NWSL Game of the Week: Kansas City Current vs. Portland Thorns

Sophia Smith and Hailie Mace battle for the ball.
Portland Thorns' Sophia Smith battles against Hailie Mace of Kansas City Current at Audi Field on October 29, 2022. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Getty Images)

For the second weekend of the NWSL season, the Kansas City Current and the Portland Thorns took the field in a onesided five-goal game at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The Thorns had the upper hand in this matchup as star forward Sophia Smith netted a hat-trick.

Starting XIs

Kansas City Current

Franch; Mace, Robinson (Rodriguez, 88′), Winebrenner, Merrick (Spaanstra, 63′), Curran (Debinha, 69′), Loera, Labonta (c) (Childers, 88′), Kizer, Cooper (Larsson, 69′), Del Fava

Portland Thorns

Bixby; Klingenberg (Reyes, 90′), Sauerbrunn, Hubly, Kuikka, Sinclair (Rodriguez, 77′), Coffey, Dunn (Moultrie, 60′), Weaver (Vasconcelos, 60′), Smith, Sugita (D’Aquila, 60′)

Match highlights

The Thorns took the early 1-0 lead in the third minute, courtesy of Crystal Dunn. Sam Coffey sent the ball to Dunn from the corner, allowing Dunn to take a touch and rocket the ball passed Current goalkeeper AD Franch.

The Thorns got their second in the 18th minute after Smith drew a foul in the box resulting in a penalty. Despite Franch’s correct guess, Smith sent a powerful ball to the bottom left corner of the net that was too low for the keeper to get. Portland seemed to have a handle on the game as they went into the second half up 2-0.

Regardless of the Thorns’ lead, the Current finally scored a goal in the second half. From way outside the box, Alex Loera stood over the ball after a free-kick was called in favor of the Current. Loera sent the ball toward the back-post, and Cece Kizer headed the ball firmly passed Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby. Kansas City only trailed by one.

After a free-kick from Meghan Klingenberg, Smith received the ball and took on four different Current defenders before she toe-poked the ball passed Franch. Franch stuck her leg out for it, but the ball rolled right under her leg and into the back of the net. The Thorns now led 3-1.

For the fifth and final goal of the game, Smith completed her hat trick. Smith received the ball from Sauerbrunn around midfield and dribbled it up to the Current’s 18-yard box. Smith took a touch toward the middle and fired the ball to the bottom right corner of the goal.

The Thorns took the 4-1 win, and Smith was a huge factor as she scored three.

Player of the match

The Player of the Match would have to be Sophia Smith.

Smith has been on fire since she joined the league three years ago. Her dominance with the Thorns, especially in this game, has helped the team be on top.

This was Smith’s first career hat trick in the NWSL, and there’s certainly more to come.

What’s up next?

The Thorns return to the field on Friday, April 14, to face the Houston Dash at 10:30 p.m. eastern, and the Current return on Saturday, May 15, against the Chicago Red Stars at 8:00 p.m. eastern. Both games will stream on Paramount+ for U.S.-based viewers or on NWSLsoccer.com for international viewers.

MORE from Her Football Hub: