In a rematch of last year’s championship final, the Portland Thorns continued their dominant start to the 2023 season. The Thorns went into a packed Children’s Mercy Park and came out victorious against the Kansas City Current 4-1. Along with a hat trick from last year’s MVP, the country was treated to a stellar performance from the defending champs. Here are three Portland post-match talking points from Saturday’s match.
Portland Thorns Post-Match Talking Points With Win On Saturday
This is just unreal, @sophsssmith
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) April 1, 2023
Sophia Smith Is For Real
Sophia Smith was the MVP for both the 2022 regular season and championship match. She recorded her first career hat trick just two matches into her third season. After giving Portland a 2-0 lead in the first half from a penalty, Smith scored from two impressive individual efforts in both the 83 and 88-minute. The final two goals put the match out of reach for Kansas City who had scored a goal early in the second half to get within one. Smith’s hat trick gives her the league lead for goals to start the season with four. At just 22 this will most likely not be the last time we see her accomplish this feat.
Another Attendance Record Set
11,301 of the best fans in the world.
Historic Home Opener in Kansas City pic.twitter.com/KFkRoljBeG
— KC Current (@thekccurrent) April 1, 2023
Saturday’s match was broadcast across the country on CBS. For those in attendance, they were a part of another historic moment for the league this year. 11,301 fans showed up to the home opener at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. That is a record turnout for a Current match at the venue. Kansas City also plans to build its own stadium in time for 2024. Once again this is evidence that the NWSL is one of the fastest-growing leagues in the nation.
When Will Kansas City Find Their Form
While Portland’s post-match spirits might be high, the same can’t be said for the Kansas City Current. Despite a busy offseason to bolster an already talented roster, the Current has struggled out of the gate in 2023. In addition to the Portland loss, Kansas City fell to North Carolina in their opening match 1-0. The Current have already conceded five goals in two matches. Their next match will be on the road against the Chicago Red Stars who have also started the season with two losses. If stars like Debinha can play the full 90 minutes, this would be a perfect opportunity to change the narrative in the early season.
Photo Credit: Gary Rohman-USA TODAY Sports on April 1, 2023, of the Portland Thorns Headshot.
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