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Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride vs. Puerto Rico Sol: Final Score 5-0 as Pride Win Final Preseason Match



The Orlando Pride played their final preseason game of the season and beat Puerto Rico Sol FC 5-0 in front of 2,137 fans in Orlando City Stadium. Orlando was clearly the better team and the visitors only had one shot on goal — a 40-yard shot that Haley Kopmeyer easily grabbed. Orlando held possession well, took players on in one-on-one situations, and quickly won the ball back when the Pride lost it.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful learning experience, which is exactly what I wanted,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said after the match. “I had no idea what the team would be like and they banked up with as many players as they could get behind the ball. And that is a wonderful challenge because first off, we didn’t meet that challenge. Second half, once we adjusted at halftime, I thought we were much better and that’s something to be really proud of.”

There were two words to describe the game: narrow and free-flowing. Skinner sent his team out in a 4-3-3, and, for the most part, Orlando stayed in that shape. However, players were constantly swapping positions with each other all game. Carson Pickett could often be found in the midfield, Danica Evans dropped to right back at one point, and Camila was just about everywhere on the field. 

“I think if you’re a 90-minute player, or a sub off the bench and never play, I think you’re going to grow under Marc,” said Pickett. “I think he’s going to make us individually better and make the team much stronger than last year. I think that no matter what position you’re in you’re going to be rotated a ton, so you’re not stuck to one side. And I think, to be honest, as a defender my whole life, going into the midfield and forward line has already taught me so much more than I’ve ever learned in soccer.”

Skinner was very conscious about this player movement and it was a key point in what he sent his team out to do. There needed to be little tweaks, and there is still much work to be done to improve this system, but the player movement is going to continue.

“We work off principles, not positions,” said Skinner. “It’s about movement. We know that if somebody is in a static line the only way you can really get away is through width and rotation through the middle. Plus, if I’m a player that’s receiving the ball and you expect me to be there, and somebody else appears, how do you deal with that? That’s what we’re trying make the opposition think about what they're going to do.”

Orlando held possession well, and Puerto Rico Sol rarely got into the other half of the field. The Pride had many chances on goal, but the visitors fouled hard and often. Pickett took the majority of the set pieces, while Camila took some as well, but Orlando had trouble getting on the end of its services.

There was a scary moment in the 11th minute. Kopmeyer, who touched the ball just once at this point, went to the ground away from the ball. The training staff came on, and she was able to stay in the game. 

The fouls ended up coming back to haunt Puerto Rico Sol, though. In the 42nd minute, Orlando won a corner. Pickett sent the ball in, and there was a collision in the box. The referee awarded a penalty kick and Camila buried it into the back of the net. The Pride took the 1-0 lead into halftime. 

“[In the second half] we repositioned the players,” Skinner said. “We didn’t need as many players in defense. We pushed our fullbacks up a little higher, we kept more width — which meant they had to shuffle quickly. So, we had better connections, the passes were quicker, the details of the passes were quicker.”

There were a couple of more goals, and a lot fewer fouls in the second half. Rachel Hill nearly doubled the lead seconds into the second period. Camila used some nifty footwork to create separation between her and the defender. She put a cross into the box, but Hill just missed it. 

About 10 minutes later, Evans should have scored. Her header was goal bound but Puerto Rico Sol goalkeeper Christina Holguin made a fantastic goal line save to keep the score 1-0. 

Orlando finally got its second goal in the 59th minute. Erin Greening put the ball on a platter for Pickett, who was the farthest Pride player up the field. Pickett headed the ball into the bottom corner, out of the reach of Holguin. It hit the inside post and rolled in. 

“Getting higher up the pitch is always fun for a defender,” said Pickett. “ that’s what Marc wants. It’s good because when I get high I have a lot of cover behind me, which I think other years when I've gotten high I've been left to sprint 50 yards back. So, it’s good to get up there and it’s good to know I have cover in the back.”

Just 13 minutes later, in the 72nd minute, Bridget Callahan made it 3-0. Hill played a good through ball, and Callahan was one-on-one with Holguin and passed it into the back of the net. 

In the 83rd minute the Pride scored again, this time from Hill. Orlando used great ball movement to get Hill open in the box. The striker then dribbled around Holguin and scored into the open net. 

Camila made it 5-0 three minutes later. She had time and space in the center of the field from about 25 yards out. She of course ripped it from that position and Holguin had no chance at keeping it out of the net. 

With preseason now in the books, Orlando will look forward to its season opener next week. The Pride host Portland on Sunday, April 14 at 5 p.m. in Orlando City Stadium.  

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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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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