UPDATE: The results are in. In a close three-way race, the Thorns 4-1 playoff win over the Orlando Pride on Oct. 7, 2017 will be the PTFC: From the Archives, presented by Providence Health & Services, Thorns rebroadcast to air on April 18, 2020. The winning selection had 37.52% of the vote.
SPECIAL NOTE ON START TIME: April 18, 2020's rebroadcast will begin at 2:30pm PT on FOX 12 Oregon KPTV.
Now is your chance to select what Thorns game should be next on PTFC: From the Archives, presented by Providence Health & Services. The top choice will air on Apr. 18, 2020 at 3pm PT on FOX 12 Oregon KPTV and stream on ThornsFC.com and Twitch.
Voting closes on Apr. 13, 2020 at 10am PT.
Oct. 7, 2017 – Home playoff semifinals win vs. Orlando
The title Thorns FC claimed in 2017 makes it easy to forget the sting Portland carried out of the 2016 season, a pain born from having won the NWSL Shield only to lose in extra time to Western New York in the ensuing match – the Thorns’ first NWSL playoff game at Providence Park. In hindsight, there’s no shame in a 4-3 loss over 120 minutes to a group that went on to win three league titles, but through the 2016 offseason, disappointment lingered.
Even without knowing that context, the team’s next home playoff game still looks like a convincing performance. The 4-1 result came after near whistle-to-whistle control, with Portland holding a lead for the game’s final 78 minutes.
Beyond the result, goals from Amandine Henry, Tobin Heath, Hayley Raso and Nadia Nadim provided a level of proof, showing the team had not only moved forward but were capable of applying lessons from the year before. A week later on Orlando’s home field, Portland defeated the squad North Carolina inherited from Western New York, earning the team’s second star with a 1-0 victory in the season’s final.
Sept. 7, 2018 – Home finale win vs. Seattle to secure a home playoff match
Seattle Reign FC were nursing significant injuries ahead of the 2018 season finale, ones that would leave U.S. national team members Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long sidelined for what could have been the first of a doubleheader. Nothing was set in stone when the teams kicked off at Providence Park, but if the game went Portland’s way, the teams would be back in Goose Hollow a week later, with a two-three matchup in the league’s semifinals giving Vlatko Andonovski’s group a chance at redemption.
Shortly after kickoff, it seemed Seattle wouldn’t need that chance, with Jessica Fishlock’s strike from distance into Adrianna Franch’s upper-right hand corner giving the Reign a shock, fourth-minute lead. Starting at the half-hour mark, though, the Thorns assumed control, with two goals from Lindsey Horan as well as a one-goal, one-assist performance from Tobin Heath securing the team’s third-straight home semifinal, setting the stage for a playoff rematch at Providence Park.
April 17, 2016 – 2-1 win vs. Orlando in home opener. Lindsey Horan’s debut and Mark Parsons' first win as the Thorns head coach
Over four years later, the trade that sent Alex Morgan to Orlando is still the most famous in NWSL history. In real time, the 2016 schedule makers embraced that significance, sending the expansion Pride to Providence Park for the teams’ season opener. The Thorns may have been focused on their future, but at the first whistle of 2016, a significant part of their past paid a visit.
Early on, though, it was another part of the Thorns’ past, fullback Steph Catley, who threatened to cast a pall over head coach Mark Parsons’ Portland debut, scoring the first goal in Pride history 12 minutes into the team’s debut. By full time, though, two more debuts would prove vital, with Dagny Brynjardottir’s 25th-minute equalizing before, in the 81st minute, Lindsey Horan’s first NWSL goal.
Among the other debutants for the Thorns that day: Emily Sonnett, Meghan Klingenberg, Mallory Weber, Hayley Raso, Nadia Nadim and Katherine Reynolds.