It was a disappointing season for the Orlando Pride in 2016, as the club finished in ninth place in the National Women’s Soccer League and failed to make the playoffs. After a solid start of four wins in the first six matches, the club fell off the pace with only one point in its final eight.
The Pride finished 5-0-5 at home in 2016, but were a dismal 1-1-8 on the road, ninth-worst in the NWSL. Additionally, the club had a goal differential of -12 on the road, conceding 19 goals and scoring only seven.
As last season’s stats and record show, the Pride’s 2016 away form was far from decent. In 2017, the Pride open the season with five of their first seven matches away from home. The need for better results on the road is needed right away.
With three new additions on defense, one of the clear problems last season may be addressed. Ali Kreiger is a veteran player who can make an instant impact for the club. Alanna Kennedy is another player that can help out defensively, she has a height advantage and the potential to be a key player in the box.
Offensively, the Pride will struggle with the absence of Alex Morgan until June. She will miss all five of the club’s opening away fixtures. Players will have to step up in the scoring department if they hope to get results on the road. Co-leading scorer in 2016, Jasmyne Spencer, has the opportunity to really have an impact in the early stages of the season. Of course, the offense can be boosted if a certain Brazilian superstar is added to the roster.
The bottom line is simple, if the Pride want to make the playoffs in 2017, they need to get points on the road. A poor start this season could set them back and have them playing catch-up for the rest of the season.