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Orlando Pride vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC: 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 (0-1-1, 1 point) return home to face NJ/NY Gotham FC (0-1-1, 1 point). The Pride are coming off a 1-0 loss in North Carolina and have yet to score in the team’s first two Challenge Cup games. Tonight, the Pride welcome back two important figures in the club’s history as they look to get their first win.

History

The Pride have been facing Gotham FC since 2016, back when tonight’s opponent was known as Sky Blue FC. The teams have met 15 times, with the Pride leading the all-time series, 6-5-4 in all competitions, and Gotham won the only Challenge Cup match-up last year in Orlando. Additionally, the Pride are 3-2-2 at home against Gotham.

The most recent match-up between the two teams came on Oct. 9, 2021 at Exploria Stadium. The visitors took a commanding 3-0 lead in the 50th minute, with Gaetane Thiney netting a brace. The Pride attempted to come back with an 84th-minute goal by Erika Tymrak and an 85th-minute penalty by Marta. But it wasn’t enough as the Pride fell 3-2.

The Pride played Gotham three other times in 2021. On Aug. 29 at Red Bull Arena, Tymrak’s long-range strike was the difference as the Pride took home a 1-0 result. The first 2021 regular-season match-up between the teams was on June 20, when a late first-half goal by Caprice Dydasco was equalized by Courtney Petersen in the 90th minute.

The only non-regular season meeting between the two came in last year’s NWSL Challenge Cup at Exploria Stadium. Paige Monaghan scored the game’s only goal in the 79th minute, handing the Pride their only loss of the Challenge Cup.

Since the two teams didn’t meet in 2020 due to the pandemic, the last meeting prior to last year was in 2019. The first game was on June 22 in New Jersey. Chioma Ubogagu gave the Pride a first-half lead from the spot, but Sarah Killion equalized in the 67th minute. It looked to be headed for a draw, but a Gina Lewandowski own goal in the 81st minute ended the Pride’s 15-game winless streak.

The two teams met again on July 20, 2019 in Orlando where Marisa Viggiano scored her debut goal in a 1-0 Pride win. The final meeting in 2019 was on Sept. 29 in New Jersey. Shelina Zadorsky gave the Pride an 18th-minute lead, but Carli Lloyd equalized late to pull out a 1-1 draw.

The Pride and Sky Blue played three games in 2018. On June 16, a Sydney Leroux brace and a late Rachel Hill winner lifted the Pride to a 3-2 win. They met again in Orlando on Aug. 5, where Marta and Dani Weatherholt goals helped the Pride claim a 2-2 draw. After nine goals in two games, the Sept. 8, 2018 meeting was a low-scoring affair as Lloyd’s 74th-minute goal was the difference in a 1-0 Sky Blue win.

The teams met three times in 2017. The first game on May 27, 2017 ended in a 2-1 Sky Blue win. The Pride responded well to that loss, taking the final two meetings of the season with scores of 3-2 in New Jersey and 5-0 in Orlando.

The first time the two teams played was in 2016, the Pride’s inaugural season. The two games came three days apart, occurring on Sept. 7 and Sept. 10. After a 1-1 draw in the first meeting in New Jersey, Sky Blue got the better of the Pride in Orlando, claiming a 2-1 win.

Overview

This the third of six games for the Pride in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup. The opening game was a scoreless draw against the defending NWSL champion Washington Spirit. They backed that up with another strong defensive showing in North Carolina, only conceding a penalty on a controversial handball by Gunny Jonsdottir.

The problem for the Pride this year has been on the offensive end. In the first game, the Spirit dominated the first 30 minutes of both halves. Only late in each period did the Pride create chances. It was worse in the second game in North Carolina, where the Courage dominated all 90 minutes of play.

Making matters worse for the Pride was a first-half injury to Marta on Saturday. The Pride captain tried to play off the injury but couldn’t continue. Later it was revealed that the Brazilian star will need surgery, leaving her unavailable for the foreseeable future.

Gotham has had a similar start to the Pride. However, tonight’s opponent hasn’t been as strong defensively. The New Jersey-based club lost 2-0 in its first game in North Carolina and responded with a 1-1 draw away to the Washington Spirit. 

“We both want to win, we both want a result,” Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell said about the upcoming game. “I think that’s the stage for that game, is two teams that really want to get on the scoreboard and get a good result. I think the positive is that we haven’t given up a goal in the run of play. Our team defense has been very good. We’ve worked very hard on that in transition moments, counter pressing. So I think if we keep that up and look to get one or two (goals), we’ll be in good shape.”

After losing star striker Lloyd to retirement, Gotham went big this off-season. On Dec. 6, the Pride traded captain Ashlyn Harris and defender Ali Krieger to Gotham for two draft picks and allocation money. This will be the first time that the goalkeeper and center back will face the Pride since the trade.

The only player added to the Pride’s list of those out is Marta after suffering a left knee injury in North Carolina. She joins a list that includes Abi Kim (left thigh), Caitlin Cosme (D45), Julie Doyle (right ankle), and Viviana Villacorta (right knee). Additionally, Carrie Lawrence (left thigh) and Erin McLeod (right knee) are listed as questionable. Gotham will be without Sabrina Flores (right knee) and Allie Long (excused absence).


Official Lineups

Orlando Pride (4-4-2)

Goalkeeper: Anna Moorhouse.

Defenders: Courtney Petersen, Amy Turner, Toni Pressley, Kylie Strom.

Midfielders: Meggie Dougherty Howard, Gunny Jonsdottir, Mikayla Cluff, Mikayla Cluff.

Forwards: Erika Tymrak, Sydney Leroux.

Bench: Kaylie Collins, Megan Montefusco, Chelsee Washington, Leah Pruitt, Darian Jenkins, Kerry Abello, Parker Roberts, Celia.

NJ/NY Gotham FC (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.

Defenders: Imani Dorsey, Mandy Freeman, Ali Krieger, Caprice Dydasco.

Midfielders: Nahomi Kawasumi, Kristie Mewis, McCall Zerboni.

Forwards: Ifeoma Onumonu, Paige Monaghan, Midge Purce.

Bench: Michelle Betos, Cameron Tucker, Nicole Baxter, Taryn Torres, Gina Lewandowski, Kumi Yokoyama, Domi Richardson, Ellie Jean, Estelle Johnson.

Referees

REF: Anya Voigt.

AR1: Tiffini Turpin.

AR2: Shane Kennard.

4TH: Emma Richards.


How to Watch

Match Time: 7 p.m.

Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.

TV: None.

Streaming: Paramount+ (U.S.), Twitch (International).

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @TheManeLand and the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride).


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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