, 32, is one of the NWSL's elders. She began her pro career in WPS's last season and returned from Europe to play in the NWSL's second season.
She started for the USA when it won the 2015 Women's World Cup championship and has been one of the national team player association's leaders. She has been with the Portland Thorns since 2016, so when she speaks, others should listen.
Klingenberg was moved from the backline to midfield to help out the short-handed Thorns and set up the first goal of the NWSL Challenge Cup, hitting a perfectly placed cross to Rocky Rodriguez
in Portland's 2-1 win over Kansas City, but she did not want to talk about that after the game.
What she wanted to talk about is what happened at the end of the game.
First, teammate Simone Charley
, carded earlier in the game, received a straight red card for a late tackle in the 90th minute. Thorns coach Mark Parson
was also banished for arguing call.
A minute later, Kansas City's Kristen Edmonds
and Portland's Morgan Weaver
got tangled in the corner. Both landed on the ground, then got up as play moved to the other end, and Edmonds took a swing at Weaver, who backed off and appeared to point to the scoreboard. But referee Danielle Chesky
ejected both players.
The Thorns will appeal Chesky's decision to send off Weaver, the second overall pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft.
“What I saw was Morgan Weaver didn’t do anything,” Klingenberg said. “She was the one who got taken down when we watched the replay."
Concerns about the NWSL's refereeing has been raised before.
"We’re putting it all out on the field," added Klingenberg, "and we’re doing everything we can to win and I think the players deserve quality refereeing and accountability. I want my players safe and I want players on the other team safe as well, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask.” NWSL Challenge Cup:
Friday, April 9
0. (Att.: 4,204.) Portland
2 Kansas City
1. (Goals: R.Rodriguez 8, Lussi 58; A.Rodriguez 60. Att.: n/a.)