Portland Thorns Win NWSL Championship to End Turbulent Season
The Portland Thorns clinched the NWSL Championship for the first time in club history after a 3-0 win over the Washington Spirit.
In a game that was decided by one free kick away, Portland defeated the #2-seed Spirit 3-0. The victory makes the Thorns the first team to win the NWSL championship since Portland entered the league in 2009.
The Thorns came into the game as the best-seeded team in the conference and were looking to win their third NWSL Championship in the last four seasons. Having to win for the first time in their history on Wednesday, the Thorns entered the game leading the league with a 2-0-0 record.
The Thorns came out with an aggressive defensive posture and took the ball all the way to the endline. Portland’s defense was never called offside and Portland’s defense was consistent all game. They did not commit a single foul throughout the entire game. Portland was not one to give up a free kick throughout the game.
It was a difficult game for the Spirit. Washington was tied with the Jacksonville Armada 1-1. On the other side, the Spirit came into the game having won their last three games. They were able to overcome their injury problems that plagued them throughout the year and get a win to go with the 2-0-0 record they had going into the game. Seattle played out of their minds and dominated the play of their team, especially through the run of play that led to the first touchdown.
The first half was not a struggle and it was a fun half to watch from start to finish. Seattle had a great look at goal when Megan Rapinoe’s header was knocked down by Portland’s goalkeeper Christine Rojas. The ball bounced right back for Rojas to kick the ensuing goal.
Alex Morgan made her second start for the Thorns. Morgan came into the game and had the presence of mind to defend the ball and make the right decision at the right time to give Portland a free kick. The Portland free kick was taken and was headed towards the endline and was a great play on the ball by the Thorns. The Spirit were able to get the ball back after Morgan beat Christine Rojas to get the ball