Welcome to the match thread for Sunday’s match as the Orlando Pride (4-3-3, 15 points) travel to Seattle to take on the second place Reign (5-2-2, 17 points). It’s the second of three scheduled meetings on the year and the only one in Seattle. The Reign return to Orlando on July 21.
The first match-up between the Pride and Reign ended in a draw — more on that below — and a win for Orlando should be enough to move into second place in the NWSL.
The all-time series is tied, with each splitting the first two games followed by three consecutive draws, for a record of 1-1-3. Earlier this year 5,058 fans came to Orlando City Stadium to see Marta, Monica, and Alanna Kennedy’s return from international duty and were not disappointed. After a failed clearance led to Allie Long getting Seattle on the board first, Marta tied the game up with a perfectly taken free kick, as the game ended 1-1.
In 2016, the Pride’s Sarah Hagen and Lianne Sanderson each scored in a 2-0 victory. Just two and a half months later Seattle dominate the Pride, 5-2. Last season, nothing could separate the two teams and they ended up a pair of draws.
Injuries and international duty are set to make a huge impact in tonight’s game. Orlando could be without eight players. Camila (right knee surgery), Ali Krieger (right knee sprain), Marta (left calf strain), Rachel Hill (left groin strain), Ashlyn Harris (international duty), and Alex Morgan (international duty) will all definitely be out. Monica (right knee soreness) and Toni Pressley (left quad strain) are listed as questionable. Seattle is in a tiny bit better situation but will still be without key players. Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe will join Morgan and Harris with the United States Women’s National Team and three other players are out with injuries — Yael Averbuch (illness), Jaycie Johnson (right knee sprain), and Megan Oyster (left knee sprain). Also on the injury report is former Pride defender Steph Catley who is questionable with a left groin strain.
With the season closing in on the halfway point, every point now becomes important and the Pride and Reign currently sit in third and second place, respectively. Separated by two points, the winner of this match will take hold of second place, behind the undefeated North Carolina Courage.
Orlando is coming off of a 5-2 win against the Chicago Red Stars and currently have lost just once in seven matches. The Pride have outscored their opponents 14-8 in that span and managed three shutouts. Orlando is also 3-2-1 away from home, and is currently on a four-match unbeaten streak on the road.
On the flip side, Seattle is undefeated at home this season, at 2-0-1, and lost just once in its last six matches. The loss, similar to Orlando, comes at the hands of North Carolina and Jessica McDonald scored the game winner. In their last game, Rapinoe scored her fifth goal of the year — which is one behind league leader Christine Sinclair — to give the Reign a 1-0 victory over bottom of the table Sky Blue FC.
However, this match will not look the same as any of Orlando’s or Seattle’s previous games this season. Because of Jill Ellis calling up the Americans on a busy NWSL weekend, four of the top players in the league — Morgan, Harris, Rapinoe, and Long — will be out. Rapinoe is second on the goal scoring list and has the most shots on goal. Long is in the top five of total passes in the NWSL, Harris has the fourth most saves and is top three in clean sheets, and Morgan remains an integral part of the Pride’s attack for a team that has the second most goals and assists in the league.
Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Haley Kopmeyer.
Defenders: Carson Pickett, Shelina Zadorsky, Monica, Poliana.
Defensive Midfielders: Alanna Kennedy, Dani Weatherholt.
Attacking Midfielders: Chioma Ubogagu, Emily van Egmond, Kristen Edmonds.
Forward: Sydney Leroux.
Bench: Sarah Shimer, Abby Elinsky, Danica Evans, Christine Nairn, Toni Pressley, Lotta Ökvist.
Seattle Reign (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Lydia Williams.
Defenders: Christen Westphal, Lauren Barnes, Kristen Mcnabb, Theresa Nielsen.
Midfielders: Rumi Utsugi, Beverly Yanez, Jessica Fishlock.
Forwards: Kiersten Dallstream, Jodie Taylor, Nahomi Kawasumi.
Bench: Michelle Betos, Elizabeth Addo, Morgan Andrews, Madeline Bauer. Alyssa Kleiner, Jasmyne Spencer.
REF: Danielle Chesky
AR1: Jennifer Garner
AR2: Dan Stupca
4TH: Jeff Arthurholtz
How to Watch
Match Time: 9 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Memorial Stadium — Seattle, WA.
Streaming: NWSLSoccer.com or the NWSL app (outside the U.S.), go90.
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