Rhian Wilkinson, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Morgan Weaver react to the 2-0 loss to the San Diego Wave

Portland Thorns head coach Rhian Wilkinson

General thoughts on the match…

“I was just saying to the players — it's really hard to say this when you lose two-nothing and it's never good when you lose — there is a lot of play today that I was really proud of. The team never stopped fighting till the very last whistle. They were going and honestly even when we were two-nothing down, I expected us to come back into the game. Congratulations to San Diego. I think they played a very efficient type of game. Our players just kept pushing and honestly our quality around the net wasn't good enough. I didn't think we had enough shots on target or really challenged Kailen Sheridan enough. But some of the build up play, some of how we moved the ball, some of the wing play — there's a lot that we can take from that game with a few games left. Because we've gotta keep pushing to the end here. We're right in the mix.”

On struggles the team faced connecting plays…

“I think you can see the respect other teams are giving ours and how low they're sitting, how many numbers they’re getting back in front of the ball. It takes a different type of cross, it takes a different kind of give-and-go to create those moments. I thought that we got better and more dangerous in the second half. But still the quality of the final ball — a lot of them rolled out of bounds, just overhit a little bit. You know, this is something we've got to get used to now. These little blocks that teams are going to utilize against us, the double teams on Sophia Smith. Essentially, she's going to have to get used to it. Whether it's for the U.S. or whether it's for the Thorns. You're going to be a top player in the world. Get on with it. That's what she's got to do and it's what our team has got to do. Teams are going to sit low. What are we going to do now? We've got to find different combinations, we’ve gotta get different types of crosses in the box and we’ve got to try to attack the back post.”

On the tough August schedule and upcoming international break…

“This was a really hard month and I hope you never hear any one of my players make an excuse about it. I think lots of different teams have had very challenging parts to their schedule and we've just gone through one. I think it's about putting this month behind us and coming back in reenergized. There's a group that's going off on international duty. We've got a few of them flying to Australia. Thank you so much, Canada. We're gonna have to make sure that they're getting some rest when they get back and that our players that are staying here, get to unplug, just unwind, be with family and friends. Just get soccer out of their heads for a second. Then we come back in ready to go again, because with the few games we've got left, we’ve got to show up every single game and put the performances in that I think this team deserves.”

Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn

Thoughts on tonight’s match against San Diego…

“A lot of credit to San Diego. I think they’re very good at what they do, and even though we knew what they were going to do, they still got that second goal on us. It’s tough to win games when you’re letting goals in. But I thought our response was really positive. I thought we fought very hard after their first goal and even after their second goal. I don’t think heads went down. I’m proud of the way that we stayed into the match. I’m proud of our behaviors. I think everyone was still very positive and pushing and believing that we can get back into it, and we just didn’t have the magic tonight.”

On making her 150th NWSL appearance…

“I really had no idea. I think [Morgan] Weaver at halftime was like, ‘Congratulations!’, and I’m like, ‘What?’ and she’s like, ‘150!’ and I’m like ‘Oh! That’s cool.’ I wish that 150 could also be commemorated with a win, but 150 in this league, I’m proud of. I’ve played on some great teams, and have met some great people, and played in 150 games. That’s 150 great experiences for me. Very happy about that.”

On if the team was tired at the end of a busy August schedule…

“I think physically, most of us actually felt pretty good. I think we have great medical and performance staff, and they got us to recover and, you know, massages and the flushes and all those things right after the game in North Carolina. So I actually think physically we were in a decent spot. I think, sure, there’s accumulation; it was a tough August. But I think we were up for this game.”

On the difficulty in defending San Diego midfielder Taylor Kornieck…

“Yeah, I mean, she’s gifted in the air, and it’s not just her height. It’s also her commitment to winning those balls. She’s also got great feet, and she can play really great balls, so she’s a pretty well-rounded player. Going into the game, we kind of knew, you know, how do we defend someone that’s that tall, that gifted, and we knew she was going to flick the ball on to Alex [Morgan], and all those things were going to happen. She’s just very good at what she does, and the team is very good about working around her when she does those things. She’s just one of those special players that you really have to often do things special to deal with her.”

On an expansion team contending for the NWSL Shield…

“Yeah, I mean, this league is wild. I think on any given day, any team can win, and I don’t know where else you can say that that’s possible. I think it’s great that expansion sides can come in. Obviously, San Diego seems to have done it very well. They’ve gotten some great players, great coaching staff. Just great setup. It’s good to see expansion teams do well. Obviously, I want the more established teams like the Portland Thorns to also do very well, and we are. But it's just great for the league. It just goes to show that if you put the right people in place, the right things in place, you invest, you’re going to get a good product on the field.”

Portland Thorns Forward Morgan Weaver

General thoughts on the match…

“As a team, we’re very disappointed in ourselves. I don’t think we played horrible, we’re just disappointed in the result, and we wish we got the win tonight. But with this international break, I think we’re going to hit our reset button and put ourselves back on track.”

On if tired legs from a packed August factored into the loss…

“We’ve had a long two weeks, but that’s not an excuse at all. I think everyone has tired legs at this time of the season. We just have to do a better job. But also, we didn’t play horrible, at all, so I don’t think that was an issue. I think it was just small little things we have to fix.”

On the quality of the league for an expansion team to challenge for the NWSL Shield…

“Yeah, I think it’s awesome that they’re doing well. We should be doing better, but I mean, congrats to them, I guess.”

On San Diego’s game plan and struggles to connect passes…

“San Diego had one game plan, and it was hit Taylor’s [Kornieck] head and get it to Alex [Morgan], and they ended up scoring off that. I think for us, it was just little things that we need to continue to work on. The back post run, as well as just connecting our passes with each other, and continuing through the whole 90 minutes.”

On how valuable the next 13 days off will be…

“I think it’s just going to be a mental restart for us.”