

Hogan got the nod on a Saturday night against the Houston Dash. The Thorns scored in the sixth minute and again in the 27th and ran off to a 4-1 win. They have not dropped any points since, winning six games in a row to move within one of the league records.

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