Portland Thorns 1 Chicago Red Stars 0
The Thorns were without head coach Mark Parsons and forward Simone Charley, but it didn’t seem to matter as Morgan Weaver was able to tally the only goal of the game.
Celeste Boureille played the ball long to Morgan Weaver in the 66th minute of the game, and from there Weaver was able to capitalize for her first goal of the season.
What. A. Finish! @morganvweaver scores her first of 2021.#BAONPDX | #CHIvPOR pic.twitter.com/h2kqg8viNE— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) April 16, 2021
What. A. Finish! @morganvweaver scores her first of 2021.#BAONPDX | #CHIvPOR pic.twitter.com/h2kqg8viNE
The Red Stars had a couple of chances late in the game but were unable to convert. The Thorns wound up winning 1-0.
Portland now sits atop the NWSL Challenge Cup standings at 2-0-0 while Chicago falls to 0-1-1.
Interesting to note: It was reported by Claire Watkins that the Red Stars elected not to play the National Anthem before the game. While this isn’t the first time there have been anthem protests, The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf believes it’s the first time a team has elected not to play the anthem at all.
This is, to my knowledge, the first time the national anthem has not been played before an NWSL game. That infamous 2016 Reign at Spirit game saw it played while the teams were still in the locker room. https://t.co/vCqNw2yJ4y— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) April 15, 2021
This is, to my knowledge, the first time the national anthem has not been played before an NWSL game. That infamous 2016 Reign at Spirit game saw it played while the teams were still in the locker room. https://t.co/vCqNw2yJ4y
Washington Spirit 1 Racing Louisville FC 0
Call her Stoppage Time Sanchez.
STOPPAGE TIME 💥 https://t.co/QDsQ3bbSjp— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) April 16, 2021
STOPPAGE TIME 💥 https://t.co/QDsQ3bbSjp
After a lot of back and forth from both sides, Sanchez was assisted by rookie Trinity Rodman in the 93rd minute to improve the Spirit’s record to 1-1-0 and give them the 1-0 victory.
“We create a lot of chances with each other and we’re working really well together,” said Sanchez of her partnership with Rodman. “It’s going to continue to grow, the more games we get in and we’re playing with each other.”
Rodman nearly broke the deadlock in the 88th minute in a shot that missed over the crossbar. It would’ve been her second goal in as many games in her rookie season. One would think that Rodman would have some freshman growing pains but midfielder Tori Huster said after the game that Rodman “plays years ahead of 18.”
The win moves the Spirit into a three-way tie with North Carolina and Gotham FC atop the East Division while Racing Louisville falls to 0-1-1 and last in the East.