Orlando Pride

2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Kerry Abello

The midfielder was consistent on defense but was unable to find more goals in the attack.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

The Orlando Pride selected Kerry Abello 24th overall in the 2021 NWSL Draft but didn’t sign her until Jan 28, 2022 to a two-year contract since Abello decided to return to Penn State for a fifth season. On Feb. 23, 2023, the Pride re-signed Abello to a new two-year contract through 2024 with an option for 2025. Since Seb Hines took over as head coach, Abello has become a regular contributor to the Pride midfield.

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

Statistical Breakdown

Abello appeared in 20 regular-season matches, starting 14, for a total of 1,256 minutes. She scored one goal on 22 shots with 12 on target. She provided no assists this season, but made 17 key passes. Abello completed 322 of her 413 total passes (78%). She was accurate on 68.8% of her passes in the opponent’s half, and 82.2% in her own half. She was 14 of 38 on her long passes (36.8%). She also completed four of her 23 crosses. Defensively, she made seven interceptions, two blocks, and won 25 of her 39 tackles (64.1%), 83 of her 175 duels (47.4%), and 11 of her 19 aerial duels (59.7%). She also committed 20 fouls, suffered 10 fouls, and was not booked.

The 24-year-old made five appearances in NWSL Challenge Cup play, starting four matches and playing 386 total minutes. Abello did not score any goals but took two shots with one on target. She attempted 10 crosses with one successful, and registered one assist. Abello completed 72 of her 106 total passes (67.9%). She was accurate on 48.9% of her passes in the opponent’s half, and 90.9% in her own half.  Abello was three of 13 on her long passes (23.1%), and made four key passes. Defensively, she made one block and one interception, won four of her nine tackles (44.4%), won 18 of her 41 duels (43.9%), and won one of her five aerial duels (20%). She also committed seven fouls, suffered one foul, and was not booked.

Best Game

Abello’s best match was the 3-2 loss to Racing Louisville on Oct. 6. Abello scored her only goal of the season on a run from just past midfield and into the left side of the box, where she deftly put her left-footed shot over the keeper and under the crossbar to double the early Pride lead.

Abello’s goal was the only goal from the run of play as Marta’s goal came on a penalty kick.

Abello played the full 90 minutes and she was very active throughout. Her goal came on five shots, with two on target, and she had one key pass. She also completed 20 of her 24 passes (83.3%) on 51 touches, committed two fouls, suffered two fouls, and was not booked. She earned Player of the Match from Michael Citro on The Mane Land PawedCast.  

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Abello a composite rating of 5.5 for the 2023 season. Abello received a grade of 5 in 2022, mostly due to her lack of finishing. Unfortunately, that continued this season as she had plenty of chances, but not enough goals. Abello was effective in the midfield press that Hines likes to employ, and was good on defense. It’s her attacking game that needs some work.

2024 Outlook

Abello is signed through 2024 with an option for 2025, meaning I fully expect her to be with the Pride next season. Since Viviana Villacorta is dealing with an injury, the midfield is an area in which the Pride lack depth. While Abello needs to improve aspects of her game there’s no reason for the Pride not to continue to utilize her energy in the midfield. Hopefully, she can improve in 2024 to justify the Pride exercising her option in 2025.

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