Abby Elinksy made two very brief appearances for the Orlando Pride in 2018 totaling 32 minutes, and entered 2019 with a blank slate after the hiring of Head Coach Marc Skinner. If there were ever a time to stake her place on the roster, it was certainly at the beginning of a season that saw nine internationals leave for the World Cup.
Originally signed as a National Team Replacement Player in 2018, she officially signed on with the senior squad on April 10 of this year after making a good impression with the new coaching staff.
Elinsky made 18 appearances with four of them being starts for a total of 548 minutes played. She got her first career start on May 25 in Utah against Utah Royals FC. Despite playing typically out of position at the top of the formation for most of the season, she didn’t net a goal or an assist this season. Her passing rate was slightly below average at 57.9%. She took nine shots at goal, with four of them on frame, and had five key passes.
Defensively, her tackle success rate was a decent 61.3%. She also tallied five clearances and nine interceptions. An aggressive player, Elinsky conceded 14 fouls versus three fouls suffered. A handful of these were often due to being beaten on the dribble and having to resort to a foul to stop the play. Three yellow cards give her the highest yellow card per minutes played ratio on the team with a card every 182.6 minutes played.
Her best game was her debut start in my opinion. A pretty lethargic Pride team took the field in Utah on May 25 and it was Elinsky who controlled the pitch from one end to the other. Although the Pride went on to lose this match 2-0, I think her performance in this match kept her in rotation for the remainder of the season. I gave her a six in my player grades for this match, enough to be named Player of the Match. Take a look at her nearly getting one in goal, if not for an excellent save from Nicole Barnhart:
41' | Elinsky solo run making something out of nothing on that bit of play.
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) May 26, 2019
2019 Final Grade
The Mane Land staff gave Elinsky a composite score of 4 for the 2019 season. She provided a burst of energy often due to her tremendous work rate, but she is still a bit rough around the edges although that may clear up as she accrues more minutes. I’d like to see her in the midfield more, because her skill set seems to really shine when she can move from box to box. The high amount of fouls, while not necessarily a bad thing from time to time, is certainly an opportunity for improvement as well.
Next year is yet another great opportunity to earn some playing time due to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She is a young player who has established a place on a roster that becomes depleted during tournaments. The fact that she came on for the final 45 minutes of the season speaks to the Pride’s commitment to her.
I think we all expect the roster to shake up in the coming months, something that will be echoed in this section a lot in the coming reviews. She could very well be just what the team needs when summer rolls around if she continues to grow.
Look for more Orlando Pride Season in Review pieces in the days and weeks to come.