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Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

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Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (4-4-5, 17 points) take on the Chicago Red Stars (6-5-2, 20 points) in Bridgeview, IL. This is the first of three scheduled meetings between the two teams this season and the first since 2019. The Pride will return to SeatGeek Stadium on Oct. 2 and the Red Stars will visit Orlando on Oct. 29 in the Pride’s regular season finale.

History

The Pride are 3-7-1 against the Red Stars, dating back to the team’s inaugural 2016 season. All three Pride wins have come at SeatGreek Stadium, where the two teams will face off tonight. While the Red Stars have won seven match-ups, only one of those seven games was decided by more than one goal.

The last time the two teams faced off was in 2019. The most recent game between the two teams came on Sept. 11, 2019 in Orlando. It was a late winner for the Red Stars as Casey Short scored five minutes into second-half injury time, stealing the 1-0 win for Chicago.

On June 30, 2019 in Orlando, the Pride lost 3-2. Chioma Ubogagu and Marta both scored but it was the Sam Kerr show as the Australian star netted a hat trick. The Pride got revenge in the rematch on Aug. 21 of that season in Bridgeview. Rachel Hill and Ubogagu scored on either side of the half, lifting the Pride to a 2-1 win.

The best year for the Pride against the Red Stars came in 2018, when they won two of the three games, both in Bridgeview. The first was a 2-0 win on May 2 with goals coming from Ubogagu and Hill. On May 26, the Pride jumped out to a quick two-goal lead through Hill and Alex Morgan inside 10 minutes. Sydney Leroux and Kerr both netted braces in the game for their respective teams as the Pride won 5-2.

The final match-up that season came on Aug. 25 in Orlando and was the only time the Pride dropped points against the Red Stars that year. The teams looked to be going into the break scoreless, but a 44th-minute goal by Kerr and an injury-time goal by Vanessa DiBernardo gave the visitors a 2-0 lead. Morgan got one back for the Pride in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the Red Stars won 3-1.

The first two games between the teams in 2017 were dominated by Christen Press. On July 1, 2017 in Orlando, the Red Stars won 1-0 through a Press goal in the 68th minute. On July 22 in Bridgeview, Alanna Kennedy gave the Pride their first goal against Chicago, but it was too little, too late as Press had already netted a brace, resulting in a 2-1 Red Stars win.

The final match-up in 2017 saw the Pride claim their first point against the Red Stars in five tries. Morgan started the scoring in the 24th minute. However, Sofia Huerta equalized for the visitors in the 53rd minute, as the Pride came away with a 1-1 draw.

The first match-up between the two teams was on May 1, 2016 in Bridgeview, a 1-0 win for the hosts. A Press goal in the 65th minute was the difference. The return game on July 16 at Camping World Stadium ended in the same result, but this time it was a Taylor Comeau goal in the 23rd minute.

Overview

Tonight’s game will be the team’s second under interim head coach Becky Burleigh. This is the coach’s second week in charge, allowing her to start implementing her style and culture on the team.

The most recent outing for the Pride was a 1-1 draw at North Carolina. Leroux gave the Pride the lead in the 50th minute, but the Courage struck right back with a 52nd-minute goal by Brittany Ratcliffe. The draw ended a two-game losing streak, but the Pride have still not won since their 3-1 victory seven games ago in Kansas City.

A positive is that the Pride are getting their Olympians back, which should be a big boost. The recent slide began with a 2-1 loss in Houston on June 26, the last game before the Olympians started departing. Ali Riley and Marta have already returned and trained with the team at the end of this week. Morgan and Erin McLeod will be rejoining the team soon.

While the Pride have struggled recently, the Red Stars have won three of their last four games, lifting the team into third in the NWSL. Their recent form includes a 2-1 win over the Dash and 3-1 wins over OL Reign and the Washington Spirit last week.

“I think that Chicago wants to play also,” Burleigh said about the upcoming game. “They’ve got some great possession players. If you look at a lot of their midfield especially, that’s what I feel like makes them tick. And then clearly they have some terrific athletes up top that can stretch you. So for us it’s going to be a willingness of us to keep possession against their midfield, but also deal with their athletes that they have up top.”

The Pride’s injury list is almost the same as it was last week. Jade Moore (left knee) continues to recover and Carrie Lawrence (right ankle) is still unable to play in games. The only addition is Viviana Villcorta, the club’s 2021 NWSL College Draft pick, who is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in February.

While Morgan and McLeod have yet to return from Tokyo, that status for Riley and Marta is still unclear. The two rejoined training this week and Burleigh said it depends on how they feel heading into the weekend. For now, they’re both listed as questionable.

Several Red Stars played in the Olympics with the United States and are out for this game. That includes Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, Tierna Davidson, and Casey Krueger. Additionally, Vanessa DiBernardo is out with a head injury.


Official Lineups

Orlando Pride (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.

Defenders: Courtney Petersen, Amy Turner, Ali Krieger, Ali Riley.

Midfielders: Marisa Viggiano, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Gunny Jonsdottir.

Forwards: Marta, Sydney Leroux, Jodie Taylor.

Bench: Brittany Wilson, Ally Haran, Phoebe McClernon, Toni Pressley, Kylie Strom, Erika Tymrak, Taylor Kornieck, Chelsee Washington, Crystal Thomas.

Chicago Red Stars (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Cassie Miller.

Defenders: Alyssa Mautz, Sarah Gorden, Kayla Sharples, Tatumn Milazzo.

Defensive Midfielders: Daniele Colaprico, Sarah Woldmoe.

Midfielders: Mallory Pugh, Morgan Gautrat, Kealia Watt.

Forwards: Rachel Hill.

Bench: Emily Boyd, Makenzy Doniak, Ella Stevens, Nikki Stanton, Zoe Morse, Zoey Goralski, Katie Johnson, Bianca St. Georges, Sarah Luebbert.

Referees

REF: Luis Guardia.

AR1: Meghan Mullen.

AR2: Tiffini Turpin.

4TH: Erin Patterson.


How to Watch

Match Time: 6 p.m.

Venue: SeatGeek Stadium — Bridgeview, IL.

TV: None.

Streaming: Paramount+ (USA), Twitch (International).

Twitter: For live updates, follow along at the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride) and on The Mane Land’s Twitter feed (@TheManeLand).


Enjoy the Match. Go Pride!

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Sign Midfielder Kerry Abello to New Contract

The Pride have signed midfielder Kerry Abello to a new three-year contract.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride announced this afternoon that the club has signed midfielder Kerry Abello to a new three-year contract. The deal keeps Abello in purple through the 2026 NWSL season.

“We are thrilled to keep Kerry in Orlando through 2026. Since joining the club, she has proven to be a reliable and versatile player for our team,” Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in a club press release. “In a few short years, she has grown into a leader in our locker room and sets the standard for professionalism and accountability, two values we center our culture around. Ensuring she remains a part of what we are building here, both on and off the field, was a priority for us in the off-season. We are happy to bring that to fruition and look forward to her continued growth and performance.” 

Abello was initially drafted by the Pride with the 24th pick of the 2021 NWSL Draft, but decided to return to school for a fifth season. The club finally signed the Penn State product to a two-year contract on Jan. 28, 2022. The midfielder signed another two-year deal on Feb. 23, 2023, with a club option for 2025. Just over a year later, she’s now inked a third contract, ensuring her stay in Orlando will run through 2026.

Initially coming off the bench, Abello became a regular starter late in her rookie season. Over the past three years, she’s seen time at attacking and defensive midfield, showing her versatility. In total, Abello has made 49 appearances (31 starts) in all competitions and recorded 2,835 minutes. She’s scored one goal and contributed one assist.

Last year, the 24-year-old midfielder made 25 appearances (18 starts), recording 1,642 minutes, and adding a goal and an assist. She participated in all but two league games and five of the team’s six Challenge Cup contests.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is truly no place I’d rather be. Thank you, Orlando, for having me for the next three years,” Abello said in a club press release. “I’m feeling full of joy, gratitude, and inspiration. There’s work to be done, and I can’t wait to put my whole heart into this season and all the rest. Vamos!”

The Batavia, IL, native was a part of the United States youth set up at the U-14, U-15, U-17, U-18, and U-19 levels. She received a call up to the U-23 U.S. Women’s National Team for the 2022 Women’s U-23 Three-Nations Tournament, scoring in a 3-0 win over Sweden.

Prior to being drafted by the Pride, Abello was a three-time All-Big Ten selection, helping Penn State win three Big Ten championships. She was also named to the All-North Team twice in her five collegiate seasons.

What It Means for Orlando

Similar to her last contract, this deal ensures that Abello will continue her stay in Orlando beyond the upcoming season. She originally started on the bench under former Pride head coach Amanda Cromwell, but won over Seb Hines with her versatility in the midfield. During her first two professional season, she’s played extensively at attacking and defensive midfield. However, she can also play on the back line, having been a center back in college.

Following the 2023 NWSL season, Carter told The Mane Land’s Skopurp Soccer podcast that the club focused on the back line last off-season and was focusing on the midfield this off-season. Signing Abello, who has been a crucial part of the club’s rebuild, was always going to be part of that plan.

Between the re-signing of Abello and the new additions to the team, the midfield has more depth than before. Abello’s presence could be crucial, because the midfield’s Brazilian internationals will likely miss time due to international call-ups. Abello can fill in multiple positions, ensuring there won’t be a significant drop-off when the internationals depart.

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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.

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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 ShopOrlandoPride.com, in The Den at Inter&Co Stadium during regular business hours, and on NWSLshop.com. 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 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.

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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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