Three games took place in the National Women’s Soccer League on Sunday as moments of solidarity continued from players in the wake of ongoing systemic abuse exposed in recent weeks and months. Here is what happened on the field on Sunday:
Kansas City 0, Portland Thorns FC 0
The Skinny: The Thorns turned around from an emotional midweek game at home — one which saw the announcement of general manager Gavin Wilkinson being put on leave only hours before kickoff — to travel to Kansas City for the first time this season. Kansas City, after a long layoff, began a grueling stretch of five games in the final 21 days of the regular season.
Narratives of a recent trade between the two teams put Kansas City goalkeeper Adrianna Franch at the center of this matchup, and she delivered as an influential figure in the scoreless match. Franch made a huge, goal-line save late in the match, followed by Christine Sinclair putting her penalty shot off the post in the final minutes.
One Key Moment: Sure, there was the PK, but Franch’s save on Morgan Weaver’s header in the 75th minute was spectacular.
Inside the Match: The Thorns looked tired, understandably. Combine that with the small pitch in Kansas City which many teams have found difficult to play on, and the scoreless draw is not such a surprise, in a vacuum, even if this was a first-vs.-last matchup. Each team had only two shots on goal. Kansas City’s best opportunity was what looked like a go-ahead goal from Kristen Hamilton, but she was ruled to have fouled Becky Sauerbrunn prior to the shot.
— Jeff Kassouf