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Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars: Final Score 3-2 as Mistakes Gift Visiting Chicago a Win



The Orlando Pride’s modest two-game unbeaten streak is over. Sam Kerr scored a hat trick in her return from the World Cup as the Pride (1-8-2, 5 points) continuously gifted the Red Stars (4-4-2, 14 points) chances in a 3-2 win over Orlando at Exploria Stadium.

Sam Kerr turned three Orlando turnovers into Red Stars goals to lead the visitors to victory. The Pride got goals from Chioma Ubogagu and Marta — from the penalty spot — to keep the game within reach but despite a late barrage of possession which produced a few chances, the hosts could not equalize.

Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner talked at length about the team’s mistakes after the match.

“Look, we can’t give away the goals that we’ve given away and win a game,” he said. “We’ve again — third consecutive game — scored two goals and lost the game. It’s not acceptable.”

“I wish the result was different, but we’ll still keep working hard to improve more to find a way to start to win the games,” Marta said.

Skinner wasted no time inserting Marta back into the starting lineup, slotting her up top next to center forward Rachel Hill, with Ubogagu on the left in her normal slot. With Dani Weatherholt out, the midfield (left to right) consisted of rookie Marisa Viggiano, Bridget Callahan, and Joanna Boyles. The back line in front of Haley Kopmeyer remained unchanged: Erin Greening, Morgan Reid, Toni Pressley, and Carson Pickett.

Back from the World Cup, Kerr made her presence felt immediately. A terrible back pass from Reid was too slow, allowing Kerr to run in and take it away, round Kopmeyer and fire it into the net for a 1-0 lead.

The Pride nearly pulled the goal right back. Marta sent in one of her patented stellar crosses that found Pickett making a run from the left. Pickett got a touch on it but Emily Boyd made a huge reaction save to preserve Chicago’s lead.

Callahan was forced off after a midfield collision with Yuki Nagasato as the two players clashed heads. After treatment on the field, Callahan was escorted directly to the locker room by the training staff and Camila subbed on in the 16th minute.

Six minutes later the Pride equalized. A back pass to Boyd ended up with the goalkeeper taking a heavy touch. Ubogagu beat Boyd to the ball and slotted into the empty net to make it 1-1 in the 22nd minute.

Kopmeyer made a nice save to deny Casey Short in the 32nd minute after the Chicago right back nutmegged Pressley on the perimeter, walked right around her and fired.

After a brief hydration break, Orlando went on the attack and Ubogagu got into the box but slipped and fell before she could shoot or find a teammate in the 35th minute.

The Red Stars sank a dagger into the Pride in first-half stoppage time. Kopmeyer sent a short goal kick that Nagasato headed back toward Orlando’s goal. Kerr was ready but the Pride defense was not. The Chicago star striker won the race to the loose ball and slotted home past Kopmeyer, who had come off her line too late to have any effect on the onrushing Kerr, letting the visitors take a 2-1 lead just before the break.

Chicago out-shot the Pride 8-2 in the first half (5-2 on target), held 51% of the possession, and was the more accurate passing team (78%-73%).

Orlando continued making mistakes after the break. Greening got beat down the wing shortly after the restart and the ball ended up with Vanessa DiBernardo at the top of the area, but her shot went wide. In the 51st, another poor back pass by Pressley was picked up by Kerr, but this time Kopmeyer was able to save it. The rebound was left for Chicago but the follow-up shot was wide.

Kerr completed her hat trick in the 55th minute off another turnover. The Australian international received the ball after a Greening turnover and cut across the field, blazing past Pressley with speed and powered a shot back against the grain to beat Kopmeyer, building the lead to 3-1.

Chicago took control of the game for about the next 20 minutes. Kopmeyer was forced into making a few saves on shots from distance. The Pride also continued to turn the ball over carelessly. A Pickett turnover nearly led to Kerr’s fourth goal of the game but the Aussie sent her shot wide and into the side netting in the 71st minute. A minute later Pickett cleared a Kerr header off the line off a cross into the box.

Kopmeyer made the save of the game in the 77th minute. Pressley’s turnover gifted Danielle Colaprico with an opportunity and her rocket toward the far post seemed to be headed in until Kopmeyer got her hands on it to push it wide.

A minute later, the Pride got a lifeline. Marta sent a gorgeous ball to the left side to Camila, who cut in between two defenders and was tripped by Brooke Elby. Marta stepped up and smashed the penalty kick home to make it 3-2 in the 79th minute.

Orlando did get the ball in and around the penalty area in the final minutes of the game but couldn’t produce a clear-cut chance. In fact, the opposite almost happened, as Kerr jumped on a Pickett giveaway and nearly scored from near midfield but Kopmeyer ran back and got a hand to it just in time to keep it out.

Chicago out-shot the Pride, 20-6 (12-4 on target), out-possessed Orlando (53%-47%), and passed more accurately (78%-72%). In the end it was the turnovers that doomed the Pride in this one.

“We’re still going to keep playing out from the back,” Skinner said. “I’ve never known anybody to get better at a skill if you stop doing it, so for me, to be better at things, even though they’re higher risk, you only see the beauty of it after you’ve gone through the pain.”

“I think we need to trust more. I think we need to have more confidence,” Marta said through a club interpreter. “I think it was unacceptable the goals that got scored. It was just too easy. I just feel like if it was me having all those balls (that Sam Kerr got) I would have scored as well.”

Marta explained to the assembled media that soccer boils down to two basics — trapping and passing — and said the team needs to work on just doing those simple basic skills in order to progress.

Orlando still hasn’t earned a single point at home and the team’s performances and the afternoon heat kept the Exploria Stadium crowd to a disappointing 3,906.

The Pride will welcome the Washington Spirit to Exploria Stadium next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Orlando Pride

2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Emily Madril

The first-year defender played almost every single minute available in the 2023 season.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride selected former Florida State defender Emily Madril with the No. 3 overall selection in the 2023 NWSL Draft. The 5-foot-7 Navarre, FL native decided to forego her last season of eligibility in Tallahassee to begin her professional career. A two-time national champion (2018 and 2021), Madril left FSU, signing a contract with the National Women’s Soccer League through 2025 and was loaned to Swedish side BK Hacken FF.

Following a standout first NWSL season in which she played all but three minutes in the regular season, Madril was rewarded by the Pride with a new contract through 2026.

Let’s take a look at her first season with the Orlando Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

Madril started all 22 of the Pride’s regular-season games in 2023, leading all rookies in minutes played (1,977), and coming off only moments before the end of the club’s season finale against the Houston Dash when the Pride were desperately trying to score a game winner to stay in playoff contention. The defender did not record a goal or an assist on the season, attempting just one shot, which was off target. Madril completed 814 of her 953 passes (85.4%), 46 of her 103 long passes (44.7%), and one of her three crosses, while recording five key passes. There wasn’t much drop-off in her passing rate related to position on the field, as Madril completed 88.7% of her passes in the defensive half and 75.6% in the attacking half. Defensively, she added 19 blocks and 19 interceptions, won 17 of her 28 tackles (60.7%), and was successful on 76 of her 122 duels (62.3%). She also won 54.5% of her 33 aerial duels. She won 23 fouls while conceding only nine and was booked twice during the regular season.

In the NWSL Challenge Cup, Madril appeared in five of the team’s six matches (all starts), and played 450 minutes. She did not score a goal or assist on one and did not attempt a shot. She completed 193 of her 224 passes (86.2%), including 13 of her 25 long passes (52%). Madril passed at an 89% rate in her own half and a 78.3% in the attacking half, recording one key pass, but not attempting a cross in the competition. She recorded 10 blocks and four interceptions on defense, winning 55.6% of her tackle attempts, 68.1% of her duels, and 71.4% of her aerial duels. She committed five fouls, drawing six on the opposition, and was not booked in the tournament.

Best Game

With a number of standout games to choose from, I’ll go with the Pride’s 1-0 win over OL Reign on July 7. Paired with Megan Montefusco as the center back tandem, Madril and her teammates limited the Reign to just five shot attempts (two on target) across the 90+ minutes of the game. Madril had 55 touches and completed 89.1% of her 46 passes. She recorded two tackles and drew two fouls on her opponents while not committing any. Madril and her teammates helped Messiah Bright’s 16th-minute strike hold up over the remainder of the match without constantly being under siege. It was a complete performance and one of the team’s best defensive efforts of the year. It was also just the Pride’s second win ever against OL Reign.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Madril a composite rating of 6.5 for the 2023 season. There were several shaky moments early in the year for the first-year NWSL defender that prevented that score from rising higher (such as conceding a penalty against Angel City), but as the season progressed and she became more comfortable with Seb Hines’ system, the league, and her teammates, Madril was a solid player on the Pride’s back line. She showed her versatility in being able to play both center back positions as well as right back for a couple of matches. A 6.5 is a good rating for a first-year NWSL center back, and Madril showed that she has the potential to develop into one of the league’s best defenders.

2024 Outlook

Madril is obviously highly regarded by the organization and has a huge upside. She has expressed on multiple occasions how happy she is to be with the Pride, and I would expect her to be in Orlando until/unless the Pride get an offer they can’t refuse from a bigger club or if Madril decides to leave once she’s eligible for free agency. Madril should be a starter on the back line for the Pride in 2024 barring something unforseen.

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Orlando Pride Sign Defender Emily Madril to New Contract

The center back signs a new three-year deal, keeping her in Orlando through 2026.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride announced today that the club has signed starting center back Emily Madril to a new three-year contract. The defender originally signed a three-year deal with the NWSL, running through the 2025 season, but this new contract will keep her in Orlando through 2026.

“I had a great rookie year here and had so much fun and love everyone in the Orlando Pride organization,” Madril said in a club press release. “The chemistry that we have in the locker room between all the girls and the entire coaching staff is just amazing and played a big factor in me wanting to stay here in Orlando. I am so excited to be a part of the Pride for the future and continue to be a part of the special thing we are building here.” 

After leaving Florida State University following her junior season, Madril signed a three-year contract with the NWSL and went on loan to Swedish Damallsvenskan side BK Hacken. The Pride drafted the defender with the third overall selection in the 2023 NWSL Draft, immediately putting her into the starting lineup.

Madril initially started alongside Caitlin Cosme at center back, before being joined by Megan Montefusco and, eventually, Rafaelle. She showed her versatility on two occasions, starting at right back.

The Boise, ID native started all 22 regular-season games for the Pride, recording a rookie-leading 1,977 minutes, and she only came off late in the season finale against the Houston Dash when the Pride needed a goal. She completed 814 of her 953 passes (85.4%), 46 of her 103 long passes (44.7%), and took one off-target shot. Defensively, she added 19 blocks and 19 interceptions, won 17 of her 28 tackles (60.7%), and was successful on 76 of her 122 duels (62.3%).

Madril also played in five of the team’s six Challenge Cup games, recording 450 minutes. She completed 193 of 224 passes in those games (86.2%) and 13 of 25 long balls (52%). She continued to be a key defensive presence in those midseason cup matches, recording 10 blocks and four interceptions, as well as winning 10 of her 18 tackles (55.6%) and 32 of her 47 duels (68.1%).

“Emily came in and made an immediate impact, just as we expected she would when we drafted her,” Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in the club’s release. “She was a reliable presence in our back line throughout the entire season and showed her potential to be one of the best defenders in the league. Her maturity and professionalism shined throughout the entire year, and we are very happy to be able to have her with the Pride for the years to come. She is an important part of what we are building here, and she wants to be a part of it, which we are very excited about.” 

Madril has also had a presence for the United States at the international level, receiving call-ups for the U-19, U-20, and U-23 U.S. Women’s National Teams.

What It Means for Orlando

Madril was a key piece of the Pride’s team in 2023 and the club hopes she’ll be for a long time to come. She showed early on that she can become one of the best defenders in the NWSL and her time at right back indicated she has the versatility valued by Carter and Pride Head Coach Seb Hines.

The 24-year-old was already signed to a three-year deal through the 2025 season, so this keeps her in Orlando for an additional year. Terms were not disclosed, but it’s likely she got a raise as well. If she continues to improve on how she played this season, the Pride will undoubtedly look to extend her even further into the future. For next year, she’ll likely continue starting alongside Rafaelle, making up a formidable center back pairing the club can count on.

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2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Anna Moorhouse

The 2023 NWSL season was Anna Moorhouse’s first as the Orlando Pride’s starting goalkeeper.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The 2023 NWSL season was Anna Moorhouse’s second with the Orlando Pride and her first as the team’s starting goalkeeper. She was originally signed prior to the 2022 season, backing up veteran Erin McLeod that year. However, the Canadian international left the team, resulting in Moorhouse taking over the starting role.

Let’s take a look at Moorhouse’s first season starting for the Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

Moorhouse started 19 of the team’s 22 regular-season games, playing 1,623 minutes. The team’s record in those games was 9-9-1, as she conceded 22 goals, saving 72 of her 94 shots faced (76.6%). She ended the year with seven clean sheets, 19 catches, six punches, and four drops. The Pride’s number one completed 387 of her 573 passes (67.5%) out of the back and 115 of her 292 long balls. The passing accuracy in her own half was 79.1% and 32.4% in the opposing half. She conceded one foul and won two, getting sent off in the third minute of the team’s 1-0 loss to OL Reign on Sept. 3.

The English shot stopper also played in four Challenge Cup games, recording 360 minutes. She conceded 10 goals in the competition with no clean sheets and saved 13 of her 23 shots faced (56.5%). Moorhouse had three catches, one punch, and no drops in the secondary competition. She successfully completed 69 of her 111 passes (62.2%) and 29 of her 68 long passes (42.6%). Similar to the regular season, her pass completion percentage was far higher in her own half (76.4%) than in the opposing half (35.9%). Additionally, she won a foul and didn’t concede any.

Best Game

Moorhouse’s most active game was the season opener against the Portland Thorns, where she faced 27 shots and made 12 saves. However she conceded four goals and one was her fault. Her best game of the year came on Oct. 2 in Los Angeles and it was a critical one. Adriana scored in the 22nd minute against Angel City FC to give the Pride a 1-0 lead and the visitors held on for dear life to claim three points that put them in the running for a playoff spot.

One of Moorhouse’s seven clean sheets, the goalkeeper made seven saves on the night, her second-most of the season. Most of Angel City’s shots were right at the goalkeeper, but she was sure-handed, something that plagued her earlier in the year. In the 57th minute, Claire Emslie beat Haley McCutcheon to the ball inside the six-yard box, but Moorhouse was decisive in coming out, forcing the forward to send her shot into the side netting. Her biggest moment of the game came in the 86th minute, when substitute Sydney Leroux got her head on the ball and put it on target. Moorhouse tipped the attempt over the crossbar, maintaining the Pride’s narrow 1-0 lead.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Moorhouse a composite grade of 6 out of 10 for the 2023 NWSL season. Shot stopping was her strength, but she struggled at other aspects, especially holding onto the ball. On multiple occasions this season, her inability to hold onto a catch resulted in second chances and goals for the opposition. She struggled in the team’s penultimate game against Racing Louisville, effectively ending the Pride’s season, and her third-minute red card against OL Reign was likely a determining factor in a crucial 1-0 loss. However, she had seven clean sheets on the season and was the team’s best goalkeeper.

2024 Outlook

Moorhouse’s initial contract was a two-year deal, running through the 2023 season. While there were questions about her dependability in goal this season, Seb Hines and Haley Carter were pleased with her performances, awarding her with a new contract on Oct. 5, keeping the goalkeeper in purple through at least the 2025 season. The Pride now have four goalkeepers under contract for next year, and Moorhouse will be challenged for her role as the starter by new signing Sofia Manner.

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