Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride take on the Houston Dash. This is the second of three meetings this season, The Pride (6-3-4, 22 points) took sole possession of second place in the NWSL this past weekend with a 1-0 win against the Washington Spirit off Alanna Kennedy’s Goal of the Week.
The Pride hold a 5-2-0 advantage in the all-time series. In the first meeting between Orlando and Houston this season, both teams went into the game without a win. The Pride went 0-2-1 to start their 2018 campaign and Houston was 0-1-2. It was a sloppy game that was without many star players — Alanna Kennedy, Marta, Emily van Egmond, Poliana, and Monica were on international duty and Camila was still injured — but Chioma Ubogagu got on the end of a free kick to help the Pride to a 1-0 win.
Orlando won the first three matches in 2016 by a combined score of 5-1, including a 3-1 win in the Pride’s first ever home match, and a pair of 1-0 victories. Houston got its first win in the series with a 4-2 win at home on Sept. 3 of that season as part of the Pride’s eight-match winless streak to close the year.
The teams split their two meetings last year, with the Dash getting their first win in Orlando on June 24, 2017, by a score of 2-0. Current Pride defender Poliana was then a part of the Dash and assisted on both goals to Carli Lloyd and Rachel Daly. Orlando took the first clash of 2017 with a 4-2 win in which Marta scored or assisted on each of Orlando’s goals.
The Pride are currently riding a two-game win streak and have just one loss in the last 10 matches. This great run of form has helped vault the Pride into sole possession of second place, three points clear of third-place Seattle. North Carolina is of course in first place, 11 points ahead of Orlando, after losing just one match. Houston sits on the other end of the table — having won just three games. The Dash are in seventh place.
As mentioned above, this past weekend Orlando traveled up north as it took on the Washington Spirit. The Pride came away with a 1-0 win thanks to Kennedy’s audacious midfield strike. Also in this match was Ashlyn Harris’ award-winning save to deny the Spirit a goal and help the Pride to the win.
Houston is coming off a loss to the hands of the Portland Thorns. Tobin Heath got the scoring started in just the ninth minute but Houston responded right away. Three minutes later, Sofia Huerta scored on her Houston debut after Portland failed to clear the ball and Huerta just had to pass the ball into the back of the net from six yards out. The Thorns were just too strong though, and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic scored in the 33rd minute and Christine Sinclair killed the game off in the 83rd.
If she’s starting, the Pride will look to play through Christine Nairn. The midfielder leads the team in successful crosses/corners, passes into the final third, and chances created, and is also tied for the most assists in the NWSL.
As for the visitors, Orlando will need to keep an eye on Houston newcomer Huerta. The midfielder, along with Taylor Comeau and Clare Polkinghorne, was involved in a three-team trade and made an immediate impact, scoring Houston’s only goal in her first game with her new team.
The injury report looks great for the Pride with only Ali Krieger on it. The defender is listed as questionable with a right knee sprain, but Krieger will most likely miss tonight’s game. While she will obviously be missed, in the three games that she has missed the Pride have had two shutouts, including one from Haley Kopmeyer when Harris was away on international duty on June 3 against Seattle.
The Dash will be without just two players. Kristie Mewis suffered a season-ending ACL injury a few weeks ago and Kyah Simon is listed as questionable with a left ankle sprain.
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Carson Pickett, Shelina Zadorsky, Monica, Poliana.
Forwards: Kristen Edmonds, Alex Morgan, Marta.
Bench: Haley Kopmeyer, Camila, Rachel Hill, Toni Pressley, Emily van Egmond, Chioma Ubogagu, Sydney Leroux.
Houston Dash (4-1-4-1)
Goalkeeper: Jane Campbell.
Defenders: Allysha Chapman, Janine van Wyk, Amber Brooks, Taylor Comeau.
Defensive Midfielder: Clare Polkinghorne,
Midfielders: Kealia Ohai, Rachel Daly, Sofia Huerta, Linda Motlhalo.
Forward: Nichelle Prince.
Bench: Bianca Henninger, Lindsay Agnew, Haley Hanson, Thembi Kgatlana, Veronica Latsko, Savannah Jordan, Kyah Simon.
REF: Kevin Broadley
AR1: Trent van Haitsma
AR2: Walter Heatherly
4TH: Francesco Terranova
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL
Streaming: NWSLSoccer.com or the NWSL app (outside the U.S.), go90.
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