Thorns preparing to face Kansas City for championship title
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Thorns are set to play the Kansas City Current in the NWSL Championship Final.
With controversy surrounding the Thorns in the last couple of months, they’ve been able to stay focused on the match. The players had each other to lean on for support but they also credit the fans; the fans who stuck by their side and showed their support.
“I think everyone coming together for us, we felt their energy you can tell the second half we were just going and going and so we just fuel off that energy. And they need to know more than anything, we are so thankful for them and everything that they do for us,” says Defender, Kelli Hubly.
“That’s the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of at Providence Park and it was absolutely electric, it felt like it felt like they were 50,000 people there. I think we asked the fans to show up, me specifically on social media and I think that I just wanna say thank you for everyone that did show up I know that it was hard for some people,” says Goalkeeper, Bella Bixby. “It made the last month a little bit easier feeling that support on Sunday.”
The Thorns are coming off a high from Sunday’s match, but they’re ready to get back to work and refocus because it’s a new field and a new team.
“They’re gritty, they’re feisty, they’re gonna do whatever they can to get a goal on us, so it’s all about preparation, the clearances, safety in the back,” says Bixby.
In their last match, they tied 1-1 and say the Current plays to a specific style.
“I think they play a 3-5-2 so just like how we met, I just like how we match up to them. They have really fast forwards. A-D is really good in goal. We really need to be clinical and now we’re finishing and aware of their fast players,” says Hubly.
Head Coach Rhian Wilkinson says they’re a team that knows how to score and they’re dangerous.
“Kansas City has found a way and they’ve had a fantastic season and there will be a lot of top players that we need to make sure they’re taken care of if we want to get the result,” says Wilkinson.
And the Thorns need to be able to adapt to whatever the Current may throw at them.
“If it’s transitional, then we have to be able to manage the source, we have to be able to manage if that’s the direct player. We have to be able to manage where that’s coming from, but also on the back end defensively,” says Bixby.
It won’t be easy scoring on KC. They will go up against former Thorn’s goalkeeper, Adrianna Franch.
“I was frustrated by how many opportunities we had that was within her reach. If it’s within reach her, she’s gonna save it,” says Wilkinson. “We’ve got to make sure we’re finding the corners and making her work.”
Thorns vs. Kansas City Current Saturday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m. PT.
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