It was a historic moment last night when the final whistle sounded in FC Kansas City’s 1-0 road victory over the Seattle Reign. That loss by Seattle officially clinched a playoff spot for the Orlando Pride — the club’s first ever postseason appearance in only its second year of existence.
The Pride season outlook always looked like a team that would start slowly and come together as the new faces learned to work together and Alex Morgan returned from France. That’s exactly what happened, as the squad went winless in its first four games and picked up only one win in its first seven games in 2017.
Predicted finish in 2017: While the Pride on paper have one of the best rosters in the NWSL, there will be a period of coming together that some other teams won’t need – Portland, for example. I expect the teams fighting for the top four spots will be Portland, Seattle, Chicago, North Carolina, and Orlando. Realistically, fans should expect a roster like this to compete and I’m predicting a third-place finish, but I expect Orlando to start slowly and get better throughout the season, provided key players such as Marta, Catley, and Krieger can stay healthy.
Last night, a season of growth paid off as the team claimed one of the NWSL’s four playoff spots. Naturally, the players were excited, and took to social media to express their emotions. Here’s a collection of those reactions:
Officially in the playoffs!— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) September 25, 2017
Really proud of this team and organization. I love representing this city. Ugh, how cool is this @ORLPride— Ashlyn Harris (@Ashlyn_Harris) September 25, 2017
Ayyyyyyyy. Clinchy clinch!!!— Alanna Kennedy (@AlannaKennedy) September 25, 2017
Started from the bottom, now we clinched— Chi (@ChiAlreadyKnow) September 25, 2017
It's a blessing to be apart of this squad ! Excited for the future #VamosOrlando
Got that playoff spot!!!— Rachel Hill (@r_hill3) September 25, 2017
Maybe Steph Catley went to bed early.
Is there a better post to wake up to in the morning? I thiiiiink not https://t.co/erozjYn90g— Stephanie Catley (@stephcatley) September 25, 2017
Reactions weren’t limited to the NWSL squad.