In the Book, with Becky Sauerbrunn, Vol. IV
Editor’s Note: Throughout the season, Captain Becky Sauerbrunn will check in with her thoughts on various subjects. The NWSL regular season has come to an end and Becky Sauerbrunn gives us her perspective of the NWSL Semifinal rematch against Portland Thorns FC.
"Oh, come on! Who was marking her?"
That was pretty much what everyone said in the meal room as we watched Alex Morgan score the game-winning goal against Seattle a few days ago. The national teamers and staff were watching the game on a projection screen as we sat around finishing up our dinner. The game had a varying level of importance for many in the room. For Chicago Red Star players it meant the continuation of their season into the playoffs, a Portland win would knock them out of the top 4. For Washington Spirit players it was the difference between playing top-ranked Seattle or second-place FC Kansas City. And for us it was the thought of hosting Portland once again in Kansas City.
Rematch. Which is and also not completely accurate. We've played them three times since that fateful day last year when we lost 3-2 in double overtime. We lost twice at their stadium and earned a hard-fought 3 points at home, a real test of keeping our home unbeaten streak alive. I won't soon forget the ass-whooping we received in Portland. 7 has become my least favorite number and is the most goals I've ever given up in a single game (unless you count a mercy-rule calling in high school, but that's another story). So instead of rematch, I think I'll go with retribution.
I have no doubt in my mind that this game is going to be a battle. They are a team made up of amazing individual players. And when they're all feeling it on the same day the results can be deadly on the score. It's a great matchup for us because our success depends on the ability of individual players to come together and play as a team. Please don't misunderstand. We have amazing individual players, completely capable of taking over a game single-handedly (ahem...Lauren Holiday). But we are at our best when we play as a team, when we are selfless in our work ethic.
So if you're in the Kansas City area I highly suggest coming out on Saturday to the UMKC campus to see a display of the best women's professional soccer has to offer. Please, bring your sunscreen. It's going to be a scorcher.