Just as the Orlando Pride started to find their form with their first choice starting lineup, the team has been hit with adversity. Ashlyn Harris was forced to leave Sunday’s game vs. the Seattle Reign in the 24th minute and has been diagnosed with a quadriceps injury near the hip, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel’s Alicia DelGallo. The team announced Harris will miss up to eight weeks with the injury, striking a blow to Pride’s defense.
In addition to missing the Pride’s next eight games, Harris will miss the USWNT’s friendlies in June in Sweden and Norway. If she returns as scheduled, Harris would be back with the Pride in time for the July 22 match at Chicago Red Stars, the week prior to the USWNT hosting the Tournament of Nations. If the expected timeline holds, Harris would miss matches against Sky Blue FC (twice), the Boston Breakers, the Houston Dash (twice), Chicago, the Washington Spirit, and FC Kansas City.
Currently third in the league in saves, Harris was named the team’s captain for the 2017, succeeding Alex Morgan, who is currently finishing the season in Lyon but also out with an injury of her own. Harris won nine NWSL Save of the Week awards last year and was named Goalkeeper of the Year and named to the NWSL First XI. She finished the 2016 season with four shutouts, tied for fifth most in the league, and totaled 62 saves with a 1.33 goals-against-average.
Harris has come up time and time again with game-saving stops and has, at times, single-handedly kept her team in the game.
Signed last week as an emergency keeper, Caroline Stanley will remain with the Pride as a goalkeeper replacement for Harris and will travel to New Jersey for Saturday’s match against Sky Blue FC. Stanley was signed after goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe was ruled out of last weekend’s match with a concussion. Bledsoe’s status for Saturday’s match is still up in the air and the Pride will need to find an additional replacement as a backup to Stanley if she can’t go.
Harris’ injury comes at a time when the Pride are just starting to find their form on the year. Undefeated in their last three despite starting the season with four road games in six matches (and a fifth in seven upcoming this weekend), Tom Sermanni will miss his first-choice keeper.