Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Season in Review: Ally Watt

The striker made it into the record books in 2023.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

The Orlando Pride originally signed Ally Watt on Aug. 15, 2022 from OL Reign during former general manager Ian Fleming’s tenure. The Colorado Springs native was originally drafted by the North Carolina Courage and saw time with Melbourne City in the Australian W-League before joining the Reign. On Nov. 15, 2022 the Pride signed Watt to a new contract through the 2024 season.

Let’s take a look at the forward’s 2023 season with the Orlando Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

Watt appeared in 19 regular-season matches, starting six, for a total of 735 minutes. She scored one goal on 22 shots with 12 on target. She also provided an assist. Watt completed 75 of her 146 total passes (51.4%). She was accurate on 43.7% of her passes in the opponent’s half, and 59.6% of her passes in her own half. She was two of 13 on her long passes (15.4%). She also completed five of her 20 crosses, and made seven key passes. Defensively, she made four interceptions, won 14 of her 19 tackles (73.7%), 49 of her 102 duels (48%), and 18 of her 37 aerial duels (48.6%). She also committed 10 fouls, suffered seven fouls, and was not booked.

The 26-year-old made six appearances in NWSL Challenge Cup play, starting four games and playing 348 total minutes. Watt scored two goals on seven shots with five on target, and attempted three crosses (none successful), but was unable to register an assist. Watt completed 30 of her 51 total passes (58.8%). She was accurate on 40% of her passes in the opponent’s half, and 84.2% of her passes in her own half.  Watt was two for six on her long passes (33.3%), and made one key pass. Defensively, she recorded one block and two interceptions and won three of her six tackles (50%), 23 of her 51 duels (45.1%), and four of her 12 aerial duels (33.3%). She also committed seven fouls, suffered eight fouls, and was not booked.

Best Game

When picking a best game I feel you have to go with one where the player sets a record which Watt did in the Pride’s 2-1 win over the North Carolina Courage on  Sept. 17 at Exploria Stadium. Watt scored the earliest goal ever for the Pride in the 38th second of play. Adriana put a ball into the box for Watt to run onto and the striker was able to bounce the ball off the keeper and into the back of the goal. 

Despite being subbed off in the 56th minute, Watt took two shots with both on target including the goal, and had one key pass. She also completed seven of her 13 passes (53.8%) on 22 touches, contributed one tackle and was not booked. It was literally a performance that made history.  

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Watt a composite rating of 5.5 for the 2023 season. She didn’t play enough minutes last season to receive a grade for 2022. Watt brings plenty of speed to the attack, but as shown in her lack of goals and assists, the final product is sadly lacking. That is the main reason for her rating. Still, she was a threat late in matches when the other team’s legs were getting heavy.

2024 Outlook

As I mentioned above, Watt brings speed to the attack when coming off of the bench, and since she is signed through 2024 I expect her to continue in that role. Whether she is retained after that will depend on her production next season, especially since there will most likely be more new faces on the Pride in 2024. She might be a tempting target in the NWSL Expansion Draft for Utah Royals FC or Bay FC if she’s left unprotected.

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