Brandi Chastain, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett, Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez & Sydney Leroux have each set a record of goals in a single game which is 5 for the USWNT. Brandi Chastain scored hers on April 18, 1991 against Mexico in a 12-0 win. Michelle Akers scored a few months later on November 24, 1991 against Chinese Taipei with a score of 7-0 during the 1991 Women’s World Cup. Tiffeny Milbrett helped the United States get the 9-0 win against Panama on November 2, 2002. Abby Wambach got her 5 goals in the second half vs. Ireland being the only player to score in that game on October 23, 2004. Amy Rodriguez came on as a sub in the second half on January 20, 2012 scoring her 5 goals helping the US defeat the Dominican Republic 14-0. Two days later on January 22, 2012, Sydney Leroux, also coming on as a sub, got her 5 goals in the 13-0 win against Guatemala in only her second appearance with the United States senior team.
So I’m reading The Girls of Summer again. It’s the book on the 99 USWNT written by Jere Longman. If you haven’t already, check it out!
Anyways… I was reading and about 20 pages in and they started talking about how close the team was. Then I read this:
“When Tiffeny Milbrett lost a necklace during practice, play was halted and the entire team walked the field in search of the missing jewelry.”
01 August 2009: Tiffeny Milbrett of the FC Gold Pride celebrates with Christine Sinclair of the Gold Pride after Milbrett scored a goal during the second half of the game against Washington Freedom at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, California. FC Gold Pride defeated Washington Freedom, 3-2.
I’m still not sick of the “first ever” trope so I may be using it a bit longer. :-p
Anyway… the Thorns won their home opener in front of an announced crowd of 16,479. Not too shabby. I don’t expect that they will be able to maintain that attendance level, but I think they’ll be able to average above 10,000. I know that Tiffeny Milbrett was in attendance and I’d be curious to know if there were other Portland soccer “royalty” there beyond the ones on the field (or in France).
The game itself, while better than last week, was still a little ragged. The midfield was improved, but not near the level it needs to be at. There was space on the weak-side the whole game, but the Thorns were too slow to switch the ball. Despite the fact I’ve seen some people nominating Nikki Washington for player-of-the-match, I thought she was one of the worst offenders. I don’t think she ever looked to switch the ball. Ever time she had it her head went down and she took far too many touches. Angie Kerr’s performance was greatly improved from last week’s. She had a couple of stretches where she was very involved in making the Thorns offense click. Not all of her touches were “on” today, but overall I’d say she was far more a positive player than a negative one.
The defense was reasonably solid, although Seattle doesn’t really have much in the way of a forward threat. The Reign’s best player was Jessica Fishlock in the midfield. She and Becky Edwards had a great battle going during the game and it wasn’t surprising that she scored after all of the work she put in. I can agree she’ll be a player that we’ll “love to hate” but the comparisons I’ve seen to Steven Lenhart are completely unfounded. She tackled hard, yes, but she was not dirty. I wouldn’t want to have Lenhart on the Timbers, but I’d love to have Fishlock on the Thorns.
The forward line for the Thorns was certainly more involved than it was last week. They got the ball a few more times and Christine Sinclair even found Alex Morgan for a goal. If the two of them can continue to combine this is going to be a great season.