Welcome to your match thread for tonight’s match-up between the Orlando Pride (4-5-4, 16 points) and FC Kansas City (3-6-4, 13 points). This is the second of three scheduled meetings between the two sides this season. The Pride will return to Swope Soccer Village on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. to complete the series.
The Pride are coming off a draw and a loss in which both times the opposition scored on a late penalty kick to siphon points away from Orlando in the standings. This is not a hat trick the Pride will be shooting for, obviously, but conceding late goals has been a problem for Tom Sermanni’s team this season, including in the first meeting between these two clubs. Orlando and FCKC drew 1-1 back on May 7. After Marta put Orlando up in the 74th minute, Erika Tymrak equalized in the 84th minute on a scramble off a free kick given for what appeared to be routine incidental contact off the ball.
FC Kansas City swept the two matches last season, outscoring the Pride, 4-1. In the first meeting, Orlando lost 2-0 at Swope Soccer Village on May 28 of last year without key regulars Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, Kristen Edmonds, and Laura Alleway. After a scoreless first half, Yael Averbuch scored on a free kick that deflected in off Lianne Sanderson and Tymrak added an insurance marker.
The Pride led the return leg 1-0 at the break in Orlando, but FCKC scored twice in the second half to steal all three points with a 2-1 win in what we thought was Becky Edwards’ last professional game (she’s now playing overseas). Jasmyne Spencer opened the scoring for the Pride with this tremendous strike:
The visitors leveled when an Ashlyn Harris save off Heather O’Reilly bundled in off of Tiffany McCarty. O’Reilly got the game winner on a penalty in the final 10 minutes.
The Pride are just 2-2-1 at home this season — losing their last two — but FC Kansas City is just 1-5-1 away from Swope Soccer Village in 2017. The visitors enter on an overall winless streak of six games (0-4-2), entering on the heels of three straight losses — most recently a 3-2 loss at Sky Blue FC, in which Sam Kerr’s 12-minute hat trick erased a 2-0 deficit for the hosts. Orlando is winless in two (0-1-1) after late Toni Pressley penalties gave the Washington Spirit a 2-2 draw and the Chicago Red Stars a 1-0 win in the last two weeks. Last week’s at Washington was particularly painful because it came in the 90th minute and stole two points away instead of one.
Kansas City’s defense boasts USWNT center back Becky Sauerbrunn, who may be the world’s best defender, and goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart is difficult to beat. Sydney Leroux leads her club with three goals this season. Shea Groom was sent off last week and will miss this match. Kansas City will also be without Amy Rodriguez after she unfortunately tore her ACL in FCKC’s season opener. Alex Arlitt (left knee patella tendinopathy), and Amanda Laddish (right hip surgery) are also out.
Ashlyn Harris is nearing a return from a quad injury but is still out for this match.
“We need to [get back on track]. Not only have we had two losses at home, we haven’t scored in two games at home. We scored nine goals in three games away from home. We’re a goal scoring team and we create chances and we need to do that at home. We need to do it, firstly, to get points. This for me is one of those ‘must-win’ games,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “Secondly, we need to perform in front of our spectators. We have an unbelievable group of fans and we need to put a show on for them and part of that is to score goals.”
Pride fans can prep for this game by checking out our Kristen Edmonds interview on this week’s PawedCast:
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Aubrey Bledsoe.
Defenders: Steph Catley, Toni Pressley, Ali Krieger, Camila.
Midfielders: Dani Weatherholt, Marta, Alanna Kennedy.
Attacking Midfielders: Chioma Ubogagu, Alex Morgan, Rachel Hill,
Bench: Caroline Stanley, Kristen Edmonds, Jamia Fields, Monica, Jasmyne Spencer, Maddy Evans, Danica Evans.
FC Kansas City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Nicole Barnhart.
Defenders: Becca Moros, Becky Sauerbrunn, Yael Averbuch, Brittany Taylor.
Midfielders: Brittany Radcliffe, Christina Gibbons, Desiree Scott, Katie Bowen.
Forwards: Sydney Leroux, Erika Tymrak.
Bench: Catherine Parkhill, Caroline Flynn, Maegan Kelly, Alexa Newfield.
Ref: Greg Dopka.
AR1: John Krill.
AR2: Gregory Brigman.
4th: Erika Barahona.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
Streaming: go90.com, go90 iOS and Android app (in the U.S.), NWSLSoccer.com or the NWSL app (outside the U.S.).
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