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SkoPurp Soccer Episode 45: Portland Rewind, Barbra Banda on Fire, and Listener Mail

The Pride set a new NWSL record as they keep surging in 2024 behind Barbra Banda and a strong defense.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride got a signature win Friday night in the club’s 2-1 home win over the Portland Thorns. While Sophia Smith’s absence was a blow to the visitors, the Thorns have plenty of talent, and it’s not like the Pride aren’t dealing with some key absences. The end result was an NWSL-record eighth win on the bounce. The Pride have now gone 11 games this season without a loss, and with four of the next five on the road, it’s time to find out if Orlando can get through a crucial part of the schedule unscathed.

We break down the win over Portland, check back on our score predictions, and make our selections for Player of the Match. Beating the Thorns isn’t something that the Pride have done often, so it feels like this year’s team has found a new level of confidence that we haven’t seen in the team’s history — even in the playoff year of 2017.

We had a brief side discussion of Barbra Banda, who has a chance to completely rewrite the Orlando Pride record book (and possibly the league’s) if she can keep up her torrid form (or even improve upon it).

Our mailbagbox this week asked us about scorers beyond Banda, our favorite non-goal-scoring moment of the win over the Thorns, and more. Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form. We’d also appreciate any ratings or reviews you can leave wherever you get your podcasts, and if you do that on Apple Podcasts, we’ll find them easily and read them on the show.

Without a game this weekend, we held off on our next Pride preview. Enjoy the show and thanks for listening.


Here’s how Episode 45 went down:

0:15 – The Pride denied the Thorns a seventh win in a row while picking up a new league record of their own.

20:13 The mailbagbox is always fun after a win, and this episode was a perfect example of that.

Podcasts

SkoPurp Soccer Episode 47: San Diego Rewind, Courage Preview, and More

The Pride remain unbeaten despite their winning streak snapping in San Diego, and a trip to North Carolina looms next.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

The Orlando Pride played without Adriana and Rafaelle and got only a half out of Marta and Barbra Banda, but still managed to bring home a hard-fought road point after a 1-1 draw against the Wave in San Diego. The Pride remain unbeaten in Southern California and on the 2024 season thanks to an acrobatic goal from Julie Doyle. We break down the match, check back on our score predictions (one of us nailed it), and made our selections for Player of the Match.

Banda and Emily Sams made the NWSL Team of the Month for May, and the Pride’s Zambian striker was also the league’s Player of the Month. Both are well-deserved honors for Banda, and it’s nice to see Sams recognized for her outstanding efforts.

Our mailbagbox this week asked us about the Pride’s unsung hero, Sophia Smith’s silly sending off, Anna Moorhouse’s performance Friday night, and more. Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form. We’d also appreciate any ratings or reviews you can leave wherever you get your podcasts, and if you do that on Apple Podcasts, we’ll find them easily and read them on the show.

Finally, the Pride will visit the North Carolina Courage on Saturday. The Pride blasted the Courage the first time the teams met, but North Carolina has a perfect home record in 2024, so Orlando will have to be better than it was in San Diego. We hit you with our preview, key matchups, and score predictions for this week’s game.


Here’s how Episode 47 went down:

0:15 – The Pride didn’t win for the first time in a while, but still got a good road result. Plus, some Orlando players gained league recognition.

17:34 The mailbagbox gives us a chance to provide much-needed answers to our listeners’ most penetrating questions.

35:58 – The Pride head to North Carolina to take on the Courage.

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Podcasts

PawedCast Episode 425: OCB vs. Carolina Core, USMNT, LAFC Preview, and More

The Lions were off while the Young Lions played with their food. Plus, USMNT talk and an LAFC preview.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City B / Mark Thor

Orlando City’s MLS side was off for the international break over the weekend, so we begin this week’s show (the only one this week due to the schedule) with an extended breakdown of Orlando City B’s comeback draw against Carolina Core FC. The Young Lions started poorly, fought back to tie the match, appeared to take the lead late, had multiple red cards shown to the bench at the end of normal time, and then won the extra point in the postgame penalty shootout.

Games like this are what made us coin the term “drunk OCB,” because unexpected things happen. In fact, each team scored on a penalty in regulation. When you factor in the multi-goal comeback, the waved-off winner, the red cards to people not even on the pitch, and the wacky shootout in which four consecutive players failed to score at one point, it was a crazy match.

After our recap, we discussed the summer fates of some of Orlando City’s internationals. The club’s Uruguayans aren’t needed for Copa America, while starting center back David Brekalo is off to the Euros to play for Slovenia.

This week’s mailbagbox asked us about Orlando City’s shape and which summer international tournament we’re looking forward to most. Remember, if there’s anything — and we do mean anything — you want us to address on the show, just ask us by tweeting it to us at @TheManeLand with the hashtag #AskTMLPC, or hitting us up on Bluesky Social with that same hashtag.

After the mailbagbox, we touched on the USMNT’s beatdown at home against Colombia. The final score was ugly, and it could have been uglier, but it also could have been much better. It was a weird game.

Finally, we prepare you for Orlando City’s home match Saturday against LAFC, a team the Lions have never beaten. Is this the year? Well, LAFC is quite good and the Lions have not been able to score goals, and that’s not a recipe for success. We provide our key matchups and score predictions.

Be sure to rate and review our show wherever you get your podcasts. Remember, we’ll read any five-star reviews we get on Apple Podcasts on the next show.


Here’s how No. 425 went down:

0:15 – The Young Lions were comically bad to start the game but showed a great deal of grit to climb back into the match and take two of a possible three points from Carolina Core.

20:33 – Our mailbagbox is fairly short and sweet this week.

31:28 – The USMNT’s bad day and a preview of the LAFC match.

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Podcasts

SkoPurp Soccer Episode 46: Grace Chanda Signs, San Diego Preview, and More

The Pride add another Zambian attacker, Orlando heads to San Diego, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride were off this week, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t something significant to discuss. The club announced the signing of Zambian international attacking midfielder Grace Chanda last week, and we break down the signing, what it means for the Pride, and (perhaps more importantly) what it might mean for star striker Barbra Banda. Could she be even more effective with her Zambia teammate playing alongside her? We’ll see!

Speaking of Pride internationals, Brazil’s first match of the international window was a showcase for Orlando players Marta, Adriana, and Rafaelle. All were factors in a win over Jamaica, and it’s great that they’re finding form that they could bring back to Orlando with them.

Pride rookie Ally Lemos started for the U-20 USWNT over the weekend but things didn’t go quite as well against South Korea as they did for the senior team.

Our mailbagbox this week asked us about the quality of the NWSL and the rules surrounding international players. Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form. We’d also appreciate any ratings or reviews you can leave wherever you get your podcasts, and if you do that on Apple Podcasts, we’ll find them easily and read them on the show.

The Pride’s home game against the Kansas City Current in September had a change in game times and streaming platform, and it will now be on Prime Video at 8 p.m. on Sept. 13.

Finally, the Pride head to San Diego to face the Wave late Friday night. We’re staying up for it, and we know you are too. The Wave have a talented squad and, despite their slow start, Seb Hines’ club has to be on point to keep things rolling. We present our key matchups in the contest and our final score predictions.


Here’s how Episode 46 went down:

0:15 – The Pride add an attacking piece that could make Barbra Banda even better.

14:02 The mailbagbox is light, but we answer with the usual gusto.

24:35 – A schedule change and our preview of Friday’s match at San Diego.

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