As we count down to the new year of 2017 – which will be Orlando City SC's third in MLS and second in the NWSL – and say goodbye to 2016, it's time to look back at the club's 10 best moments of the year.
Coming in at No. 5 in our top 10 countdown from 2016 is Steph Catley’s goal against the Portland Thorns, the first goal in Orlando Pride franchise history. While it came in a losing effort, the goal signified the beginning of the Pride’s first season .
“It’s pretty cool when you put it like that,” Catley told OrlandoCitySC.com about the goal. “I suppose to have the first goal in the club’s history is something I can always hold with me.”
Catley scored the goal off a free kick just outside of Portland’s box in the 12th minute of the game. Coming off a Portland turnover in the Thorns’ own half, Orlando’s Kristen Edmonds took the ball on the right side of the field, trying to cut into the box. On her way, she was cut down by the Thorns’ Tobin Heath, earning a free kick in the 11th minute.
As Catley lined up for the kick, she was at a tough angle to shoot from. Putting the ball low, it bounced just in front of Thorns keeper Michelle Betos as she went to grab it and ended up in the back of the net.
“It was great that we scored that first goal,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni told OrlandoCitySC.com. “It was great to get in the lead, and it’s safe to say, on another day with that performance, I think we would’ve gotten a better result.”
Unfortunately, Dagny Brynjarsdottir pulled the Thorns level and U.S. international Lindsey Horan scored a late game-winner for the hosts. Although Portland came back to win the match, 2-1, the goal by the Pride’s Australian international fullback will never be forgotten for its historic significance.
We are getting closer to our No. 1 moment of the year. Let us know what you think should be your top four in the comments below.
Come back every day through New Year's Eve to count down the remainder of Orlando City's top 10 moments of 2016.
Check out the rest of our top 10 Orlando City moments of 2016:
9. Orlando City signs Antonio Nocerino and Julio Baptista.
8. MLS Commissioner Don Garber looks on as the first seats are installed in Orlando City’s new downtown soccer stadium.
7. Orlando City kicks off the Jason Kreis era with a victory over New England.
6. Orlando City dismantles defending champion Portland, 4-1.