FC Kansas City beat the Portland Thorns 2-0 Saturday in the National Women’s Soccer League semifinals. The Thorns, last year’s NWSL champions, will not advance to the final.
The match took place in Kansas City, where the temperature climbed above 100 degrees. That didn’t help Portland’s performance. “It was really hard conditions today and that definitely factored in. Both teams looked quite lethargic at times. We gave it our all though and things didn’t go our way today. That’s how soccer goes. It was hot and we just gave everything we had,” said Defender Rachel Van Hollebeke, in an emailed statement.
In Portland, about 200 Thorns fans packed into the Ringlers bar to watch, wearing the team’s red jerseys and scarves.
The score was nil-nil for most of the game. Then, after more than an hour of play, Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez slipped through the Thorns’ defense and easily scored. Twelve minutes later, Kansas City midfielder Lauren Holiday scored another picture perfect goal, and a few of the younger Thorns supporters in the crowd at Ringlers teared up.
Fan Ryan Brown said the match was disappointing, but it hasn’t dimmed his enthusiasm for the team.”The nice thing is, is that regardless of the outcome, The Thorns are going to come back to a city that’s going to treat them like champions,” he said.
The Seattle Reign and Washington Spirit face off this weekend. The winner of that game will face Kansas City in the Championship August 31.