Welcome to your match thread for this afternoon’s match-up between the Orlando Pride (0-1-0, 0 points) and the Washington Spirit (0-1-0, 0 points). This is the first of three scheduled meetings between the teams this season. The Pride will visit the Spirit at Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, July 8 at 4 p.m. Washington will return to Orlando City Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
The Pride come home with a 0-1-0 record after last week’s 2-0 loss at Portland and will look to take advantage of a Spirit squad that lost a good chunk of quality off last year’s team that reached the NWSL final. Some of that quality came to Orlando in the person of Ali Krieger. The Spirit fell 1-0 at home to North Carolina Courage on opening day.
Washington swept the season series a year ago, winning 2-0 at home and 2-1 in Orlando. Sarah Hagen scored the only goal for the Pride in the series, off an assist from Cami Levin. Neither player is still with Orlando. Estafania Banini and Francisca Ordega provided the offense in that first meeting — the Pride’s first match after the Pulse nightclub shootings. Cheyna Williams and Christine Nairn did the damage for Washington in the 2-1 game at Camping World Stadium.
The Pride do have renewed hope, however, after Marta’s arrival Thursday night and her first training session with her new teammates yesterday. I’d expect she’ll be in the 18 and Tom Sermanni may as well put her in the starting 11. It may take a while to build some chemistry with her new team, but she’s also a player who can make things happen all on her own.
The Pride escaped Portland without any notable injuries, but the Spirit are nursing quite a few. Caprice Dydasco, Cali Farquharson, Joanna Lohman, and Kelsey Wys all have ACL injuries and Williams’ availability is also in doubt.
For more on today’s match-up, check out our Intelligence Report with Caitlin Buckley of Black and Red United. I also answered Caitlin’s questions about the Pride and today’s game, which you can find here.
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Ali Krieger, Jamia Fields.
Midfielders: Dani Weatherholt, Monica, Kristen Edmonds.
Forwards: Camila, Chioma Ubogagu, Jasmyne Spencer.
Bench: Aubrey Bledsoe, Maddy Evans, Laura Alleway, Toni Pressley, Nickolette Driesse, Danica Evans, Marta.
Washington Spirit (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Stephanie Labbe.
Defenders: Kassey Kallman, Shelina Zadorsky, Whitney Church, Estelle Johnson.
Midfielders: Kristie Mewis, Alyssa Kleiner, Tori Huster.
Forwards: Havana Solaun, Katie Stengel, Line Sigvardsen-Jensen.
Bench: Arielle Ship, Cameron Castleberry, Didi Haridic, Lindsay Agnew, Francisca Ordega, Meggie Dougherty.
Ref: Karen Abtar.
AR1: Francisco Bermudez.
AR2: Matthew Osterhouse.
4th: Natalie Simon.
How to Watch
Match Time: 4 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
Streaming: MyLifetime.com or via the Lifetime iOS and Android app (in the U.S.), NWSLSoccer.com or the NWSL app (outside the U.S.).
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride).
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