Thorns finally get a win — Concerning injuries and trade deadline deals

The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie Peterson, April 22, 2024

It was a concerning weekend for USWNT players. Alex Morgan was hurt late in the Wave’s loss at the Orlando Pride on Friday night with what appeared to be a left ankle injury. The team had not updated her status as of Sunday evening, but she winced with each step as she left the field. So that’s not good.

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Then on Saturday defender Tierna Davidson left Gotham’s match against the Washington Spirit with what looked like a hamstring injury.

As of today, there are just 94 days before the Olympics start, so recovery windows are tightening for the national team hopefuls.

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The good news was that defender Naomi Girma returned for the Wave after missing the previous game with a thigh injury.

The Thorns finally picked up their first win of the season and I was there! It was my first game this year and a friend who is a Portland season ticket holder says I’m not allowed to miss any games from now on.

I’m sure the fireworks were for me!

Fireworks kicked off the Portland Thorns’ match against the Houston Dash at Providence Park on Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Photo Credit: Annie Peterson | The IX)

Portland defeated the Houston Dash 4-1, and it came under interim coach Rob Gale after the team reassigned Mike Norris as technical director following the team’s winless start.

The Thorns switched a few things up: Sophia Smith played as more of a winger and Hina Sugita was a 6/8. Olivia Moultrie came in off the bench. The goals came from Christine Sinclair, Smith, Moultrie and Janine Beckie.

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But it was the Dash that made the most news over the weekend. They dealt Maria Sanchez to the Wave before Friday’s deadline — after signing her to a deal worth up to $1.5 million in December.

She confirmed the rumors that she had requested the trade on Thursday night.

The Dash also traded goalkeeper Emily Alvarado to Portland and acquired defender Paige Nielsen from Angel City.

Angel City also traded midfielder Amandine Henry to the Utah Royals. It’s assumed that the team was making moved because Christen Press is about to return — and the team all but said so in a release. Press is already training with the club.

“These moves are a key component of our strategy to continue to build for the immediate and future. While decisions like these are never easy, these movements do enable us to make impactful additions to our roster in the coming months,” general manager Angela Hucles Mangano said in a statement.

Press’ comeback is fueling a lot of speculation. She vowed to try, saying “what and beautiful, giving thing it is to try.”

Must-click soccer links

Good story from CBS Sports about the work Gotham has done to support player health

Jeff Kassouf for ESPN on how Olivia Moultrie paved the way for the NWSL’s youth movement

NWSL goalkeeper jerseys are now available

Dunn, Sonnett and Lavelle talk to the Today show in advance of the Olympics

The Athletic with a story on how Mexico is investing in women’s soccer, and it’s paying off

Can data help address ACL injuries in women’s soccer?

I wrote about Barbra Banda joining the Pride for the AP

Creative story about watching Chelsea and Emma Hayes with Mark Parsons

ESPN looks at the U-20 Americans to watch

Recap of the first legs of the semifinals in the Women’s Champions League

The rise of watch parties for women’s soccer

Feature on Nigeria as they return to the Olympics for the first time in 16 years

Vogue India with a story on women’s soccer in that nation

Ada Hegerberg signs contract extension with Lyon

And finally, Sophia Smith and Olivia Moultrie spoke after the Thorns’ victory. I asked the first question even though I was rapidly losing my voice at the Thorns match. Not because I was cheering for Hina, but because my allergies are going nuts.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by Annie Peterson