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Orlando Pride vs. OL Reign: Final Score 3-0 as the Pride are Dominated By OL Reign.

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It was a dominating performance tonight as the Orlando Pride (7-6-7, 28 points) fell 3-0 to OL Reign (11-7-2, 35 points). Two goals by Eugenie Le Sommer and two assists by Dzsenifer Marozsan led the Reign to the win.

The Pride had three changes from the team’s 3-1 win over Racing Louisville two weeks ago. Courtney Petersen replaced Phoebe McClernon in the back and Alex Morgan re-entered the lineup, replacing Marta. The biggest news was Ashlyn Harris starting after missing the last game with a neck injury.

The Reign started early, scoring just three minutes into the game. Sofia Huerta sent a lovely ball into the box, finding the head of Bethany Balcer who had gotten behind the Pride defense. The goal was Balcer’s ninth of the season, passing Sydney Leroux for the league lead.

Four minutes later, the Reign almost doubled their lead when Balcer sent a cross across the six-yard box. The ball was just over the head of Le Sommer and just beyond the foot of the sliding Jessica Fishlock.

The Reign came close again in the 10th minute when Dzsenifer Marozsan, who was one of the most dangerous players in the first half, sent a ball toward the back post. However, nobody in blue was able to get on the end of it, allowing the Pride to escape with a one-goal deficit.

While the Reign maintained the majority of possession, the Pride were able to keep the dangerous chances at bay for a while after the Marozsan cross. In the meantime, Sydney Leroux and Taylor Kornieck had chances at goal, two of only three shots in the first half. But both of those shots were over the crossbar.

The unrelenting Reign attack continued in the 25th minute when Fishlock set up Marozsan at the top of the box. Fortunately for the Pride, the shot was high of the target.

The Reign finally got their second goal in the 28th minute. After a Pride giveaway, Le Sommer ended up with the ball and took an unexpected shot from distance. The ball caught Harris off her line and into the corner of the goal.

In the 32nd minute. Le Sommer scored her second. Quick passing from Fishlock and Marozsan at the top of the box found Le Sommer right in front of goal. Once again, the Pride defense left a Reign attacker right in front of the net, allowing the French striker to tap in her second goal of the game.

It’s been common for Harris to be counted on for big saves and her first came in the 41st minute. Fishlock played a quick ball just inside the box for Rose Lavelle, who turned and fired on goal. The ball appeared to be headed toward the far post, but Harris made a diving one-handed block.

Just before the half, the Reign nearly got a fourth and it was Le Sommer again. Another great ball by Fishlock found the striker at the far post. Rather than bringing it down, Le Sommer swung her leg around for a volley, but the ball slammed off the crossbar.

The Pride finally forced Bouhaddi to do some work just before halftime. After winning the ball back in the box, Morgan split the defenders, creating a chance on goal. The left-footed shot was on target, but Bouhaddi was able to make the block.

At the end of the half, the Reign led in possession (60.9%-39.1%), shots (12-5), shots on goal (6-2), corners (4-0), crosses (11-5), passes (300-195), and passing accuracy (83.3%-73.8%).

“I think in the first half it was a shape issue for us,” Pride interim head coach Becky Burleigh said about the lack of offensive production. “We had talked about trying to push the weak side player in our 4-2-3-1 up higher to make it look like a two front during the week. But in the end, because the numbers in the midfield were overwhelming us, that was difficult for it to occur. So when we played two up top, when we actually changed to a 3-5-2 and kept two up top, it was a little bit more effective for them to actually be able to work with one another.”

“I think their lineup was so fluid, their movement was so fluid, that it made it a bit of a challenge whether we needed to step up higher and absorb one of those players or allow her to take a player running through the middle,” Burleigh said about the first half defense. ”And I think that’s where the confusion lies for us. So credit the Reign for making that difficult, but once we switched shapes, I think that was a much more straightforward match-up and allowed us to match up a little bit better defensively.”

“I think they really dominated us in the first half,” right back Ali Riley added. “It was a bit shocking. I think their midfield, I think is the best midfield in the league and I think they really exposed us, especially when we had a lot of turnovers.”

The Pride came out better in the second half, even creating the first real attack. In the 51st minute, Leroux was sent through and had a one-on-one against Reign center back Alana Cook. With more defenders chasing the play, Leroux decided to shoot, but the shot was blocked by Cook and there were no other Pride players forward to keep the attack alive.

Four minutes later, the Reign had a chance to take a four-goal advantage. Le Sommer beat Riley to the end line and got off a cross to the back post. Balcer was charging in and reached out for the cross, but it was just beyond her reach and went harmlessly out of play.

The Pride had one of their best chances of the game when Morgan and Leroux were finally able to connect. A quick one-two set up a shot by Morgan that was blocked. The ball fell to Leroux who took a second shot that made it through the Reign’s back line. However, it was right at Bouhaddi, allowing the goalkeeper to make the easy stop.

The best chance of the second half came from the Reign in the 83rd minute. Lavelle set up Angelina to the right of goal, but Harris did well to get low and make the save with her foot. After briefly exiting the box, the ball re-entered and ended up at the foot of Balcer. Having gotten up quickly from the first shot, Harris was ready for Balcer’s close-range strike, making an impressive double save.

The Reign ended the game with the statistical lead in nearly every category, including possession (56.1%-43.9%), shots (21-11), shots on goal (8-3), corners (5-2), crosses (23-13), passes (537-428), passing accuracy (80.4%-73.8%), and tackles (11-9). The Pride led the game in duels won (38-31), clearances (25-13), and saves (5-3).

“In the second half we opened with a 3-5-2,” Burleigh said about a better second 45 minutes. “And I really liked that pairing of the three backs of Amy, Kriegs, and Phoebe. That’s been a good three for us in the past. So I think that really helped solidify things.”

“Marisa and Marta coming in, I think, made a big difference,” Riley said about the second half. “We got our act together a little bit in the press, had some chances, but too little too late I guess. So a lot to learn. I think a lot we need to go over with the coaching staff about the formation and when we’re going to make changes and how we have to train during the week to make sure that we can execute. So a lot to work on before Chicago.”

The loss keeps the Pride in fifth in the NWSL standings, just two points above the red line for the final playoff spot.


The Pride will return to action next Saturday night when they take on the Chicago Red Stars in Bridgeview, IL.

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

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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