Welcome to your match thread for this afternoon’s match-up between the Orlando Pride (7-6-5, 26 points) and the Boston Breakers (3-8-7, 16 points) at Jordan Field. This is the second of three scheduled meetings between the two sides this season. The Breakers return to Orlando on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. to complete the season set.
Orlando is 2-1-0 against the Breakers, capturing the first meeting of 2017, 2-0 on June 3 at Orlando City Stadium. Marta and Jasmyne Spencer both scored within the game’s first quarter of an hour to provide all the game’s offense. Aubrey Bledsoe made three saves for the shutout, as Orlando out-shot the Breakers, 18-8 (6-3 on target).
The teams split the season series last year, with the Pride winning the first meeting at home, 2-1, on July 10, 2016. Kristen Edmonds’ brace erased a 1-0 deficit in the closing minutes of the match to lift the Pride. Mollie Pathman scored Boston’s goal. The Breakers avenged that loss with a 1-0 home win on July 31 of last year. Natasha Dowie scored the game’s only goal.
Orlando is coming off a 5-0 drubbing of Sky Blue FC last Saturday at home, with both Marta and Alex Morgan scoring a brace and Dani Weatherholt scoring her first pro goal. Ashlyn Harris returned to action with a clean sheet. The Pride, who are just 2-4-3 on the road in 2017 have won two straight games and are 2-0-1 in the last three. Boston, meanwhile, is winless in its last six games (0-2-4). The Breakers are 3-3-3 at home, however, so the Pride will have to work for the points.
“We need to start well [on Saturday]. We need to start positively, we need to start quickly and we need to get straight at Boston to really put them under pressure,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “They’ll be, like most of the teams in this league, very well-organized, hardworking, they’ll be robust. They have a couple high-quality players in the team, particularly Adriana Leon, who has played very well recently and is a handful when she’s playing well, and Rosie White in midfield who is very creative. So those two are a pair we’ll have to keep our eye on.”
Leon leads the Breakers with five goals on the season, good for a fifth-place tie with Orlando’s Alex Morgan and several others for fifth in the NWSL. She’s also tied for fourth in the league in assists, with four. Natasha Dowie, who scored in Boston’s midweek loss to Houston, is right behind Leon, with four goals. White leads the NWSL in fouls committed (36) and yellow cards (6), breaking up play in the midfield.
Orlando is fairly healthy. Rachel Hill (right ankle sprain) is probable. For Boston, Brooke Elby (left ankle surgery), Rose Lavelle (strained left hamstring), and Christen Westphal (right foot nerve damage) are out and Allysha Chapman (groin strain) is probable. It will be the final game for midfielder Amanda Da Costa, who announced yesterday that she’s retiring to finish school.
Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Steph Catley, Ali Krieger, Monica, Kristen Edmonds.
Defensive Midfielders: Alanna Kennedy, Dani Weatherholt.
Attacking Midfielders: Chioma Ubogagu, Camila, Marta.
Forward: Alex Morgan.
Bench: Aubrey Bledsoe, Toni Pressley, Rachel Hill, Danica Evans, Jamia Fields, Nickolette Driesse, Jasmyne Spencer.
Boston Breakers (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Abby Smith.
Defenders: Amanda Frisbie, Julie King, Megan Oyster, Margaret Purce.
Midfielders: Rosie White, Angela Salem, Morgan Andrews.
Forwards: Ifeoma Onumonu, Allysha Chapman, Katie Stengel.
Bench: Sammy Jo Prudhomme, Natasha Dowie, Adriana Leon, Tiffany Weimer, Amanda DaCosta.
Ref: Gustavo Solorio.
AR1: Gjovalin Bori.
AR2: Ian McKay.
4th: Thomas Snyder.
How to Watch
Match Time: 4 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Jordan Field — Cambridge, MA.
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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