Portland Thorns FC Quotes

Portland Thorns FC head coach Paul Riley
On finding the strike of offense from the goalkeeper…
“We just didn’t look dangerous in the final third again. I think both Mana [Shim] and Allie [Long] were a little bit off, normally they’re a little bit sharper. I don’t think it was our best performance by a long shot. We battled in the second half. Not putting the game away, not creating enough clear-cut chances. I don’t think we tested Barnie [Nicole Barnhart] enough tonight, we tested her from maybe 30 yards, 35-yards out.  We never got close enough to her. Ayo [Genoveva Añonma] was working her socks off up there, but just wasn’t getting to goal. We’ve got to get her to goal somehow, we’ve got to figure that out.

On the intangibles that Michelle Betos brings to the side…
“Knowing Michelle she’ll be more disappointed with the goal she let in, that’s the type of personality she’s got. Besides the goal, she made two or three good saves when we were chasing the game. I thought she did a really good job with those type of things. The goal was brilliant. It’s one of those memorable things, and I don’t think you don’t see it too often. Not in male, female, any game – professional, amateur, youth. It was a great moment for her. I think she deserves it, she’s worked her socks off. Being under Hope [Solo] two years ago and Nadine [Angerer] last year, this is her time to shine and I’m pleased for her.”

On taking the last moments of the match as momentum going forward…
“I felt the Allie [Long] penalty kick at home against Washington when we missed it hurt us down the road for some other things. This is the moment maybe that takes us the other way. There’s always big moments in the seasons, positive and negative, and hopefully this will be one of the positive moments. We maybe get some players back by that point depending on what happens – Australian, English, American, German, whatever else we can get. We need the cavalry back, we’re struggling to penetrate, and we’re struggling to get goals. This was the players’ moment for a lot of them, this was their opportunity to shine. I think Mana and Allie struggled a little bit and they’ve been keeping us together over the first six or seven games. … You need those two players, they’ve been our catalyst so far this seasons. They didn’t find each other tonight. Ayo is a work in progress, we’re working with her. She ran all over the place. It’s just getting her to run in the right areas and be more dangerous. She helps the team out a lot behind the ball with her pressure, but we want her to score goals and get in good areas.”

Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Michelle Betos
On her goal…
“Allie just served the perfect ball. I don’t think I was marked very well, I probably wouldn’t have marked me either so I can’t blame them for that. Allie played the ball in and I just tried to get it on goal and it happened to go in. I actually didn’t know it went in until I saw Sinead’s face.”

On helping the team garner a point with saves and a goal…
“I don’t think it’s one person, ever. Win or lose, I don’t think it’s ever one person. I finished the goal tonight, which is absurd, but Allie played a great ball and the team worked and worked and worked. To not concede another goal when we get a red card, that was an insane game. For us to keep it 1-0 at that point and allow that goal to mean something, that’s a team effort and it has been a team effort throughout.”

On feeling in sync…
“I feel in a good place. I have played with some great goalkeepers and I have a ton of respect for goalkeepers throughout the league, but I feel like I’m in a personally good place. I think I’m in the best place I’ve been. I’m going to keep learning, I’m going to keep growing. I’m going to do some great things, I’m going to do some not great things. That’s part of the process. I feel in a great place. I’m very confident – not in my goal-scoring abilities – that just happened to happen today.”

On getting the call to go forward…
“I want us to win, I want us to tie, I want us to get points. If I feel I can do something, I’m always on the edge of that. Paul waved me forward and I didn’t hesitate. It worked out this time.”

On moving forward…
“There were some good chances. We didn’t make Barnie make too many saves, but Allie played two great balls to Kat [Williamson] and maybe on a different day Kat finishes. I thought we were creating chances, we are doing great things. It’s frustrating to not see the points and not feel like we’re producing like we want to, but at the end of the day we’re slowly getting points and working our way up.”

Portland Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long
On managing the match with 10 players, down a goal…
“It’s a tough balance when you’re down a goal. I think that’s probably one of the worst scenarios because you need to attack and we’re trying to get back in the game. You’ve got to pick your times, you can’t just bomb forward and we don’t want everyone back. You really have to have a good balance. Me and Sinead tried to switch on and off on who would hold and who would go and Paul wanted me to go a little bit more, so she did a good job just sitting back and doing the best we could in the midfield missing a player – especially McCall [Zerboni] who is so good at winning balls.”

On Betos’ goal…
“I saw a huge gap in the middle. A lot of players were close to goal and some were just hanging out and Michelle was right in the middle. I didn’t know how she would be in the air, but I just wanted to play in that general direction so someone could run onto it. Michelle did an incredible job getting on the end of it with power and I saw it perfectly go over the line.”

On the energy Betos has brought to the team…
“She’s great. She’s vocal and makes great saves and gets everyone up. We need her, she’s a necessity of this team. She’s learned from the best which is so cool, she’s been behind Hope and Nadine. I think right now she’s hitting her prime and she’s bringing everything together on the field and off the field. She kept us in this game with that huge save 1-on-1 at the end and then scoring the tying goal. It’s imperative she’s on this team, she’s awesome.


  • Goalkeeper Michelle Betos became the first goalkeeper to score a goal in NWSL history.

  • The goal was the latest goal ever scored in a Thorns FC regular-season match.

  • Betos’ goal was the first game-tying goal scored after the 75th minute in Thorns FC history.

  • Friday’s attendance of 15,214 was the most in 2015 and the fifth-highest attendance for a match in team history.

  • Midfielder Allie Long tallied her ninth career assist, moving into a tie for first place on Thorns FC’s all-time career assist list with Alex Morgan.

  • Defender Emily Menges made her 17th consecutive start, dating back to the 2014 season.

  • Midfielder Mana Shim made her 45th career appearance for Thorns FC.

  • Midfielder Allie Long has registered four goals and three assists in eight career matches against FC Kansas City.

  • Long has registered at least one point in four of Portland’s five home matches this season.

  • Thorns FC improved to 3-1-1 all-time against FC Kansas City at Providence Park.