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Orlando Pride vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC: Final Score 1-0 as Erika Tymrak’s Goal Leads Pride to Victory



A 49th-minute long-distance goal by Erika Tymrak was the difference as the Orlando Pride (6-5-6, 24 points) beat NJ/NY Gotham FC (5-5-6, 21 points) 1-0 at Red Bull Arena. It was the second win for Becky Burleigh as interim head coach (2-1-2) and was an important win in the playoff race for Orlando.

Ashlyn Harris ended up with the shutout as well as the all-time NWSL career save record in the match as well.

Burleigh made three changes from the team that lost 2-1 to the Washington Spirit last weekend. Phoebe McClernon and Toni Pressley replaced the injured Courtney Petersen (right foot) and Amy Turner (right leg), respectively, while Ali Riley moved from her usual right back position to left back. Additionally, Marisa Viggiano was placed on the bench, replaced in the starting lineup by Tymrak.

Gotham was the better team in the opening minutes, creating multiple opportunities on goal. The Pride midfield and defense provided too much space, but the hosts were unable to take advantage.

The first chance of the game came inside the first 60 seconds through Carli Lloyd. A poor pass by McClernon allowed the former U.S. international to take possession and carry the ball into the box. The Pride defense gave her plenty of space to take a shot, which appeared to be headed for the corner, but Harris made a diving, one-handed save to knock it wide.

Two minutes later, the Pride had their lone chance in the early minutes of the game. Gunny Jonsdottir collected the ball well outside of the box and seemed to be no threat. As the Gotham defenders retreated into the box, Jonsdottir sent her second touch towards goal. It was a strong shot from distance but the ball went just wide of the far post.

In the eighth minute, Lloyd had her second good chance on goal. A pass in between Lloyd and McCall Zerboni created some confusion, but Lloyd decided to take control. Before Zerboni could get to it, the striker had fired off a shot. However, the ball sailed well high of the target.

As the first half went on, the Pride were much better at closing down Gotham in the midfield and in the back. While Lloyd had multiple chances with plenty of space in the opening 15 minutes, the Pride began to close her down, forcing her to pass the ball instead.

In the 18th minute, Lloyd attempted to find space for a shot, but Ali Krieger did well to get in front and force her away from goal. She found Zerboni approaching the top of the box, but the midfielder’s shot was weak, allowing Harris to make the easy save.

The best chance of the first half for the Pride was an individual effort from Marta. Carrying the ball across the top of the box, the Brazilian passed two defenders before finding enough space to take a shot. For the second time of the half, Gotham goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was forced to dive to her left as the ball rolled just wide of the post.

While Gotham had the best chances early in the first half, it was the Pride that broke through. In the 49th minute, Estelle Johnson gave Tymrak plenty of space on the right. After a short touch, the midfielder took an unexpected shot on goal. Sheridan was caught off her line as the ball sailed over her head and into the far side of the net.

The goal was Tymrak’s first as a member of the Pride and her first since coming out of retirement prior to this season.

“It felt really good,” Tymrak said about her goal. “But I think that the past couple months, the team has just been fighting, and we’ve kind of hit a point where we’re starting to find our identity, deciding to play more, and I think players are just falling into that and relaxing and being able to be themselves out there. And yeah, of course, it feels good to score.”

“I’m just really excited for her because I feel like she’s come into to so many games and impacted,” Burleigh said about Tymrak. “And because of that, I felt like she had earned an opportunity to start and be in the game from the beginning. And for her to get that first goal as a Pride player, I was really, really excited.”

After the goal, the Pride seemed happy to sit with 10 players behind the ball. That allowed Gotham to maintain the majority of possession and create chances during the last half hour.

The Pride nearly paid for that decision in the 67th minute. Second-half substitute Brianna Pinto sent a long cross across the box. Lloyd brought it down near the far post and created enough space to take a shot. It was on target, but Harris got low to make the stop, her second big save of the game.

The save on Lloyd was Harris’ 469th of her NWSL career, passing Nicole Barnhart — who was waived by Kansas City earlier this year — for the all-time NWSL lead. 

“What a journey this has been,” Harris said about the record. “I feel like I have given my heart and soul to this club for a lot of years, and this is special to me because not everyone gets to say they hold records like this. It just makes me feel like maybe I’m doing something right. 

“But it’s an emotional day today. It would have been my grandmother’s 88th birthday. I know that no one would be more proud of me than her, so I felt like she was with me today, and I feel like this moment is for her. And I am very, very grateful to have such incredible people in my corner and (Pride goalkeeping coach) Lloyd Yaxley, who’s been by my side, my goalkeeper coach, since 2013, and I couldn’t have done this without him. And this is something that we can all celebrate — the city of Orlando, the team, the fans, the club.”

Gotham had another excellent chance in the 74th minute when Lloyd made a long run, taking the ball into the box. After avoiding a tackle at the edge of the box, the striker lost control of the ball and it was cleared out for a corner kick.

The ensuing corner was flicked toward the far post where Zerboni was waiting. The midfielder was left unmarked and fired on goal with her first touch. Fortunately for the Pride, the shot was high of the target, allowing the visitors to escape the dangerous situation.

As time wound down, the Pride put everybody behind the ball and attempted to withstand the pressure. While Gotham won a few corner kicks and had some shots, the Pride were able to get in front of anything dangerous, hanging on for the 1-0 win.

“I feel really good about that one,” Burleigh said about the win after the game. “Because I think it was a huge step forward for us mentally and that was really important. It was really important for us to be able to get a lead and hold it, especially on the road.”

It was a gutsy effort by the Pride, who trailed Gotham in nearly every offensive statistical category. This includes shots (16-7), shots on target (3-2), corners (7-2), total passes (499-359), passing accuracy (80.6%-74.1%), and possession (58.4%-41.6%).

Where the Pride did succeed was on the defensive end. They ended the game with more tackles won (15-7), saves (3-1), and clearances (27-8) than Gotham.

“I think it was just determination,” Burleigh said about the team’s defensive effort. “And that was really personified by somebody like Ali Krieger, who had a hell of a game tonight where she was just determined that that match-up with Carli Lloyd was not going to determine the game. And I thought that emanated from her. The whole back line and to everyone going forward in terms of how we defended as a unit.”

The win moves the Pride up to third place in the NWSL standings, even with the Chicago Red Stars and four points behind the North Carolina Courage for second. However, the team still has work to do as the Pride sit just two points ahead of OL Reign for the sixth and final playoff spot.

After a two-game road trip, the Pride will return home next Sunday to take on the Houston Dash at 4 p.m.

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Sign Finnish Goalkeeper Sofia Manner

The Pride have added a fourth goalkeeper and the second one from abroad ahead of the 2024 NWSL season.



Image courtesy of the Orlando Pride and FC Honka

The Orlando Pride announced today the signing of goalkeeper Sofia Manner, who was acquired for an undisclosed transfer fee from FC Honka of Finland’s top flight, the Kansallinen Liiga. Manner has signed a two-year contract through the 2025 season with a club option for 2026. The signing is a bit curious as it comes less than two months after the Pride extended English goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse through the 2025 season, giving Orlando two international goalkeepers and four total netminders under contract.

“I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to join Orlando Pride, a team I have admired since my youth,” Manner said in a club press release. “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to contribute to such a renowned organization in women’s soccer. The prospect of starting this journey fills me with great enthusiasm, and I am eagerly looking forward to bringing my passion and dedication to the team. I’m ready to put in hard work and help write a new chapter for the Orlando Pride.” 

Manner, who turned 26 on Nov. 9, conceded the fewest goals in the Kansallinen Liiga this season and is a nominee for the league’s Best Player and Goalkeeper of the Year awards. She appeared in 23 matches and earned 10 clean sheets across all competitions, was twice named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Month this season, and was Player of the Month in April.

“Sofia is a tremendous addition to our goalkeeping corps and one we expect to challenge for the starting position,” Orlando Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said. “She brings an underdog mentality and gritty work ethic and fits every aspect of the profile we have built for our goalkeepers. Her size, aerial ability, shot-stopping prowess, and distribution are world class. She brings international experience and has led the Kansallinen Liiga in nearly every goalkeeping metric. Her nominations for Goalkeeper of the Year and Best Player are indicative of her winning mentality and drive to be the best. We are excited to bring her to Orlando and to give her an opportunity to prove herself in our environment and in the NWSL.” 

The shot stopper has experience playing in the United States, having played collegiately with Stony Brook University. She compiled a 1.14 career goals-against average across three seasons, which is fourth-best in Seawolves’ history. Her 20 shutouts ranks third in program history, and she compiled a .796 save percentage, which is ninth best all time.

While at Stony Brook, Manner was named America East Freshman of the Year in 2017, was a first-team all-conference selection in 2019, and was the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018 and 2019. She started in every match in her final two seasons at Stony Brook, backstopping the Seawolves to an America East conference championship in 2019 and a regular-season title in 2018.

What It Means for Orlando

The Pride currently have four goalkeepers under contract: 2023 starter Anna Moorhouse (through 2025), backup Carly Nelson (through 2024), third keeper Kaylie Collins (through 2024), and now Manner (through 2025). Collins is on loan with Western Sydney Wanderers FC of the A-League Women in Australia. Four goalkeepers will provide spirited competition in preseason camp, to be sure, but it’s likely that one of these players will be on the move at some point.

If Manner wins the starting goalkeeper spot from Moorhouse, it may be for reasons other than stopping shots. Moorhouse did a good enough job of that, but often struggled with balls in from the wings, which was illustrated in the Pride’s penultimate game of the year — a must-win match at Racing Louisville — when a routine-looking corner kick cross appeared to be easily catchable, but Moorhouse went for a punch instead and knocked the winning goal for Louisville into her own net. That dropped point in the standings put Orlando in jeopardy on Decision Day and indeed the Pride beat Houston but missed the postseason on goal differential. It was a crucial point dropped.

That wasn’t Moorhouse’s only major error on the season, as she set an NWSL record with the earliest sending off in league history with her third-minute red card at OL Reign on Sept. 3 — a match the Pride lost 1-0 while playing one player short for 87 minutes plus stoppage. She has also frequently spilled crosses and shots from distance.

Orlando needed to upgrade the position. Whether Manner is an upgrade remains to be seen, but as Carter said, she is expected to compete for the starting spot. If nothing else, the competition should be good for the Pride. If Manner does take the starting position, it seems logical that the club will look to move either Moorhouse or Nelson.

The goalkeeper position will provide one of the Pride’s most intriging camp battles.

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2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Kylie Strom

The veteran defender was a consistent starter for the Pride in 2023.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride signed Kylie Strom from Atletico Madrid on July 5, 2021 to a two-year contract with an option for 2023. Previously, Strom spent time with the Boston Breakers, FFC Frankfurt II in Germany, and Sparta in the Czech Women’s League. The Pride exercised her option prior to the 2023 season. Strom played a much bigger role for the Pride in 2023. 

Let’s take a look at the defender’s 2023 season with the Orlando Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

Strom appeared in 22 regular-season matches, starting all 22, for a total of 1,967 minutes. She scored one goal on six shots, putting one on target. She provided one assist and made 17 key passes. Strom completed 590 of her 880 total passes (67%). She was accurate on 58.7% of her passes in the opponent’s half, and went 73.8% in her own half. She was 29 of 106 on her long passes (27.4%). She also completed seven of her 36 crosses. Defensively, she logged 34 interceptions and 10 blocks, won 43 of her 81 tackles (53.1%), won 181 of her 291 duels (62.2%), and won 39 of her 64 aerial duels (60.9%). She also committed 18 fouls, suffered 42 fouls, and was not booked.

The 31-year-old made four appearances in NWSL Challenge Cup play, starting four games and playing 314 total minutes. Strom did not score any goals but took two shots with one on target. She attempted three crosses (one successful), and registered no assists. Strom completed 93 of her 134 total passes (69.4%). She was accurate on 61.8% of her passes in the opponent’s half, and 75.8% in her own half.  Strom was 11 of 19 on her long passes (57.9%), and made two key passes. Defensively, she made three blocks and eight interceptions, and won eight of her 10 tackles (80%), 29 of her 46 duels (63%), and eight of her 10 aerial duels (80%). She also committed five fouls, suffered five fouls, and was not booked.

Best Game

Strom’s best match was the 2-1 win over the Washington Spirit on May 20. She scored her only goal of the season on a header at the back post in the 77th minute to give the Pride the win. It was the type of goal that you want from defenders and it came at just the right time.

Strom played the full 90 minutes and she was active in both the defensive and offensive aspects of the match. She nearly put Messiah Bright in on goal but it was knocked out for a corner. Her goal came on three shots with one on target. She also completed 15 of her 30 passes (50%) on 52 touches, committed no fouls, suffered three fouls, and was not booked.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Strom a composite rating of 6 for the 2023 season. Strom received a grade of 4.5 in 2022 due to being a part of a defense that gave up 45 goals with a -23 goal differential. That is a big year-over-year improvement for the defender and part of that is the defense as a whole was better. Strom also did well individually though she had a bad habit of cheaply giving the ball away in her own half. She previously received an incomplete during what was a rough stretch run in 2021 after joining the club midseason.

2024 Outlook

Strom is out of contract and will be 32 years old prior to the 2024 season starting. She’s also a free agent. Despite that, it’s very possible she is back with the Pride next season unless additional defensive signings are made. It would mean a new contract, but given she started every regular season match in 2023 and finished second only to Emily Madril in minutes played, Seb Hines evidently has faith in her ability to contribute.

Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)

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2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Haley McCutcheon

The veteran fullback logged a lot of minutes for the Pride in 2023.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Haley McCutcheon was still known as Haley Hanson when she joined the Orlando Pride on Aug. 18, 2022 in a midseason trade with the Houston Dash. The Pride gave up $75,000 in Allocation Money and a second-round draft selection. She joined Orlando for the stretch run, making her debut with the Pride on Aug. 20 in a 2-1 win over Gotham FC. Following the 2022 season, the Nebraska product signed a new contract through 2024 on Oct. 26 of last year.

Let’s look back at McCutcheon’s second year with the Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

The 27-year-old appeared in every one of the Pride’s 22 regular-season games, starting each of them, and was only subbed out twice all year. She logged 1,955 minutes this season, which was third most on the Pride behind only almost-an-iron-woman Emily Madril (1,977) and Kylie Strom (1,967). In other words, McCutcheon played 98.7% of all possible minutes for Orlando during the NWSL regular season. She scored one goal but did not assist on one, despite providing 15 key passes on the year. The defender attempted 17 shots, five of which were blocked and four were on target. She completed 504 of her 716 pass attempts (70.4%), but just 20.8% of her long passes, and nine of her 40 crosses were successful. In her own end, McCutcheon completed 77.6% of her passes but only 59.8% in the attacking half. Defensively, McCutcheon contributed 10 blocks and 18 interceptions while winning tackles at a 56.9% rate, duels at a 58.3% rate, and aerial duels at a 62.7% clip. Surprisingly, she did not tally a single clearance all season. McCutcheon conceded 18 fouls while winning only eight, and she was not booked.

In NWSL Challenge Cup play, McCutcheon appeared in four of the team’s six matches, starting two, and logging 233 minutes. She did not score or assist on a goal, attempting two shots and getting one on frame. Her passing rate in the competition was just 67.6%, and she was successful on 40% of her long passes while logging three key passes and going 1-for-4 on cross attempts. She completed 70.4% of her pass attempts in the defensive half and 62.7% in the attacking half. On defense, McCutcheon contributed two blocks and two interceptions while winning her tackles at a 75% rate, 77.3% of her duels, and 75% of her aerial duels. She conceded two fouls while winning one and was not booked.

Best Game

McCutcheon’s best match came back on April 29 in the Pride’s 3-1 win over the San Diego Wave at Snapdragon Stadium. She tied season highs in shots (2) and shots on target (1), passed at a 90.5% rate, and made three tackles. Those are all good things, but it gets better. In this match, McCutcheon scored her first goal with the Pride and her only goal of the season, and it proved to be the game-winning strike. And what a strike it was! With the ball on the other side of the field, McCutcheon made a smart run on the back side. Midfielder Viviana Villacorta spotted the run and delivered an excellent, long, diagonal ball into the area for her. But McCutcheon still had a lot to do. She put her head on it and powered it over the goalkeeper and inside the far post to give the Pride their first lead of the season.

The Pride added another goal and went on to grab their first win of the 2023 season. That sparked a 3-0-1 run in league play and got Orlando going in a season that came down to Decision Day.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave McCutcheon a composite rating of 6 out of 10 for her 2023 season, which is a slight improvement over her score of 5 last season. She was a good facilitator down the right side of the pitch and could fill in at times in the midfield with her versatility. Where she continued to struggle at times was with her 1-v-1 defending down the Pride’s right side and with her crossing accuracy at times.

2024 Outlook

As mentioned above, McCutcheon is on a deal through the 2024 season and since the Pride are safe from the NWSL Expansion Draft, the only way she wouldn’t be back is via trade or transfer. I expect her back in purple next year as she’s a versatile player who can fill in at multiple spots and she is obviously valued by the club, playing a lot of minutes and even wearing the captain’s armband five times during the 2023 NWSL campaign and twice in the Challenge Cup.

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