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Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride at Washington Spirit: Player Grades and Player of the Match



Saturday night proved to be a very hard-fought match for the Orlando Pride against a Washington defense that has kept Portland to a single goal in each of their two match-ups, and Seattle and North Carolina to a single goal in their last meetings.

The first half was where almost all the Pride’s chances came, and it was one gigantic long ball from Alanna Kennedy from midfield that was the difference.

It’s time to break the roster down and come away with our player of the match.


GK, Ashlyn Harris, 6.5 — There wasn’t a whole lot for Harris to do in this one, specifically in the first half when the Pride had more control of the game. She was only called to task three times, and it was the lone shot on target in the second half that made her stretch out and come away with the big save.

D, Poliana, 6 — There were two Polianas out there. The first was early on when she had several big stops in the box. She would barrel in from the outside and be in the right spot at the right time on several crosses. The second was later in the game when she pushed forward and made overlapping runs more often. The most promising of these was in the 63rd minute, but no one could get on the end of it.

D, Monica, 6.5 — Monica was solid throughout. When she was caught up the field a couple of times, she made great recoveries to make nothing easy for the Washington attack. She took one for the team in the 13th minute when she stopped a Joanna Lohman bullet with her face. She also led the team in passing accuracy with a 78.1%.

D, Shelina Zadorsky, 6 — Shelina had a decent game marking her attackers, but she wasn’t hardly ever involved in quelling the attack. The cross, or final pass always went to another defender’s mark. She was still a part of the shutout, so I’m giving the six.

D, Carson Pickett, 5.5 — Carson was a bit “hit or miss” in this one. She put a couple of good balls into the attack, but she would also miss others’ runs, or a ball would go wide of its target. I thought Francisca Ordega and Taylor Smith gave her a lot of trouble, and that’s where Washington was the most threatening.

MF, Emily van Egmond, 6 — Emily was one of the victims of Washington’s stubborn defense. She was a part of a few of the Pride’s chances, but a lot of those were quickly dealt with and she had nothing to show for it. Highlights involved a moment on defense when she put on the pressure and didn’t allow the Spirit to maintain possession, and just before she was subbed off, she had a great give-and-go with Rachel Hill that allowed Hill to put in a cross.

MF, Alanna Kennedy, 6.5 — Obviously, the interception followed by the midfield goal is the highlight here. After that, she was steady, but not heavily involved. A lot of the Spirit’s attacks when down the side, or over the top, so they often bypassed Kennedy altogether. Her 63.6% passer rating is why I couldn’t give the seven on this one.

MF, Christine Nairn, 7 (PotM) — Nairn was magnificent pretty much the entire time she was on the pitch. Long balls, lobs, free kicks, all of it was pretty on point. Any of the promising attacks were usually generated from Christine. She also tied for the lead in tackles, and won the most fouls. In addition, she made a couple of fantastic runs that ran the length of the field to try to get into the attack. Add in one of the top passer ratings at 75%, and she becomes my player of the match.

F, Sydney Leroux, 6 — Syd had an interesting match. She was forced into a more defensive position early, and was solid enough in that role, but around the 25th minute, she swapped sides with Chioma Ubogagu and that pushed her into the attack more. She was solid in passing with a 76.3%, and as always, put great pressure on her opponent’s attack.

F, Alex Morgan, 5.5 — This wasn’t one of my favorite performances from Alex, but I think it had to do less with any poor play from her and more to do with the stellar match from Estelle Johnson. Johnson was all over her and had perfect timing on tackles any time Alex was in, or near, the box. When Alex can’t produce, she creates for others, but that too was missing in this one, and again, I’m giving most of that credit to Washington and what can be a very stingy defense.

F, Chioma Ubogagu, 5.5 — I thought this was one of Chi’s better games. Her final touch was better, and her passes had a bit more determination. When the ball was at her feet, it was better than it has been. Here’s to hoping the corner has been turned and good things are to come.


F, Rachel Hill (63’), 5 — Comparing this match to the spark I’ve seen in previous games, there wasn’t much there from Hill on Saturday night. Throughout the early parts of the match, the Pride were able to exploit that left side, and I figure that’s why she was put over there when she came in, but she never seemed comfortable and only got involved in the attack a couple of times.

F, Marta (71’), 5.5 — Marta too, struggled to get involved and provide the energy we’ve seen in the recent past. In roughly 25 minutes of play, she had 11 total passes for a 72.7% accuracy, and no chances in the attack.

D, Toni Pressley (77’), 5 — Toni came in to shore up the defense in midfield and although she wasn’t too involved, I still think that’s just what she did. She closed down space and passing lanes and that forced play away from her. She won a handful of 50/50 balls and put in a decent shift to finish out the game.

That’s it. It wasn’t always pretty, but three points add up the same no matter how they are won. Be sure to vote below and let me know what you thought.

Polling Closed

Ashlyn Harris2
Alanna Kennedy14
Christine Nairn7
Other (comment below)2

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Unveil New Kits Ahead of 2024 NWSL Season

The Pride take part in the NWSL kit reset with new primary and secondary jerseys for the 2024 season.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride unveiled their two new kits today ahead of the 2024 NWSL season. The jerseys are part of the league-wide kit reset, launched by the NWSL and Nike. The club’s new Phoenix Kit features the Pride’s two recognizable colors, purple and blue, and the secondary Citrus Kit has an all-new color scheme, paying tribute to Florida’s citrus industry. Both jerseys will be formally unveiled on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at “The Kit Party presented by Orlando Health,” taking place at the Orlando Regional History Center.

Replicas of the two new jerseys are available for purchase at, in The Den at Inter&Co Stadium during regular business hours, and on Replica goalkeeper jerseys will also be made available during a late spring release.

“We are proud to share two new, powerful kits with our fans and honored that we are again able to share the story of one of the pillars of our community and the state of Florida,” Pride Chief Marketing Officer Pedro Araujo said in a club press release. “Each year, it is important for us to use our platform to celebrate those that laid the foundation for our city, and this year is no different. We hope our fans are as excited to wear the Citrus Kit and the Phoenix Kit as we are, and to proudly represent Orlando both at home and outside of Central Florida. This new partnership with Nike is a very exciting moment for the league. We’re grateful for their continued support of the Orlando Pride and the NWSL as a whole and are excited for the future opportunities this new, refreshed commitment will bring to our kits and team performance gear.”

The Citrus Kit features a new orange and iced-out green scheme, a first for the Pride, with inspiration taken from Central Florida’s citrus industry. The jersey features oranges and leaves, with letters and numbers featuring the same iced-out green coloring. The design of the kit takes direct inspiration from the historic packaging of citrus crates and labels, unique to each grove. The back of the socks features a hand-drawn “Pride,” which is also inspired by the labels. Meanwhile, the “Outer Pride” on the lower corner of the jersey is a stylized “OP” with an orange cross-section and orange blossom leaves and flowers.

The primary home jersey this season will be the new Phoenix Kit, which is more recognizable to fans. The jersey features the club’s traditional colors of purple with blue letters and numbers. The jersey features a unique two-toned purple gradient that runs diagonally from the top right to the bottom left of the jersey. The club’s shirt sponsor, Orlando Health, remains in white, but the letters, numbers, and Nike logo on the darker purple are the team’s second color, “Eola Blue.”

The new kits are part of the NWSL’s league-wide kit reset, the first time a women’s professional soccer league has presented refreshed primary and secondary uniforms for all of its teams. Each club is receiving jerseys that reflect the club’s identity and joyful expression and celebrate the team’s community.

The Pride’s unveiling has been in cooperation with Hollieanna Groves, a local and family-owned grower, harvester, packer, and shipper of Florida citrus. The Maitland-based company is a fourth-generation packing house and sales room, providing the backdrop for one of the club’s kit photo shoots.

Here are some photos of the Pride’s newest kits courtesy of the Pride:

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Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Place Megan Montefusco on Season-Ending Injury List

The Orlando Pride have placed center back Megan Montefusco on the season-ending injury list following surgery on her right foot.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride announced this afternoon that center back Megan Montefusco has been placed on the season-ending injury list. The defender had off-season right foot surgery, performed by the club’s official medical team, to repair a long-term problem.

“This is an unfortunate situation for Megan, though we’re happy she was able to address an issue that has plagued her for some time, and we are confident she will come out of this a stronger athlete,” Orlando Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in a club press release. “Our club is fully behind her and will support her throughout her rehab process, as will our amazing partners at Orlando Health. Our goal is to help Megan get back on the field as safely and smartly as possible, and we are behind her every step of the way. We look forward to seeing her back out on the pitch as soon as she is ready.”

The Pride originally acquired the defender in a trade with the Houston Dash on Jan. 28, 2022 that saw Marisa Viggiano go the other way. She was a regular starter at center back that year and through most of 2023, but lost the starting position when the club signed Brazilian international Rafaelle. Montefusco has made 45 appearances (42 starts) for 3,773 minutes in all competitions over her two seasons in Orlando, scoring one goal.

The 31 year-old signed a new contract with the Pride on June 15, 2023 through the 2024 season with an option for 2025. As one of the team’s main representatives alongside fellow center back Carrie Lawrence, Montefusco appeared at Orlando City’s preseason game against the New England Revolution, signing autographs and taking part in a question-and-answer session while wearing a walking boot.

What It Means for Orlando

This news is a bit of a blow to Orlando’s depth on the back line. Montefusco was the first center back off the bench late last year and was expected to have the same role this year. However, her absence will make room for Lawrence, who missed the 2023 season after suffering a torn ACL during preseason, and Tori Hansen, who is currently on loan with Melbourne Victory FC in Australia. The duo will now compete for the third center back spot unless the club replaces Montefusco with another veteran, as the NWSL transfer window remains open.

This injury could also open up a spot for the Pride to sign 2024 second-round NWSL Draft pick Cori Dyke, who the club took at No. 22 overall out of Penn State. Dyke has experience at center back in college. She played as a central midfielder for the first four years in college, but moved to center back for her final season. Despite moving to the back line, the 2023 season was her most productive offensively, as she recorded five goals and six assists.

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Orlando Pride

Five Questions About the Orlando Pride in 2024

What are the top five questions for the Orlando Pride heading into the 2024 NWSL season?



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride have begun their preseason training for the 2024 NWSL season and will play their first preseason scrimmage on Thursday afternoon. The team nearly made the playoffs last year for the first time since 2017, narrowly missing out on the final day of the season. The team’s been busy this off-season, looking to improve the squad. However, there are still some questions to be answered before the competitive games start.

Here are five burning questions about the Pride for 2024.

Who Will Start in Goal?

The Pride signed English goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse from French side Bordeaux on Jan. 31, 2022 to back up Erin McLeod. When the Canadian left after the 2022 season, Moorhouse was elevated to starter. She played well at times last year, but was inconsistent. However, Pride Head Coach Seb Hines showed confidence in the 28-year-old, starting her in 19 of the team’s 22 regular-season games.

In December, the Pride traded backup Carly Nelson to the Utah Royals for Allocation Money. The move came 11 days after they signed Finnish goalkeeper Sofia Manner, indicating the club was planning for the departure. While Moorhouse will undoubtedly start the season as the team’s number one, Manner could claim the position if Moorhouse’s inconsistency returns. It will be something to keep an eye on this year.

Who Will Start in the Defensive Midfield?

The Pride focused on the team’s back line last year, but much of the effort this off-season has been on the defensive midfield. The team traded for Haley McCutcheon on Aug. 18, 2022 and it appeared as though she would start in the position. However, Hines moved her to right back last year, where she’s become the regular starter. It then looked like recent draft picks Viviana Villacorta and Mikayla Cluff would be the duo, but Cluff was traded to Utah on Nov. 15 for Expansion Draft protection and Villacorta tore her ACL late last year.

The club focused on the position this off-season, bringing in Brazilian internationals Angelina and Luana, along with USWNT player Morgan Gautrat. All three will battle to start in the defensive midfield, especially since Villacorta is injured and fellow defensive midfielders Cluff and Jordyn Listro are gone. But it’s still unknown who will start in those positions. It’s a question that will likely be answered in the coming weeks as the Pride build for the start of the regular season in March.

Where is Ally Watt Best Suited?

After tearing down the roster in a full rebuild, the Pride made two significant acquisitions in August 2022. In addition to trading for McCutcheon, the Pride dealt Allocation Money to OL Reign (now Seattle Reign FC) for forward Ally Watt. The speedy attacker quickly became the second option up top for the Pride, typically playing behind rookie Messiah Bright last year and starting the odd game. However, that’s not the only position she played.

Hines has shown he values versatility and illustrated that with Watt last year. In addition to playing up top, Watt was deployed on the right side of the midfield. Her speed and ability with the ball was an asset in the position, and she was praised by teammates in the role. They love having her on the right and Julie Doyle on the left, the two fastest players on the team. The questions now become: which position is she best at, and where does she best fit in with this team?

Who will Replace Messiah Bright?

Possibly the biggest question for the 2024 season is who will replace the starting striker. The Pride drafted Bright with the 21st overall pick of the 2022 NWSL Draft out of TCU, and she quickly became the focal point of the attack. Her six regular-season goals last year tied Adriana for the team lead. However, the forward requested a trade this off-season, citing personal reasons, and was shipped off to Angel City FC.

The club did sign Simone Charley, most recently with Angel City, who could replace Bright. However, she’s coming off a season-ending injury and wasn’t as effective in Los Angeles as she was in Portland. Other options include Canadian international Amanda Allen or Argentina international Mariana Larroquette. Watt might be the most likely to start the season up top as it stands, with Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter recently telling our SkoPurp Soccer podcast that 2024 will be “the season of Ally.” But it remains to be seen who will be the Pride’s new number nine.

Will We Discover the Pride’s New Number 10?

Marta has been the Pride’s number 10 since she arrived in 2017 and the team’s most prolific player. She leads the team all-time in appearances (102), starts (95), minutes (8,456), goals (31), and assists (18) in all competitions. However, she’s on the final year of a two-year deal that’s widely expected to be the last for the soon-to-be-38-year-old midfielder. If she does depart the club following the 2024 season, they Pride will need to find her replacement.

The club could go outside and find her replacement for 2025, but there are options in the current squad. The most talented player on the team currently is Brazilian international Adriana, who has typically played on the right side of the midfield, causing problems for defenses. She’s also switched with Marta at times, moving central, and has played there at the international level. The club also has Summer Yates, the former Washington Husky drafted in 2023. Yates slipped to the fourth round, where the Pride grabbed her, and Carter recently said she’s seen significant development in the second-year player.

While the primary focus is on this season, Hines could show his hand with who plays the most minutes behind Marta in the attacking midfield. While a final decision will probably be left to the 2025 preseason, we can get an idea of who might be in line for arguably the most significant role on the team during the 2024 campaign.

The Pride enter the 2024 season with more expectations than the last two years. They narrowly missed out on the playoffs in 2023 and will be looking to improve this season. While most of the team is intact, there are some questions to be answered during preseason and the coming regular season. It will tell us a lot about the team’s 2024 season and the coming years.

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