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Orlando Pride Bolstered by Returning Stars

With the Orlando Pride, and the rest of the NWSL returning to action next week, the Pride will look to their experienced stars to bring them out of a slump.

Matt Starkey, The Mane Land

Tom Sermani and the rest of the Orlando Pride staff were uplifted by the early arrival of some of the team's star players in training this week after the USWNT's unexpected exit from the Olympics. The World Champions suffered a penalty shootout loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals of the competition, and although no one is happy the ladies in red, white, and blue have come home early, an early return can only help an Orlando Pride team in a bit of a slump. Before the international break started, the Pride were in the midst of a three-game losing streak, with the latest loss to the Boston Breakers being a severe blow to morale.

"There's been some good work being put in by everybody. I think having some time away, getting enthusiasm back to come into the training environment I think helps all of that," said Sermani, dancing around the topic of the disappointing U.S. defeat, but he couldn't hide the fact that it was good to have the internationals back in training.

He was also asked about their performances away from the Pride uniforms.

"Overall I was pleased," he said. "I think Monica looked solid at the back...composed. Does what she does every week, quietly does her job very efficiently. I thought Joseé's been dynamic, obviously played a little bit further forward in the Canadian team two games that she played and obviously suspended for the semifinals. Alex has scored goals, which is fantastic."

The Pride return to action next Friday, Aug. 26 against The Washington Spirit. Hopefully, they can resurrect some of that early season form and return to their winning ways.