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Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit: 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 (3-5-3, 12 points) go back on the road to face the Washington Spirit (1-5-6, 9 points) at Audi Field. This is the second and final time that the two teams will face off during the 2022 NWSL regular season.

Here’s all you need to know about today’s game.

History

The Pride and Spirit have faced off 18 times since the Pride joined the NWSL in 2016. Orlando has a record of 5-7-6 (W-L-D) in all competitions against Washington. This includes a 4-6-5 record in regular-season play and a 1-4-2 regular-season record in Washington.

The most recent meeting came on May 27 at Exploria Stadium. Trinity Rodman gave the Spirit the lead in the 19th minute and Ashley Hatch doubled the lead in the 66th minute. As the game entered second-half injury time, it appeared as though the Pride would fall for the second straight time, but a pair of late goals by Mikayla Cluff and Darian Jenkins stunned Washington with a 2-2 draw.

Prior to the draw in May, the Pride and Spirit played two games in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup. The first was on March 19 in Orlando. The Pride had less possession and fewer shots, but a strong defensive effort allowed them to come away with a scoreless draw. The second Challenge Cup meeting came on April 3 at Audi Field. Gunny Jonsdottir got the Pride on the board with a 54th-minute goal, scoring the team’s first goal in four games. However, the Spirit already had a 3-0 lead. Rodman scored a late goal to put the game away as the Pride fell 4-1.

The two teams played four times during 2021. The first was on April 21 in the Challenge Cup. Sydney Leroux’s 11th-minute goal was the only scoring as the Pride won 1-0 for their first win of the year. Just two games later, the Pride opened their regular season by hosting the Spirit on May 16. Hatch gave Washington the lead in the 76th minute, but Alex Morgan equalized eight minute later to claim a 1-1 draw. The second regular-season meeting last year was on June 6 in Washington. Hatch opened the scoring, but Taylor Kornieck equalized minutes later, resulting in a 1-1 draw. The final meeting of 2021 came Aug. 22 at Audi Field. Marta gave the Pride the lead in the 68th minute but Hatch equalized just two minutes later. It looked like it would be a third straight 1-1 draw but Ashley Sanchez won it for Washington late.

Due to the pandemic, the Pride and Spirit didn’t play in 2020 but faced off three times in 2019. The first was on July 6 in Orlando. Marta scored a brace in the second half, leading the Pride to a 4-3 win. They played again on Aug. 24 in Washington. Crystal Thomas gave the hosts a ninth-minute lead and Marta equalized. But Hatch’s 59th-minute goal lifted the Spirit to a 2-1 win. The final game was supposed to be the following weekend, but was postponed due to Hurricane Dorian. Instead, the game was played Oct. 9 in Orlando. The Spirit dominated the rubber match, beating the Pride 3-0.

The first of two meetings in 2018 was on March 31 at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Hatch scored a goal and added an assist in a 2-0 win for the Spirit. The Pride got their revenge in the second game in the same location. Alanna Kennedy’s 11th-minute goal was the difference as the Pride won 1-0. The final meeting that year was on July 7 in Orlando. Hatch gave the Spirit the lead in the 26th minute, but Leroux scored just before halftime and Marta gave Orlando the win in the 86th minute.

The 2017 season was the first time the teams played three times in a year. Their April 22 meeting was the Pride’s first home game that year. Line Sigvardsen-Jensen gave the visitors the lead in the 60th minute, but Danica Evans answered in the 86th minute, as the teams drew 1-1. They met for the second time that year in Maryland on July 8 when Marta and Mallory Pugh both scored braces in a 2-2 draw. The final game in 2018 was on Aug. 8 in Orlando. Marta, Camila, and Morgan all scored as the Pride ran away with a 3-0 win.

The teams played for the first time during the 2016 NWSL season. The first game was on June 18 in Maryland. Estefania Banini and Francisca Ordega scored first-half goals as the Spirit won 2-0. The second game that year occurred on Aug. 26 at Camping World Stadium. Sarah Hagen scored for the Pride, but Cheyna Williams and Christine Nairn had already given the Spirit the lead, resulting in a 2-1 Washington win.

Overview

The Pride have claimed four points from their last two games — the first time they’ve avoided losses in consecutive games since mid-May. On July 3, second-half goals by Kylie Strom and Darian Jenkins saw the Pride come back from a two-goal deficit to draw Racing Louisville 2-2 at Daytona International Speedway. Last weekend, it was a late own goal by Ally Prisock that helped the Pride beat the Houston Dash 1-0 for their first win since May 18 and their first home victory of the year.

The Pride have recently lost Jonsdottir to Euro 2022 and traded Leroux to Angel City FC, though the former USWNT forward hadn’t appeared for the team since June 3. Since the Pride have a young team, they are more intact than most NWSL teams that have lost players to the Euros and the Concacaf W Championship.

The Pride are catching the Spirit at the right time. The defending NWSL champions are missing seven starters to international duty. Since all seven players are with the United States Women’s National Team, none will be available for the Spirit because the USWNT is still competing in the Concacaf W Championship.

Without these key players, the Spirit have lost three of their last four games and haven’t won since May 1 — their lone win of the season. The hosts have lost their last two games, including a 2-1 loss to San Diego Wave FC away and a 1-0 loss to the Kansas City Current at home.

“They’ve got a good squad,” Pride Interim Head Coach Seb Hines said about the Spirit. “They’ve obviously planned for it (losing players) because they have key players going away with the U.S. National Team and they need to fill them spaces with quality players as well. And they’ve got a point to prove towards their coach. That they deserve to play. So listen, we have to focus on ourselves. We have to build momentum from our last two results, and we want to go there to Audi Field and get three points.”

The Pride’s availability list only has one addition this week in Carrie Lawrence (COVID protocol) being listed as out. The players still out from last week include Marta (SEI, right knee), Parker Roberts (ankle), Leah Pruitt (knee), and Angharad James (excused absence). Additionally, as previously mentioned, Jonsdottir (Iceland) is away on international duty at Euro 2022.

The Spirit have a long list of absences. Tori Huster (left lower leg) and Julia Roddar (knee) are out injured. Hatch hurt her leg while on international duty, but would’ve missed the game anyway as she had been with the USWNT. The other six players away on international duty with the USWNT, including Aubrey Kingsbury, Kelley O’Hara, Rodman, Sanchez, Emily Sonnett, and Andi Sullivan.


Official Lineups

Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Erin McLeod. 

Defenders: Kylie Strom, Megan Montefusco, Toni Pressley, Celia.

Defensive Midfielders: Jordyn Listro, Meggie Dougherty Howard.

Midfielders: Viviana Villacorta, Erika Tymrak, Kerry Abello.

Forwards: Darian Jenkins.

Bench: Anna Moorhouse, Thais Reiss, Julie Doyle, Courtney Peteresen, Mikayla Cluff, Chelsee Washington, Caitlin Cosme, Abi Kim, Kaylie Collins.

Washington Spirit (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Devon Kerr.

Defenders: Cam Biegalski, Sam Staab, Amber Brooks, Anna Heilferty. 

Defensive Midfielders: Taylor Aylmer, Dorian Bailey.

Midfielders: Marissa Sheva, Bayley Feist, Jordan Baggett.

Forwards: Tara McKeown.

Bench: Karina Rodriguez, Averie Collins, Tinaya Alexander, Gaby Vincent, Alla Martin, Audrey Harding, Nicole Barnhart, Jamia Fields, Katie Murray.

Referees

REF: Alyssa Nichols.

AR1: Joe Suchoski.

AR2: Chris Canales.

4TH: Joshua Encarnacion.


How to Watch

Match Time: 5 p.m.

Venue: Audi Field — Washington, D.C.

TV: None.

Streaming: Paramount+ (USA), Twitch (International).

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheMandLand 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

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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