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Orlando Pride vs. Kansas City Current: Final Score 2-2 as the Pride Pull Out a Late Draw

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The Orlando Pride (1-1-1, 4 points) drew the Kansas City Current (0-2-1, 1 point) 2-2 at Exploria Stadium tonight in a game with a pair of stoppage-time goals. After going up 1-0 in the 51st minute, the Pride fell behind 2-1 before Toni Pressley converted a penalty with nearly the last kick of the game. Gunny Jonsdottir scored the other Orlando goal, while Elyse Bennett and Kristen Hamilton scored for the visitors.

Orlando is now on a modest, two-game unbeaten streak (1-0-1).

For the first time this year, the Pride had the same starting lineup in back-to-back games. This is partly due to the availability list being the same as it was last week when the Pride beat Angel City FC 1-0 in Los Angeles. Regardless, it provided some consistency to the lineup as the team looked for its second consecutive win.

The Pride got off to a good start, creating all of the chances in the first 15 minutes. In the eighth minute, Sydney Leroux was looking to feed Courtney Petersen with a through ball but the defender didn’t seem ready to make the run.

Two minutes later, the Pride got a great chance. A Jonsdottir free kick went toward the back post and was sent back across the six by the head of Carrie Lawrence. Leroux was right in front of goal to redirect it on frame but her header was right at Kansas City goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who made the easy save.

In the 12th minute, Leah Pruitt sent a long ball for Darian Jenkins on the left. She initially got behind the defense but Jenna Winebrenner did well to recover and deflected Jenkins’ shot, allowing Franch to simply pick it up.

After spending the first 15 minutes defending, the Current made their way into the game. In the 18th minute, Victoria Pickett chipped the ball behind the Pride back line for Addie McCain. The left back got behind the defense but Erin McLeod did well to come out and collect it before McCain could shoot on goal.

Just a minute later, Kansas City had another chance when quick passing allowed for another ball over the top, this time for Pickett. McLeod came off her line again but this time Pickett used her first touch to get a shot off. Fortunately for the Pride, the ball rolled wide right of the post.

The best first-half chance for the Pride came in the 23rd minute when Hailie Mace fell, allowing Pruitt to take control of the ball in the Kansas City third. Franch forced Pruitt to the outside, but the Pride striker was able to get a shot off. Unfortunately, the ball hit the post and the Current were able to clear.

In the 27th minute, Jenkins had a chance on goal when Pruitt played her the ball at the top of the box. The midfielder’s first touch was a shot but it sailed well high of the target.

While the Pride had some chances on goal, they also squandered some opportunities for additional shots. In the 26th and 30th minutes, balls into the box by Jenkins were behind Jonsdottir in the box. Both would’ve been opportunities for the Icelandic international to shoot from a close distance.

The Current nearly opened the scoring just before the half when Lo’eau LaBonta’s shot was tipped over the crossbar by McLeod. The ensuing corner kick by Alexis Loera was headed down into the six by McCain. However, McLeod did well to collect it before any Kansas City players could get to the ball.

The Pride had more chances in the first half than the Current but the inability to put those shots on target cost them. At the break, the Pride had more shots (7-3) and crosses (11-6). This was despite having less possession (51.1%-48.9%) and fewer passes (177-164). What kept the Pride from leading after 45 minutes was that they only put two of their first-half shots on target.

Kansas City was the stronger team immediately after halftime. In the 47th minute the Current had an early breakout, but Lawrence did well in defense to keep them from getting a shot off. After a short clearance, the Current sent a cross into the box but it was too close to McLeod, allowing her to catch it.

While the visitors got off to a better second-half start, it was the Pride that struck. In the 51st minute, Jenkins sent a cross toward the back post. The ball landed at the foot of Leroux, whose beautiful first touch played it back to Jonsdottir. While the midfielder didn’t get all of the ball, she got enough of it to put it past Franch into the far corner.

“She has a nose for the goal,” Head Coach Amanda Cromwell said about the Icelandic international. “I mean, she’s committed to get in the 18, she’s committed to get on the end of crosses, and you’ve seen it, and she’ll sacrifice her body. So we’ve told her — I’ve told her many times — look for the goal. Be dangerous.”

The Pride made a couple of early second-half changes, which Cromwell attributed to heavy legs and minor injuries. At halftime, Kylie Strom came on for Celia and Kerry Abello replaced Pruitt in the 63rd minute.

Just after the second change, Winebrenner sent a ball into the box. LaBonta attempted a diving header after losing Petersen, but the attempt went just wide of the target.

The Current had another good opportunity in the 67th minute when Desiree Scott sent a low ball into the box. It got to the middle of the six but only Lawrence was there and she sent it away.

In the 71st minute, Scott sent another cross into the box, this time looking for Kristen Hamilton. A good first touch by the midfielder allowed her to turn Strom and volley the ball on goal. However, McLeod was once again up to the task, tipping the shot over the crossbar.

In the 76th minute, an Isabel Rodriguez corner found LaBonta, who put a shot on goal. It went through several players, but was deflected out of play for a corner kick. Once again, the Pride narrowly escaped and were able to clear.

A minute later, Elyse Bennett got behind Petersen on the right.  As she wound up to shoot, Petersen stuck her leg out in desperation and got enough of it to send it out of play.

The ensuing corner went all the way across to LaBonta, who sent it toward the Pride’s far post. Bennett beat Petersen to the ball again, but this time got her head to the ball and put it past McLeod for the equalizer.

Following the goal, Kansas City continued the attack and pushed for a second. In the 82nd minute, Hamilton received a ball from Pickett and did well to turn Pressley. Her first touch flicked the ball up, forcing her to volley the ball towards the far post. Fortunately, it went just wide of the target.

In the 83rd minute, Chardonnay Curran’s cross was headed back down into the box for oncoming attackers. However, McLeod got to it first.

In the 86th minute, Hamilton found herself one-on-one with McLeod in the Pride box after a bad giveaway by Petersen. The Canadian goalkeeper came off her line well and made herself big, forcing Hamilton to shoot right into her body for the save.

Hamilton attempted to be the facilitator in the 89th minute when she darted down the left with two teammates charging into the box. It should’ve been the visitors’ second goal but her cross was a little too far in front and the ball went harmlessly out of play.

It seemed as though it was only a matter of time before the Current would take the lead and they did a minute into injury time. Bennett beat Petersen again and sent a low cross towards the top of the six-yard box. The ball went through the legs of second-half substitute Kate Del Fava, who left it for Hamilton to put in for what appeared to be the game-winning goal.

In the dying minutes, the Pride desperately pushed forward looking for an equalizer. Two minutes into injury time, Strom fired on target but Franch tipped it over the crossbar.

About a minute later, Strom was tripped up near the edge of the box. Initially, referee Alex Billeter indicated that the foul occurred outside the box. However, fourth official Alejo Calume said it was inside and Billeter pointed to the spot.

“Scott recklessly charged an opponent in the back,” the official word was about the incident. “The referee received information from a crew member to determine that the foul was inside the penalty area.”

“I didn’t see the replay,” Cromwell said about the call. “Apparently the replay was on the big screen and the fourth saw that it was I think in the ear. That’s my take on it.”

With Leroux having already departed the game, Pressley stepped up to take the kick. The center back powered the ball past Franch and into the roof of the net for the last-minute equalizer.

“Honestly, I was thinking just get this in the net for the team so we can get a point,” Pressley said about taking the penalty. “At least, we never want to drop points at home. We want three but to come and get the tie in the last minutes of the game. I think that’s what I was really thinking about and focusing on.”

Following the early second-half goal, Kansas City dominated the remainder of the game. As a result, the Current had more possession (52.1%-47.9%), shots (12-10), shots on target (8-5), and corners (6-2).

“The first half, I thought we played well,” Cromwell said about the game. “I thought we should have controlled the tempo more. We were hitting too many long balls, were getting too stretched, and I think wasting energy to be quite honest. And then you can see that energy that was wasted in the first half kind of come around in the second half with some tired legs, some knocks. So we were trying to protect some players with little minor injuries knowing we have a three-game week as well and hoping we could see it out.

“In hindsight, there were some decisions we could have made differently. We wanted to keep possession better and we just lost. We got overrun the last 20 minutes and we need to be better with seeing it out and being more condensed because we got way too stretched.”

While the Pride would like to have gotten three points out of this game, a draw will be a satisfying result. The Current dominated the last 20 minutes and could’ve put the game away on several occasions.


With four points in their last two games, the Pride will now travel north on short rest to take on the North Carolina Courage Wednesday night.

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage: Final score 0-0 as the Pride Remain Unbeaten

The Orlando Pride remain undefeated after taking a road point against the North Carolina Courage.

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Photo Courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

It wasn’t the result that the Orlando Pride wanted, but the team remains unbeaten in 2024 after a 0-0 draw against the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park. Orlando (8-0-5, 29 points) had plenty of chances but was unable to score a goal for the first time this season. The Pride were the first team this year to take any points away on the road against North Carolina (5-7-1, 16 points), which is now 5-0-1 at WakeMed Soccer Park in 2024.

The Pride had an opportunity to go top of the table as the Kansas City Current drew the Chicago Red Stars Friday, but the 0-0 draw wasn’t enough to do so. This was first time the Pride were shut out since September 9, 2023 on the road against OL Reign. Halfway through this season, the Pride are only two points shy of their point total from 2023.

“The positives are, you know, a point on the road, (which) it’s probably something we would have taken before the game,” Hines said. “No other team has done that against North Carolina. Clean sheet as well. It’s really important that we get that going as well. But, I think after the game it’s a bittersweet taste in our mouths because we thought that we played really well.”

Brianna Martinez echoed Hines’ comments.

“We’re proud to be the first team to kind of give them a tough game at home but also disappointed, because I think we know we could have beat them and walked away with three (points),” the defender said. “Our effort was there, just technically it could have been a little bit better if we kept the ball.”

Hines did not have a full-strength squad for the match, with starters Rafaelle and Morgan Gautrat out with injuries. Anna Moorhouse started in goal behind a back line of Kerry Abello, Kylie Strom, Emily Sams, and Brianna Martinez. The midfield in the 4-4-2 consisted of Adriana, Julie Doyle, Summer Yates, and Haley McCutcheon, with Barbra Banda and Marta up top.

After the start of the game was delayed due to field conditions, the Pride didn’t wait very long to get into the attack with a takeaway in the first minute, moving the ball up to Banda into the box, but she lost possession. The Pride got their first chance in the fourth minute as the ball was worked up the left side to Banda, who crossed it in to Marta , but the shot went right into the arms of Courage keeper Casey Murphy.

The Pride’s second shot on goal came in the seventh minute on a break that saw Banda once again cross the ball — this time to Doyle — who also sent it right at Murphy.

In the 14th minute, Yates tried to make her way into the box where she was stood up. The ball popped out to Banda, who took a shot from outside the box, but it went wide right of goal.

Doyle earned a free kick in the 15th minute, but the attempt went to Murphy again. In the 17th minute, the Pride had another free kick resulting in a corner kick. Unfortunately, Yates sent the ball over the goal and out for a goal kick.

The Courage were able to get some possession, including a ball into the box, but the Pride defense was able to clear. In the 26th minute, Martinez made a good interception but slipped, allowing the Courage to get a half chance off that was easily saved by Moorhouse.

In the 29th minute, Marta took a long-distance shot that sailed over the goal. The Pride followed that up a minute later with another shot that bounced back to Adriana, who headed it right to Murphy. In the 32nd minute, Adriana made her way into the box and crossed for Marta on the back post, but her header went wide left.

The Courage got their first good chance in the 33rd minute when Ashley Sanchez beat Martinez to the ball in the box, but Moorhouse did well to come out, get big, and make the save. The resulting corner kick was headed out by the Courage for a goal kick.

The Courage got behind the Pride defense in the 38th minute. Sanchez took a shot at the top of the box, but it sailed high. One minute later, Narumi Miura took a long-distance shot that went left of goal.

In the 42nd minute, Marta took another shot on goal from outside the box, but again it went right to Murphy. After that, both teams saw out the half with no stoppage time given.

North Carolina held the halftime edge in possession (54%-46%), shots (7-6), and passing accuracy (83%-80%). Despite one fewer shot, the Pride had more shots on target (3-2), with the corners being equal (1-1).

The Courage came out on the front foot to start the second half, but it was the Pride that got the first shot. Once again, Banda muscled her way into the box, but she was unable to get the shot off. The ball bounced out to Marta at the top of the box, but her shot went wide right.

In the 48th minute, Banda again made her way forward, this time earning a free kick when she was fouled from behind. The kick went into the wall and then out for a corner kick. Unfortunately, there was a foul in the box on the set piece and the opportunity went to waste.

The Courage had a few opportunities in the 55th minute, but nothing on goal. In the 58th minute, Moorhouse came out to make a sliding save where a Courage player rammed her. There was no foul called on the play, and the Courage continued the attack. Fortunately, Sams and the rest of the defense kept the Courage out of goal. After some attention from the trainers, Moorhouse continued.

In the 67th minute, Abello earned a corner that was taken by Marta, but nothing came of it. Two minutes later, Doyle made her way into the box and crossed to Adriana, but her shot didn’t have much on it and was handled easily by Murphy.

In the 72nd minute Adriana took a shot that deflected off the defense and out for a corner. The resulting corner kick was cleared. Two minutes later, Hines makes his first substitutions, including Angelina returning from injury.

“I just want to thank the staff and my teammates. They were there for me the whole way,” Angelina said. “It was like five weeks to get back on the field. I just feel great (and) they gave me great support through my injury.”

In the 77th minute, McCutcheon committed a foul resulting in a free kick for Carolina. Moorhouse punched the ball out. The Courage continued to create trouble in the Pride’s area, but were unable to convert.

Banda took another shot in the 80th minute, but it went wide right. Five minutes later she sent a cross to Adriana, but the Brazilian’s shot was blocked. The resulting corner amounted to nothing, despite a few shot attempts. Banda made another run in the 88th minute, but her shot attempt went high. She was subbed out in the 89th minute for Amanda Allen.

In the second minute of stoppage time, Marta took another shot that was deflected out for a corner. The video assistant referee took a look at the play for a potential handball, but it was cleared. Murphy collected the corner kick, as the Pride wasted another chance.

Six minutes of stoppage time turned into nine minutes. The Pride had a flurry of chances but didn’t score. In the last minute of play the Courage earned a corner, but Moorhouse made one more save as time expired, and the teams split the points.

The Pride made up ground on the stat sheet, finishing with the advantage in possession (51%-49%), shots (19-14), corners (6-2), and passing accuracy (80%-77%). Shots on target were even (5-5).

The lack of clinical finishing is not normal for this Pride team. Even Banda wasn’t dialed in against the Courage. Given how stingy the Courage are at home, and how back and forth the match was, a point on the road is acceptable if not ideal.


The Pride are back home on Friday to host the Utah Royals at Inter&Co Stadium.

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Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The Pride wrap up their two-game road trip with a visit to the North Carolina Courage.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride (8-0-4, 28 points) conclude their two-game road trip tonight against the North Carolina Courage (5-7-0, 15 points) in Cary, NC. This is the second and final time the two teams will face off during the 2024 NWSL regular season, although they will meet in the group stage of the Summer Cup.

Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s game.

History

The Pride and Courage have played 24 times since the Western New York Flash moved to North Carolina and became the Courage in 2017. The Pride are 6-13-5 in those games (6-10-1 in the NWSL regular season, 0-0-2 in the Fall Series, and 0-3-2 in the NWSL Challenge Cup).

The most recent meeting between the two teams was on May 1 in Orlando. Barbra Banda and Ally Watt started up top together for the first time, a move that paid off in the game. In the 29th minute, Banda set up Watt for the opener. Watt repaid the favor in the 40th minute as the Pride went up 2-0. Julie Doyle added a goal just before halftime, giving the Pride a commanding lead. Emily Sams’ own goal was the only scoring for the Courage and Banda’s second of the night gave the Pride a 4-1 win.

The first game between the Pride and Courage in 2023 was on April 19 in Orlando. The Pride took the lead after halftime when Summer Yates set up Watt for the opening goal, but Denise O’Sullivan equalized in the ninth minute of second-half injury time, resulting in a 1-1 draw. On June 17 in North Carolina it was all Courage. Kerolin and Meredith Speck gave the hosts a 2-0 lead before a Haley McCutcheon own goal made it 3-0 to North Carolina.

The Pride didn’t show up for the July 29 Challenge Cup contest in North Carolina, getting demolished by the Courage. Brittany Ratcliffe and Malia Berkely gave the hosts a 2-0 halftime lead before Frankie Tagliaferri made it three, and a late brace by Haley Hopkins completed the 5-0 result. The Pride finally got a win on Sept. 17, 2023 at home. Watt got the Pride off to a great start, scoring inside the first minute. After assisting on the first goal, Adriana doubled the lead before halftime. Manaka Matsukubo got one back for the visitors, but it wasn’t enough and the Pride won 2-1.

The first meeting in 2022 came on May 18 in North Carolina. The Pride got off to a great start in that game, with Sydney Leroux scoring early. Mikayla Cluff doubled the lead with her first professional goal. A late goal by Brianna Pinto got the Courage back within one, but it wasn’t enough as the Pride took the 2-1 win. On Sept. 21, 2022 at Exploria Stadium, it was the Courage that got off to the better start when Debinha scored in the second minute. The Brazilian then assisted Tess Boade in first-half injury time to double the lead, and later added another, dooming the Pride to a 3-0 defeat.

The Pride and Courage were placed in the same division for the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, so the teams played twice before the regular season started. The first game was on March 26 in North Carolina. Merritt Mathias converted a penalty after Gunny Jonsdottir was called for a handball in the box, lifting the hosts to a 1-0 win. The return match in the tournament took place on April 16 in Orlando. The Courage got off to a fast start, scoring three goals in the first nine minutes. Darian Jenkins netted a brace to make it 3-2, but a late Debinha goal put the game away and North Carolina won 4-2.

The teams played three times during the 2021 NWSL season. On May 22 in North Carolina, goals by Leroux and Alex Morgan gave the Pride a 2-0 lead late into the game. Jessica McDonald scored late to pull one back but the Pride held on for a 2-1 win. On July 4 in Orlando, Debinha and Havana Solaun goals helped the Courage take home a 2-0 win. The final game came on July 31 in North Carolina. Leroux opened the scoring but Brittany Ratcliffe equalized moments later and the teams drew 1-1.

The two teams were also matched up in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup but they only played once in that tournament. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in that game in a scoreless draw.

Similar to the Challenge Cup, the teams were in the same group of the 2020 Fall Series, meeting twice. The first was on Sept. 19 in North Carolina and ended in a scoreless draw. The second was on Oct. 17 at Exploria Stadium. Led by a Debinha brace, the Courage went up 3-0. But the Pride came back with goals by Marisa Viggiano, Kristen Edmonds, and Ally Haran for an exciting 3-3 draw.

The Pride and Courage played three times during the 2019 season. The first game was on April 17 in North Carolina. The Courage took a 1-0 lead into halftime but scored four times in the second half to win 5-0. They played a second time on June 1 in Orlando. Again, it was a dominant performance by the Courage as the Pride fell 3-0. The final meeting that year was another thrashing by North Carolina. The Pride got a goal in that one but still fell 6-1.

The teams also met three times in 2018 but the results were much closer. On May 23 in Orlando, goals by Alanna Kennedy and Rachel Hill saw the Pride come back from a 3-1 deficit. But McDonald scored a winner in the 90th minute and the Courage won 4-3. The Pride went down by three goals in the final two games that season, but were unable to come back and fell 3-0 in both contests.

The 2017 season saw the teams meet for the first time. The Courage took the first game 3-1 on April 29 in North Carolina. They played a second time two weeks later in Orlando when the Pride took the 3-1 win. The final meeting in 2017 came in the final game of the season on Sept. 30. The Pride took a 2-0 lead but the Courage came back to even it at 2-2. It looked headed for a draw until Kennedy netted a late winner, leading the Pride to a 3-2 win.

Overview

The Pride are coming off a hard-fought 1-1 draw in San Diego, a result that snapped their eight-game winning streak. Julie Doyle opened the scoring in the first half with arguably the goal of the season, but the visitors equalized through Makenzy Doniak in the 62nd minute. Despite ending their winning streak, the draw extended the Pride’s unbeaten run to 12 games and kept them tied on points with the Kansas City Current atop the NWSL standings.

Banda has been the most impressive player for the Pride this season, scoring eight goals, recording three assists, and drawing two penalties in eight games. She added to her assist tally in San Diego, setting up Doyle’s first-half goal. The team has also been strong defensively and Head Coach Seb Hines has found his preferred back four. After shifting players around because of injuries and suspensions, he’s used Sams, Rafaelle, Kylie Strom, and Kerry Abello in five of the last six games. However, Rafaelle missed the San Diego contest and is out tonight with a leg injury.

The Courage have historically been one of the best teams in the NWSL, but have struggled this season. They’re currently tied with Racing Louisville for seventh in the league and have a -2 goal differential. They’re in the middle of the league in both goals scored and goals conceded, unsurprisingly leaving them in the middle of the table.

North Carolina has been led offensively by the players you’d expect. Tyler Lussi has a team-leading three goals, just ahead of Bianca St-Georges and Haley Hopkins, who have two each. Dani Weatherholt, Ashley Sanchez, Brianna Pinto, Kaleigh Kurtz, and Malia Berkely have all added one as well. The only player with multiple assists this year is Sanchez, the team’s primary playmaker. The U.S. international will likely cause the most problems for the Pride back line, making stopping her essential.

The Courage haven’t been bad in most games defensively this season. Other than the 4-1 loss to the Pride, the only time they’ve conceded more than two goals was in a 3-0 loss to the Houston Dash on May 24. However, they bounced back on June 8, only losing 1-0 to the Portland Thorns. They started the season with a four-person back line, but have recently switched to three in front of starting goalkeeper Casey Murphy, so it will be interesting to see how they line up tonight.

While the Courage have gotten off to a disappointing start, they’ve been excellent at home. The team has yet to drop points at WakeMed Soccer Park, winning all of their first five games, including a 2-0 win over the Thorns on April 13. Their home form will make winning a difficult task for the Pride.

“Results from them has shown that it’s a tough place to go and get points. They’re unbeaten, they’ve won every game there, and we expect nothing less than a tough game,” Hines said about the Courage. “So we’ll go out there, we’ll give everything like we have done in every game. We want to bounce back from almost a disappointing result away at San Diego. We know we can play better than that and so we’ll be going in there and looking for a win.”

Angelina (knee) isn’t listed on the injury report this week for the first time since her injury, but Morgan Gautrat (concussion) and Rafaelle (leg) have been added to players out. They’re joined by Celia (hip), Simone Charley (leg), Luana (illness), Megan Montefusco (heel), and Viviana Villacorta (knee). North Carolina will be without Sydney Collins (ankle), Estelle Johnson (maternity leave), Kerolin Nicoli (knee), Olivia Wingate (leg), and Ryan Williams (suspension), while Matsukubo (lower leg) and Dani Weatherholt (leg) are questionable.


Official Lineups

Orlando Pride (4-4-2)

Goalkeeper: Anna Moorhouse.

Defenders: Kerry Abello, Kylie Strom, Emily Sams, Brianna Martinez.

Midfielders: Adriana, Summer Yates, Haley McCutcheon, Julie Doyle.

Forwards: Barbra Banda, Marta.

Bench: McKinley Crone, Cori Dyke, Carrie Lawrence, Ally Lemos, Angelina, Amanda Allen, Mariana Larroquette, Alex Kerr, Ally Watt.

North Carolina Courage (3-4-3)

Goalkeeper: Casey Murphy.

Defenders: Felicitas Rauch, Malia Berkely, Kaleigh Kurtz.

Midfielders: Victoria Pickett, Denise O’Sullivan, Narumi Miura, Bianca St-Georges.

Forwards: Tyler Lussi, Haley Hopkins, Ashley Sanchez.

Bench: Marisa Bova, Julia Dorsey, Natalia Staude, Jenna Winebrenner, Riley Jackson, Maya McCutcheon, Landy Mertz, Brianna Pinto, Meredith Speck.

Referees

REF: JC Griggs.
AR1: Nicholas Seymour.
AR2: Tiffini Turpin.
4TH: John Rush.
VAR: Alejandro Mariscal.
AVAR: Tom Felice.


How to Watch

Match Time: 7:30 p.m.

Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park — Cary, NC.

TV: Bally Sports Florida.

Streaming: NWSL+.

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow @SkoPurpSoccer, the official Twitter account of our Orlando Pride podcast (The Mane Land’s main account will be providing updates on Orlando City’s match), and the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride).


Enjoy the match. Go Pride!

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Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride at North Carolina Courage: Three Keys to Victory

What do the Pride have to do to earn a victory against the Courage?

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride head north to take on the North Carolina Courage Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. The Pride will look to extend their season-long unbeaten streak and start another win streak against the Courage. A victory might put the Pride back on top of the NWSL table.

What do the Pride have to do to earn all three points on the road?

Shut Down the Courage

Barbra Banda might have more goals than North Carolina’s Tyler Lussi and Bianca St-Georges combined, but that doesn’t mean the two players are not a threat to score. This season, Lussi and St-Georges have three goals and two goals, respectively, accounting for five of Carolina’s 13 goals. Keeping those two in check is imperative to secure a victory.

Doing so will require the Pride defense to be effective when passing out of the back. The bad habit of dribbling into the opposition, or making poorly weighted passes in their own third needs to stop. If the Pride can improve the passing out of the back while maintaining their otherwise solid defense, the club can limit Carolina’s chances.

More Better Moorhouse

Anna Moorhouse is a pretty good shot stopper, but I still hold my breath on crosses and corner kicks. Moorhouse had a pretty good match against the San Diego Wave, and she needs to improve on that performance. She has faced 43 shots on goal with 32 saves and 11 goals allowed. That the number of shots is so low is a testament to the defense in front of her. Moorhouse has the physical tools needed, now she just needs to fine tune her decision-making and put a little stickum on the keeper gloves. If she can continue to build on that last performance on Saturday against Carolina, the Pride will have a good shot at continuing the unbeaten streak.

Help Banda to Help You

Even when teams try to stop Banda by putting multiple players on her, it’s never completely effective. However, if Banda’s teammates can create some space and some chances on their own, that will draw defenders from Banda, allowing her to be more dangerous. As such, it is important to players like Adriana, Marta, Ally Watt, Julie Doyle, and Summer Yates to do more on their own. Teams are worried about Banda and will defend accordingly. Now, the Pride just need to make them pay for doing so.


That is what I will be looking for Saturday night. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Vamos Orlando!

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