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Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage: Final Score 4-1 as Pride Win Their Fourth Straight

Goals by Ally Watt, Barbra Banda, and Julie Doyle saw the Pride beat the Courage for their fourth straight win.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride (4-0-3, 15 points) won their fourth straight match and extended their unbeaten run to seven games (4-0-3) with a 4-1 win over the North Carolina Courage (4-3-0, 12 points). The hosts’ goals came from Ally Watt, Julie Doyle, and a Barbra Banda brace, while an Emily Sams own goal was the only score for the visitors.

Pride Head Coach Seb Hines made just one change to the starting lineup that beat the Washington Spirit 2-1 Friday night. Bri Martinez was suspended after receiving two yellow cards and was replaced by Watt. Hines changed from his usual 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-4-2 for this game with a back line of Kerry Abello, Kylie Strom, Rafaelle, and Sams in front of Anna Moorhouse. Doyle, Summer Yates, Haley McCutcheon, and Angelina were in the midfield, with Banda and Watt up top.

“We felt today going into the game that there might be an area that we can exploit with North Carolina,” Hines said about the formation change. “You know, they like to high press, be really aggressive in those positions. And so to have two outlets with both Ally and Barbara, it was a joy to watch.”

The game was put out of reach in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Banda and Watt were put together up top for the first time and looked spectacular. Their speed was too much for the opposition to handle, as they both had an impact on the first three goals.

“That was our first game playing together in the front two and, honestly, just learning to play with each other, like just learning from each other in training and just watching her tendencies, and we just had to be there for each other as much as we can,” Watt said about the new partnership with Banda. “I think that’s all we depend on. When one of us has the ball, we need to be forward and be an option for them. And either they’ll find us or they’ll be on the way to goal.”

While the team wasn’t as threatening offensively in the second half, North Carolina wasn’t able to create many chances. They held far more possession, but little of it was in dangerous spaces. As a result, the Pride remained in control throughout.

The Pride got the first chance of the game inside the first minute. Angelina played the ball forward for Yates, who attempted to lift it over the top for Banda. Kaleigh Kurtz got to the ball first, heading back out but only to Yates. The Pride’s leading goal scorer attempted a shot from just outside the box, but it was right to Courage goalkeeper Casey Murphy, who blocked it away.

Less than a minute later, the Courage got their first chance of the game. A give-and-go between Ryan Williams and Tyler Lussi enabled the former to send a low cross into the box. It found Narumi Miura near the penalty spot, but the midfielder’s shot was wide.

Yates almost had another opportunity in the sixth minute when Banda made a good run to the end line and played the ball back for her teammate. Yates attempted to turn and shoot with Williams closing down, but the ball got caught under her feet and she was unable to turn it on goal.

In the eighth minute, Doyle sent a good ball down the right for Banda. The forward got behind the Courage defense and caught up to the ball before it went out of play. Her first touch was a pass back for Angelina entering the box, but it was just out of the Brazilian’s reach.

Banda had a chance for her second goal in as many games in the 17th minute when she was sent forward by Yates. The striker was in a foot race with Felicitas Rauch, winning the ball and entering the box. Malia Berkely caught up with Banda, forcing her to cut back, and Murphy came out to block the attempt. Banda won a corner kick, but the Pride couldn’t do anything with it and North Carolina evaded any further danger.

The Pride had another chance in the 22nd minute when Doyle sent a cross into the Courage box. Watt flicked the ball towards the far post, where Abello was making a run, but she couldn’t control it and the ball went out of play.

North Carolina quickly went the other way and created a shot. Ashley Sanchez tried to send the ball into the box, but it was blocked out. It ended up with Lussi, who fired from distance. The shot was beyond the reach of Moorhouse and bounced off the crossbar.

The Pride took the lead in the 29th minute on a fantastic counterattack. Banda intercepted the ball in her own third and sprinted forward. The Zambian was much faster than the opposing defenders and had an equally fast teammate in Watt running alongside. Banda sent a gorgeous ball forward as Watt got behind the North Carolina defense and placed it past Murphy to give the Pride a 1-0 lead.

“The one thing I know is if Barbra’s running towards the goal, you better be up there with her,” Watt said about the goal. “And she played a beautifully weighted ball to my right and so I had to put it on goal, put it on frame. So I just did that and, yeah, it was one of the probably easier goals I’ve scored. Barbra put an easy ball in.”

Despite being up a goal, the Pride remained on the attack. In the 33rd minute, Doyle dribbled towards the box and sent a low pass towards Watt between the penalty spot and the six-yard box. Unfortunately, it was intercepted before it could reach the forward.

The Pride doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Banda sent the ball out wide for Watt. The attacker beat Kurtz and sent a beautiful ball into the box. Banda, who continued her run after the original pass, only had to touch the ball past Murphy to give the Pride a commanding 2-0 lead.

“I just know I got the ball wide. That’s kind of part of our game plan. We just feel, hey, play it wide and we’ll be on the ball,” Watt said about her assist. “And I just trust that we have people in the box. We’ve been really focusing on that and we’ve just really been trying to focus on finally timing our runs down and then we got it. I kind of swooped it with my left foot knowing that Julie and Barbra would be there and it fell perfectly to Barbra and she executed it perfectly.”

In the second minute of first-half stoppage time, the Pride scored a third. It started in their own half when McCutcheon won the ball from Denise O’Sullivan. She sent it forward for Watt, who quickly play Banda behind the Courage defense. Cutting inside to beat Berkely, Banda shot on goal. However, Murphy was there to make the stop. The rebound bounced right to Doyle, who put it in to give the Pride a 3-0 lead at halftime.

After 45 minutes, the Courage had much more possession (67%-33%), but the Pride led every other significant statistical category. The hosts had more shots (8-3), shots on target (8-0), corners (1-0), and crosses (5-4), and better passing accuracy (86%-77%). The biggest surprise in the first half was the Pride, a team that has struggled to hit the frame, put all eight shots on target.

The Pride looked to extend their lead in the 49th minute when Banda made a run behind the Courage back line near midfield. Angelina lifted the ball forward to send Banda through, but she was offside.

In the 51st minute, Haley Hopkins and Sanchez worked together to play the ball across for Lussi. The attacker’s shot was blocked by Abello, but it went right back to her. This time, Lussi attempted to play the ball back across for Sanchez, but Angelina intercepted it and eliminated the threat.

A minute later, the visitors got a goal back. It started with a ball to the top of the box for Manaka Matsukubo. The forward laid it back to Williams, who quickly played it to Hopkins wide open on the far side. Sams moved over to defend and got in front of Hopkins’ shot. Unfortunately, the deflection went past Moorhouse and in, cutting the Pride lead to 3-1.

Watt was looking for her second goal in the 55th minute when she took Berkely one-on-one in the Courage box. After one last cut outside, Watt shot for the near post. Murphy did well to cover that part of the goal and blocked the attempt away.

The Pride put a fourth one in the net in the 61st minute when Yates’ shot was deflected over the goal by Kurtz. Yates took the first corner, sending it to the back post. Banda headed the ball back in front of goal, but it was knocked out for another corner kick. Yates’ second corner was, again, to the back post. Watt got her head to the ball and Doyle beat Murphy to it. The last touch was by Strom, knocking it in and seeming to give the Pride a 4-1 lead.

However, the video assistant referee checked the goal and determined that referee Natalie Simon needed to have another look. After viewing the monitor, Simon determined that Strom was offside.

Right after the call, Hines made his first change of the game as Carrie Lawrence came on for Doyle.

The Pride had another chance for a fourth in the 70th minute when Sams sent Banda down the right. The forward had Watt making a run into the box, but the pass was a bit too far in front.

In the 76th minute, Hines made two more changes. Amanda Allen and Cori Dyke came into the game for Yates and Abello.

Right after the substitutions, Lawrence threw the ball in to Banda. The forward turned Miura, dribbled towards the penalty spot, and put the ball past Murphy to give the Pride a 4-1 lead. It was Banda’s third goal in the last two games, in addition to her two assists. She became the first player in NWSL history to record five goal contributions in her first two starts.

A scary moment occurred in the 81st minute. As Banda closed down Berkely, who was looking to send the ball down field, Berkeley’s foot hit Banda’s right leg. The forward went down in pain as the Pride’s medical staff came out to examine her. That was the last action for Banda as she was replaced by Ally Lemos. At the same time, Mariana Larroquette came on for Watt.

In the 89th minute, the Pride lost another key player to injury when Angelina went down holding her right knee. It occurred during a battle with Riley Jackson. As the two fought for the ball, Angelina’s knee turned the wrong way and she went to the ground. The Pride medical staff attended to the midfield and ended up having to help her back to the locker room. Since the Pride had already used all of their substitutions, they had to finish the game with 10 players.

The fourth official showed 11 minutes of stoppage time, but the Courage struggled to create chances. In the seventh minute, Berkely laid the ball off for Rauch. It was well struck by the left back, but Moorhouse got down to make the stop. That was the last chance by either team as the Pride held on for a dominating 4-1 win.

At full time, the Courage had far more possession (66%-34%), but the Pride had the advantage in shots (14-7), shots on target (12-2), corner kicks (6-2), crosses (10-5), and passing accuracy (83.8%-67.9%).

“I’m really, really pleased with the attitude of the players coming in here after being on the road against Washington and then a quick turnaround for tonight’s game,” Hines said about the performance. “They started really, really well on the front foot, a level intent to put North Carolina under pressure, especially in transition. I thought we were really threatening in transition. And so to be up in the game in the first half was really pleasing.”

It might surprise some to see a 4-1 Pride win when the Courage held so much more possession and 599 passes to the Pride’s 302. Hines said they understood the type of team North Carolina is and were ready to handle being off the ball for much of the 90 minutes.

“There’s different ways to win a game of football. You know, there’s going to be games where we don’t have as much possession as we would like. You know, we have to respect the opponent. North Carolina are a brilliant team,” Hines said. “They like to possess, they get over 500 passes per game, they make it really difficult for you to get any sort of pressure on the ball, and so I thought we identified the moments when to be aggressive, when to win the ball and play that pass forwards, and yet still be threatening. There’s not always going to be games like that. There’s going to be games where we have to possess and ourselves we’re getting 500 passes and maybe more percentage of possession. But, at the end of the day, we scored four goals against a really good side and managed to win the game at the end.”

The Pride are now tied in second with the Spirit on 15 points, just one point behind the Kansas City Current. They’re one more win from evening the team’s all-time record for consecutive wins and two results from equaling the team record for number of games unbeaten.


They’ll look to continue their good form Sunday night when they welcome Racing Louisville FC to Orlando.

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 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 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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