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Orlando Pride vs. Racing Louisville FC: Final Score 2-2 as Pride End Three-Game Losing Streak



The Orlando Pride (2-5-3, 9 points) came back from a two-goal deficit to draw Racing Louisville (2-4-4, 10 point) at Daytona International Speedway as part of the 2022 Daytona SoccerFest event. The visitors took a 2-0 lead by the 51st minute with goals by Emina Ekic and Savannah DeMelo, but the Pride came back with goals by Kylie Strom and Darian Jenkins.

This game was a regular season NWSL match, but was the league’s first game ever played at a superspeedway. As a result, the infield and pit road areas were converted into a full-size soccer field. Prior to the Pride taking the field, a legends game was played and Chance the Rapper performed during the warmup period.

Gunny Jonsdottir missed this unique event as she is away on international duty with Iceland. Additionally, Courtney Petersen started the game on the bench and Angharad James is away with an excused absence. As a result, the lineup looked a bit different for this match. The back line in front of Erin McLeod consisted of Celia, Megan Montefusco, Toni Pressley, and Strom. Jordyn Listro and Meggie Dougherty Howard were the defensive midfielders behind Viviana Villacorta, Erika Tymrak, and Thais Reiss with Jenkins up top.

The Pride got off to the better start to the game, holding the majority of possession in the opening 20 minutes. As a result, the hosts got the first chance of the game in the third minute through Dougherty Howard. The midfielder faked two defenders to create space but her shot was saved by Katie Lund.

Another chance came for the Pride in the eighth minute when Jenkins set up Tymrak near the penalty spot. However, the midfielder — making her first start of the regular season —sent the shot well over the crossbar.

Louisville got its first chance of the game in the 10th minute when Freja Olofsson found Kristen Davis in the box. The forward quickly took a shot but missed to the left of the target.

In the 14th minute, Dougherty Howard had another decent chance when Reiss found her with a good ball into the box. However, the Pride midfielder couldn’t get around the ball enough and sent it wide.

Louisville had a golden opportunity in the 23rd minute when a turnover by Strom allowed Jess McDonald to set up Ekic in the box. The forward fired on goal from point-blank range but McLeod did well to close down her angle and block the shot.

A minute later, McLeod saved the Pride again. Lauren Milliet found Ekic in the box and the forward shot on goal. McLeod was able to get her fingertips to the ball, knocking it off the crossbar.

The visitors nearly opened the scoring again in the 32nd minute. Milliet sent McDonald through on goal, but the quick decision making by McLeod allowed her to beat McDonald to the ball and collect it before Louisville’s top scorer could reach it.

Two minutes later, Louisville finally converted. It appeared as though McLeod was going to catch the Louisville cross, but the ball bounced off her hands and right to Ekic. After a brief touch, the Louisville forward shot on goal, sending it between Celia’s legs for the opener.

“I told them that one goal doesn’t dictate how well we’re playing right now,” Interim Head Coach Seb Hines said about the first half goal. “You know, you could see that. Once a goal went in we were disheartened. But we have great players who want to continue to do what’s right and try and get the ball and get back into the game. And it was a blip. That was it. It was just one little blip. And like I said, we created opportunities that we could have been up and that’s the final stage that we need to to improve on.”

While the Pride had the better of the early moments in the game, Louisville took over about 20 minutes in. As a result, the Pride had more possession (56.7%-43.3%) but fewer shots (8-6). Meanwhile, the teams had the same number of shots on target (4-4) but Louisville made one of its efforts count.

Unlike the first half, it was Louisville that was the better team at the start of the second 45 minutes. Shortly after kickoff, two Pride players went into the book as Dougherty Howard fouled Olofsson, which resulted in a blocked shot by Davis, in the 47th minute. Three minutes later, Montefusco was booked for a foul on Savannah DeMelo just outside the box.

The foul placed the ball almost touching the edge of the box. Ekic and DeMelo stood over the ball, with the former making the initial run and stepping over the ball. DeMelo then stepped up and put a screamer into the corner, past arms of the diving McLeod, doubling the Louisville lead.

The Pride responded well, pulling one back in the 59th minute. Substitute Kerry Abello’s cross into the box for Jenkins was punched away, but not far enough as Jenkins gained control. With her back to goal, the forward played it back to Strom, whose second touch curled inside the far post and in. It was Strom’s first goal since joining the Pride last year and her first in the NWSL.

“I almost don’t even still believe that happened,” Strom said about her goal. “But D (Darian Jenkins) I think gave me a great pass back and just saw the opportunity and took it. We’ve always been having a bit of difficulty scoring the past few games. So that’s been a focus these past couple of weeks in training. So it was really nice to get when we were going at them. And yeah, it was nice to go in for sure.”

“It’s a big confidence booster,” Hines added. “You know, when that first goal goes in, can we get another one and then can we control the game after that?”

The goal broke a 329-minute scoring drought for the Pride that dated back to the team’s May 27 game against the Washington Spirit, when Cluff and Jenkins scored two second-half, injury-time goals to equalize. Since scoring that goal, the Pride had been outscored 14-0 in a 5-0 loss to the Houston Dash, a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, a 6-0 loss to the Portland Thorns, and falling behind 2-0 tonight to Racing Louisville.

After going more than three-and-a-half games between goals before Strom converted, it only took 11 minutes for the Pride to score their next goal. After starting the attack, Jenkins continued her run into the Louisville box. Tymrak received the ball and quickly played it forward. The Louisville defense tried to step up on Jenkins, but Gemma Bonner kept her onside. Jenkins’ first touch with her right foot curled a shot around Lund and in for the equalizing goal.

“We said at halftime we knew it was coming,” Strom said about scoring two quick goals. “And once we got one they were gonna keep falling.”

Louisville nearly took the lead back in the 78th minute. Tymrak’s foul on DeMelo just outside the box set up a set piece from a similar distance and angle to the DeMelo goal. This time Ekic was the only one around the ball. The first-half goal scorer’s strike appeared to be headed inside the near post, but McLeod made an excellent diving save, knocking it away.

Two minutes later, the Pride nearly took their first lead of the game. Tymrak played Jenkins through, in a ball similar to the one that resulted in Jenkins’ goal. The forward attempted to play the ball low to the far corner, but Lund did well to get down and make the save with her right foot.

As time wound down, both teams were looking for a winner. Despite having gone down 2-0 in the second half, the Pride felt that they could come away with three points.

“I thought we were gonna get one in the end,” Strom said. “And it would have been nice to get.”

“The last 10 minutes I kept yelling to people like three more minutes, three minutes,” Celia added. “Give me three more minutes, because I really did think that we had it in us and I could taste it.”

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the final minutes and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.

The Pride ended the game with more possession (54.4%-45.6%) but the game was statistically very even. Louisville had more shots (15-13), but the teams had the same number of shots on goal (8-8), corners (4-4), and crosses (16-16).

“Bittersweet,” Hines said about the result. “I think the team showed a lot of courage to come back from 2-0 down. You know, we’ve been in this position too often. But I felt that we didn’t deserve to lose that game today. I think that players played terrific. They played how we wanted to play. We wanted to control the game with our passing and move in and create goal-scoring opportunities. Obviously we need to work on the last part of that. But I can’t fault their attitude after this week. From one day to the game today has been first class.”

Despite only getting a draw in what was technically a home game, the point ends a three-game losing streak in which the team was outscored 14-0. It also ended a goalless run of 329 consecutive minutes.

The Pride have a short week as they take the field again on Friday night against the Houston Dash at Exploria Stadium. The team will be looking to build off this result to get their first win since May 18 in North Carolina.

Orlando Pride

2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Emily Madril

The first-year defender played almost every single minute available in the 2023 season.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride selected former Florida State defender Emily Madril with the No. 3 overall selection in the 2023 NWSL Draft. The 5-foot-7 Navarre, FL native decided to forego her last season of eligibility in Tallahassee to begin her professional career. A two-time national champion (2018 and 2021), Madril left FSU, signing a contract with the National Women’s Soccer League through 2025 and was loaned to Swedish side BK Hacken FF.

Following a standout first NWSL season in which she played all but three minutes in the regular season, Madril was rewarded by the Pride with a new contract through 2026.

Let’s take a look at her first season with the Orlando Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

Madril started all 22 of the Pride’s regular-season games in 2023, leading all rookies in minutes played (1,977), and coming off only moments before the end of the club’s season finale against the Houston Dash when the Pride were desperately trying to score a game winner to stay in playoff contention. The defender did not record a goal or an assist on the season, attempting just one shot, which was off target. Madril completed 814 of her 953 passes (85.4%), 46 of her 103 long passes (44.7%), and one of her three crosses, while recording five key passes. There wasn’t much drop-off in her passing rate related to position on the field, as Madril completed 88.7% of her passes in the defensive half and 75.6% in the attacking half. Defensively, she added 19 blocks and 19 interceptions, won 17 of her 28 tackles (60.7%), and was successful on 76 of her 122 duels (62.3%). She also won 54.5% of her 33 aerial duels. She won 23 fouls while conceding only nine and was booked twice during the regular season.

In the NWSL Challenge Cup, Madril appeared in five of the team’s six matches (all starts), and played 450 minutes. She did not score a goal or assist on one and did not attempt a shot. She completed 193 of her 224 passes (86.2%), including 13 of her 25 long passes (52%). Madril passed at an 89% rate in her own half and a 78.3% in the attacking half, recording one key pass, but not attempting a cross in the competition. She recorded 10 blocks and four interceptions on defense, winning 55.6% of her tackle attempts, 68.1% of her duels, and 71.4% of her aerial duels. She committed five fouls, drawing six on the opposition, and was not booked in the tournament.

Best Game

With a number of standout games to choose from, I’ll go with the Pride’s 1-0 win over OL Reign on July 7. Paired with Megan Montefusco as the center back tandem, Madril and her teammates limited the Reign to just five shot attempts (two on target) across the 90+ minutes of the game. Madril had 55 touches and completed 89.1% of her 46 passes. She recorded two tackles and drew two fouls on her opponents while not committing any. Madril and her teammates helped Messiah Bright’s 16th-minute strike hold up over the remainder of the match without constantly being under siege. It was a complete performance and one of the team’s best defensive efforts of the year. It was also just the Pride’s second win ever against OL Reign.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Madril a composite rating of 6.5 for the 2023 season. There were several shaky moments early in the year for the first-year NWSL defender that prevented that score from rising higher (such as conceding a penalty against Angel City), but as the season progressed and she became more comfortable with Seb Hines’ system, the league, and her teammates, Madril was a solid player on the Pride’s back line. She showed her versatility in being able to play both center back positions as well as right back for a couple of matches. A 6.5 is a good rating for a first-year NWSL center back, and Madril showed that she has the potential to develop into one of the league’s best defenders.

2024 Outlook

Madril is obviously highly regarded by the organization and has a huge upside. She has expressed on multiple occasions how happy she is to be with the Pride, and I would expect her to be in Orlando until/unless the Pride get an offer they can’t refuse from a bigger club or if Madril decides to leave once she’s eligible for free agency. Madril should be a starter on the back line for the Pride in 2024 barring something unforseen.

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Orlando Pride Sign Defender Emily Madril to New Contract

The center back signs a new three-year deal, keeping her in Orlando through 2026.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride announced today that the club has signed starting center back Emily Madril to a new three-year contract. The defender originally signed a three-year deal with the NWSL, running through the 2025 season, but this new contract will keep her in Orlando through 2026.

“I had a great rookie year here and had so much fun and love everyone in the Orlando Pride organization,” Madril said in a club press release. “The chemistry that we have in the locker room between all the girls and the entire coaching staff is just amazing and played a big factor in me wanting to stay here in Orlando. I am so excited to be a part of the Pride for the future and continue to be a part of the special thing we are building here.” 

After leaving Florida State University following her junior season, Madril signed a three-year contract with the NWSL and went on loan to Swedish Damallsvenskan side BK Hacken. The Pride drafted the defender with the third overall selection in the 2023 NWSL Draft, immediately putting her into the starting lineup.

Madril initially started alongside Caitlin Cosme at center back, before being joined by Megan Montefusco and, eventually, Rafaelle. She showed her versatility on two occasions, starting at right back.

The Boise, ID native started all 22 regular-season games for the Pride, recording a rookie-leading 1,977 minutes, and she only came off late in the season finale against the Houston Dash when the Pride needed a goal. She completed 814 of her 953 passes (85.4%), 46 of her 103 long passes (44.7%), and took one off-target shot. Defensively, she added 19 blocks and 19 interceptions, won 17 of her 28 tackles (60.7%), and was successful on 76 of her 122 duels (62.3%).

Madril also played in five of the team’s six Challenge Cup games, recording 450 minutes. She completed 193 of 224 passes in those games (86.2%) and 13 of 25 long balls (52%). She continued to be a key defensive presence in those midseason cup matches, recording 10 blocks and four interceptions, as well as winning 10 of her 18 tackles (55.6%) and 32 of her 47 duels (68.1%).

“Emily came in and made an immediate impact, just as we expected she would when we drafted her,” Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in the club’s release. “She was a reliable presence in our back line throughout the entire season and showed her potential to be one of the best defenders in the league. Her maturity and professionalism shined throughout the entire year, and we are very happy to be able to have her with the Pride for the years to come. She is an important part of what we are building here, and she wants to be a part of it, which we are very excited about.” 

Madril has also had a presence for the United States at the international level, receiving call-ups for the U-19, U-20, and U-23 U.S. Women’s National Teams.

What It Means for Orlando

Madril was a key piece of the Pride’s team in 2023 and the club hopes she’ll be for a long time to come. She showed early on that she can become one of the best defenders in the NWSL and her time at right back indicated she has the versatility valued by Carter and Pride Head Coach Seb Hines.

The 24-year-old was already signed to a three-year deal through the 2025 season, so this keeps her in Orlando for an additional year. Terms were not disclosed, but it’s likely she got a raise as well. If she continues to improve on how she played this season, the Pride will undoubtedly look to extend her even further into the future. For next year, she’ll likely continue starting alongside Rafaelle, making up a formidable center back pairing the club can count on.

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2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Anna Moorhouse

The 2023 NWSL season was Anna Moorhouse’s first as the Orlando Pride’s starting goalkeeper.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The 2023 NWSL season was Anna Moorhouse’s second with the Orlando Pride and her first as the team’s starting goalkeeper. She was originally signed prior to the 2022 season, backing up veteran Erin McLeod that year. However, the Canadian international left the team, resulting in Moorhouse taking over the starting role.

Let’s take a look at Moorhouse’s first season starting for the Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

Moorhouse started 19 of the team’s 22 regular-season games, playing 1,623 minutes. The team’s record in those games was 9-9-1, as she conceded 22 goals, saving 72 of her 94 shots faced (76.6%). She ended the year with seven clean sheets, 19 catches, six punches, and four drops. The Pride’s number one completed 387 of her 573 passes (67.5%) out of the back and 115 of her 292 long balls. The passing accuracy in her own half was 79.1% and 32.4% in the opposing half. She conceded one foul and won two, getting sent off in the third minute of the team’s 1-0 loss to OL Reign on Sept. 3.

The English shot stopper also played in four Challenge Cup games, recording 360 minutes. She conceded 10 goals in the competition with no clean sheets and saved 13 of her 23 shots faced (56.5%). Moorhouse had three catches, one punch, and no drops in the secondary competition. She successfully completed 69 of her 111 passes (62.2%) and 29 of her 68 long passes (42.6%). Similar to the regular season, her pass completion percentage was far higher in her own half (76.4%) than in the opposing half (35.9%). Additionally, she won a foul and didn’t concede any.

Best Game

Moorhouse’s most active game was the season opener against the Portland Thorns, where she faced 27 shots and made 12 saves. However she conceded four goals and one was her fault. Her best game of the year came on Oct. 2 in Los Angeles and it was a critical one. Adriana scored in the 22nd minute against Angel City FC to give the Pride a 1-0 lead and the visitors held on for dear life to claim three points that put them in the running for a playoff spot.

One of Moorhouse’s seven clean sheets, the goalkeeper made seven saves on the night, her second-most of the season. Most of Angel City’s shots were right at the goalkeeper, but she was sure-handed, something that plagued her earlier in the year. In the 57th minute, Claire Emslie beat Haley McCutcheon to the ball inside the six-yard box, but Moorhouse was decisive in coming out, forcing the forward to send her shot into the side netting. Her biggest moment of the game came in the 86th minute, when substitute Sydney Leroux got her head on the ball and put it on target. Moorhouse tipped the attempt over the crossbar, maintaining the Pride’s narrow 1-0 lead.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Moorhouse a composite grade of 6 out of 10 for the 2023 NWSL season. Shot stopping was her strength, but she struggled at other aspects, especially holding onto the ball. On multiple occasions this season, her inability to hold onto a catch resulted in second chances and goals for the opposition. She struggled in the team’s penultimate game against Racing Louisville, effectively ending the Pride’s season, and her third-minute red card against OL Reign was likely a determining factor in a crucial 1-0 loss. However, she had seven clean sheets on the season and was the team’s best goalkeeper.

2024 Outlook

Moorhouse’s initial contract was a two-year deal, running through the 2023 season. While there were questions about her dependability in goal this season, Seb Hines and Haley Carter were pleased with her performances, awarding her with a new contract on Oct. 5, keeping the goalkeeper in purple through at least the 2025 season. The Pride now have four goalkeepers under contract for next year, and Moorhouse will be challenged for her role as the starter by new signing Sofia Manner.

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