Credit Midge Purce, who would scored twice that day. Credit Simone Charley, too. She set up both goals. And a defense – don’t forget about the defense. For the third time that season, they kept their opponents off the scoreboard. No, instead of being remembered purely for the occasion – one that marked Portland Thorns FC’s first game in their newly expanded Providence Park home – the team’s June 2, 2019, victory over the Chicago Red Stars will also be remembered for the performances on the field. The 3-0 victory proved the perfect way to put a long road spell in the rearview.
“Because of the stadium construction, we had to play our first six games on the road, which was a really tough way to start the season,” Thorns defender Katherine Reynolds remembers. Happy memories of the Thorns’ delayed home opener is why Reynolds selected the three-goal win for this week’s PTFC: From the Archives, presented by Providence Health & Services replay.
“When we finally got to have our first home game, we were so excited to be back in Portland, playing in the newly renovated Providence Park, in front of our amazing fans!” she says. “We wanted to make sure we put on a good show!”
That they did, albeit in a way that adapted to the team’s circumstances. Not only were the Thorns playing at home for the first time in 2019, but the team was dealing with mass absences for the World Cup. The team’s captain, Christine Sinclair, was gone, as was Portland’s United States women’s national team contingent: Adrianna Franch, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan and Emily Sonnett. Likewise, three Australian internationals – Ellie Carpenter, Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso – were away, as was midfielder Andressinha, who was in France representing Brazil.
Through the offseason, the specter of those absences had been a cause for trepidation, with fans and media skeptical of how Portland would adjust. The victory over Chicago, as well as the 3-1-2 record the Thorns collected during their road spell, put those worries to rest, fueling another return to the National Women’s Soccer League postseason.
Watch this rebroadcast on Saturday, May 2, at 3pm PT on FOX 12 Oregon KPTV, ThornsFC.com and twitch.tv/thornsfc.