Welcome to your match thread for today’s match-up between the Orlando Pride (3-3-3, 12 points) and the Houston Dash (2-7-0, 6 points). This is the second of two scheduled meetings between the two sides this season and also the second in consecutive weeks.
The Pride jumped out to a 4-0 lead last weekend at Houston before cruising to a 4-2 victory over the Dash. Marta scored twice and set up goals by Camila and Alanna Kennedy, yet somehow she wasn’t NWSL Player of the Week. Go figure. It was the first road win of the season for Tom Sermanni’s side.
Orlando is 4-1-0 against the Dash with four of those meetings taking place last season. The Pride got their first franchise win against Houston in a 3-1 home victory on April 23, 2016. Alex Morgan and Lianne Sanderson scored for the Pride, along with an Andressa own-goal. Andressa did get the Dash a late consolation goal. The Pride then reeled off a pair of 1-0 wins against Houston — the first coming in the team’s first ever road victory on May 20. Kristen Edmonds’ 81st-minute goal was the difference. The second 1-0 win came in Orlando on June 23 on Spencer’s first goal with the Pride.
Houston got its first victory in the series with a 4-2 home win on Sept. 3. The Dash pulled out to a 3-0 lead but the Pride bagged two to make a game of it before Houston put it away. Kealia Ohai scored twice for the Dash, with Janine Beckie and Poliana also scoring. Morgan and Edmonds scored for Orlando.
Houston continues to languish in last place in the NWSL stadings, with only eight goals scored, 20 conceded, and a -12 goal differential. The Dash feature a pair of familiar faces, as forward Sarah Hagen and defender Cami Levin are both former Orlando players. The Dash have lost six straight games and fired head coach Randy Waldrum, hiring Omar Morales as the replacement.
“The concern with Houston every time we’ve played is that, on paper, they have such a good team. Particularly from midfield forward, they have so many weapons of players that have skill, pace and ability to score goals,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “We really need to get our tactics right and make sure we’re focused 100 percent on this game. I hate to say this, but maybe it was a good thing we coughed up two late goals in that game [last week] because now we certainly know we can’t be going into this game with any complacency.”
Ashlyn Harris (quad) and Alex Morgan (hamstring) are out for Orlando due to injury. The club officially added Morgan back to the roster, waiving forward Christina Burkenroad to make room. For Houston, Bruna Benites (knee) is listed as probable.
Before the game, a moment of silence will be held in honor of former USWNT coach Tony DiCicco, who passed away on Monday. The NWSL will also be providing all players and coaches with a memorial armband featuring DiCicco’s initials.
Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Aubrey Bledsoe.
Defenders: Steph Catley, Toni Pressley, Ali Krieger, Kristen Edmonds.
Defensive Midfielders: Alanna Kennedy, Monica.
Attacking Midfielders: Camila, Marta, Jasmyne Spencer.
Forwards: Rachel Hill.
Bench: Caroline Stanley, Laura Alleway, Chioma Ubogagu, Jamia Fields, Danica Evans, Maddy Evans, Nickolette Driesse.
Houston Dash (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Jane Campbell.
Defenders: Cami Levin, Janine Van Wyk, Amber Brooks, Poliana.
Midfielders:Janine Beckie, Morgan Brian, Andressa.
Forwards: Kealia Ohai, Carli Lloyd, Rachel Daly.
Bench: Lydia Williams, Cari Roccaro, Sarah Hagen, Denise O’Sullivan, Nichelle Prince, Cami Privett, Caity Heap.
Ref: Marco Vega.
AR1: Adrienne McDonald.
AR2: Gjovalin Bori.
4th: Sam Gillispie.
How to Watch
Match Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
Streaming: Lifetime iOS and Android apps and MyLifetime.com (within the U.S.), or NWSLsoccer.com (outside the U.S.).
Twitter: For live updates, follow along at the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride) and on The Mane Land’s Twitter (@TheManeLand).
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