Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride face the Washington Spirit for the second time this season. The Pride (5-3-4) come into this game in a tie for second place in the NWSL with 19 points, but Seattle has the tie-breaker through goal differential. Washington (2-7-4), on the other hand, is second from the bottom of the table with just 10 points through 13 games.
Washington has the edge in the series, going 3-1-2, in the six meetings. largely because of the Spirit winning both head-to-head games in 2016. Orlando’s only win against the Spirit came back on Aug. 8, 2017. After a goalless first half, Marta, Camila, and Morgan each scored in a span of 13 minutes to give Orlando the 3-0 win. However, Orlando has never won an away game against Washington.
In the previous meeting this season, back on March 31, the Pride were missing seven key members of the squad and it was clearly evident in the play. Washington won 2-0 on late goals from Mallory Pugh and Ashley Hatch.
The Pride are coming off of a 3-2 win against Sky Blue FC. Sydney Leroux recorded a brace and Rachel Hill added a late game winner to help the Pride earn just their second home win of the season (2-1-2). They are now unbeaten in eight of their last nine matches.
Meanwhile, Washington is winless in its last four matches, scoring just two goals in that span. However, the Spirit also have two shutouts in those four games and are led by former Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe. Bledsoe has four clean sheets, 63 saves, and an 81% save percentage this season. The ‘keeper leads the league in saves and was the NWSL Player of the Week for weeks 11 and 12.
“If you look at that game [against Washington] at the start of the season, a number of players we were missing and we had virtually zero preseason, without several key players, so we weren’t really up and running at that stage. However, the game this weekend will be equally as difficult as it was at the start of the season,” Tom Sermanni said. “There are no easy games. Whether you’re playing North Carolina Courage at the top or Sky Blue FC at the bottom, every game is difficult in this league.”
For one of the first times all season Orlando will have a (nearly) complete roster. Ali Krieger is the only player out with an injury (right knee sprain) and has been upgraded to questionable, but don’t expect her to make the trip. Dani Weatherholt is the only Pride player listed as “out” on the injury report, as she has an excused absence.
Washington has numerous injuries with Mallory Eubanks (right ankle sprain), Cali Farquharson (left tibial stress injury), Cheyna Matthews (pregnancy), Mallory Pugh (right PCL sprain), Arielle Ship (right ACL recovery), and Havana Solaun (left knee chondral avulsion) all listed as out and Rose Lavelle (left hamstring inflammation) is questionable.
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Carson Pickett, Shelina Zadorsky, Monica, Poliana.
Forwards: Chioma Ubogagu, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux.
Bench: Haley Kopmeyer, Camila, Kristen Edmonds, Rachel Hill, Toni Pressley, Danica Evans, Marta.
Washington Spirit (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Aubrey Bledsoe.
Defenders: Caprice Dydasco, Estelle Johnson, Whitney Church, Taylor Smith.
Midfielders: Tori Huster, Andi Sullivan, Rebecca Quinn.
Forwards: Joanna Lohman, Ashley Hatch, Francisca Ordega.
Bench: Didi Haracic, Rose Lavelle, Tiffany Weimer, Kelsey Wys, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Estefania Banini,
REF: Eric Tattersall.
AR1: Ian Mckay.
AR2: Amilcar Sicaju.
4TH: Jasmine Peralta.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Maryland SoccerPlex — Germantown, MD.
Streaming: NWSLSoccer.com or the NWSL app (outside the U.S.), WatchESPN.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match!