KC NWSL Falls to Portland Despite 'MVP' Performance from Goalkeeper Abby Smith NWSL KC

The Latest | Jun 20, 2021

KC NWSL Falls to Portland Despite 'MVP' Performance from Goalkeeper Abby Smith

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 20, 2021) - Kansas City NWSL was unable to find the equalizer in a 1-0 loss to the Portland Thorns on a sunny Father’s Day afternoon in Portland. Kansas City goalkeeper Abby Smith made several highlight-worthy saves throughout the day, including a penalty-kick block midway through the first half. Unfortunately, an unlucky bounce enabled Portland’s Simone Charley to get past Smith and tap in the game’s only score.

Head Coach Huw Williams voiced after the game that he is proud of every single one of his players after the match against a tough Portland team and environment. 

“I’m proud of every single one of our players today,” Williams explained. “We came out to one of the best and toughest environments in all of women’s soccer and we played, I think, even if not better in the second half. I’m proud of our players.”

The Thorns were able to place four shots on target to Kansas City’s two in the first half and maintained the majority of the possession, but much of the first half belonged to Smith. Already with a couple saves in her pocket, Smith was faced with a penalty kick attempt from Portland’s Christine Sinclair. The kick was awarded after a Thorns pass hit defender Elizabeth Ball in the arm in the 13th minute.

Sinclair slotted a ball to the bottom left corner, but Smith was not fazed and dove to her right and parried the ball out of danger, keeping the score tied at 0-0. After the game, Captain forward Amy Rodriguez spoke highly of Smith and her play. 

“I thought Abby was our MVP today," said Rodriguez. "She had some quality saves. You couldn’t ask more from your keeper.”

After a hydration break and a couple players tended to by their training staffs, the referees added seven minutes to the first half. Kansas City was able to keep Portland off the scoreboard for the first four of those added minutes, but then Thorns midfielder Crystall Dunn slotted a long pass over the KC backline towards forward Charley. As Smith came out to meet the ball, it took an odd bounce which Charley was able to take advantage of and get behind Smith for the game’s only score.

As the second half started, Williams inserted midfielder Victoria Pickett and forward Jéssica Silva to kickstart the team’s offense. The pair were able to open up the midfield for Kansas City and help to open up several chances throughout the period. 

The best chance for Kansas City came late in the half as Portland dropped their full lineup into the penalty box to try and defend against the KC pressure. The ball popped out to defender Michelle Maemone who cut to her strong foot and shot a ball from outside the box that Portland’s goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was just able to tip over the crossbar. Although they created more chances in the second half to be more dangerous in the final third, Kansas City was unable to find the equalizer they needed.

Kansas City will now return home for two games in four days at Legends Field. The first of the two comes on Wednesday, June 23 at 1 p.m. CT as Kansas City faces off against the Orlando Pride before taking on the Washington Spirit on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

NWSL Match Report
Match: Portland Thorns vs Kansas City
Date: June 20, 2021
Venue: Providence Park, Portland, Oregon.
Kickoff: 1:06p.m. PT, 3:06 p.m. CT, 4:06 p.m. ET
Weather: 91 degrees, sunny

12’ KC - Ball (Yellow)
37’ KC - Edmonds (Yellow)
84’ KC - Jenkins (Yellow)

45' +5 POR - Charley (Dunn)

Scoring Summary





Portland Thorns FC




Kansas City





Portland Thorns FC: Franch, Westphal (90’+3 Pogarch), Menges, Sauerbrunn (60’ Hubly), Klingenberg, Rodriguez, Salem, Horan (46’ Boureille), Sinclair, Dunn (68’ Weaver), Charley (46’ Smith).
Substitutes Not Used: Bixby, Nally, Everett, Ryan.

Kansas City: Smith, Edmonds (85’ Maemone), Leach, Ball, Bowen (90’ Weber), Scott (64’ Logarzo), Vincent, LaBonta (46’ VPickett), Jenkins, Larroquette (46’ Silva), Rodriguez ©.
Substitutes Not Used: Barnhart, Del Fava, McCain, Vasconcelos.




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