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2019 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Shelina Zadorsky

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How did the Canadian do in her second year in Orlando?

Chicago Red Stars v Orlando Pride Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Canadian international defender Shelina Zadorsky joined the Pride in January of 2018 in a trade with the Washington Spirit in exchange for goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, who went on to win 2019 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year. The Orlando Pride center back finished her second season with the Pride when the 2019 season came to a close. She was almost always Marc Skinner’s first choice center back. The Pride, meanwhile, allowed the most goals in the league in 2019; however, many were self-inflicted and not because of Zadorsky.

Statistical Breakdown

Zadorsky played in 16 matches, all starts. In fact, Zadorsky played the full 90 minutes in each game she played. She took eight shots, but only two found the target, and finished with one goal and no assists. She had a 74% passing accuracy on 583 passes — good enough for the second most passes on the Pride.

Defensively, she made 61 clearances, 11 blocks, 19 interceptions, and boasted a 60% tackle rate. She finished 2018 with 100 clearances and an 81.3% tackle rate, so her defensive numbers were significantly lower this past season. Zadorsky committed six fouls and also drew six fouls on the opposition this season, and received one yellow card.

Best Game

Zadorsky’s best game was the Pride’s 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC on Sept. 29. Zadorsky looked like a seasoned forward in the 18th minute. Claire Emslie sent in an excellent cross off a set piece. The ball somehow trickled to the back post and the center back was there to clean up the mess and give Orlando the 1-0 lead. It was Zadorsky’s first career NWSL goal.

The Canadian finished the match with 50 touches, 34 passes, and an impressive 85% passing accuracy. She had three shots and a game high two shots on target. She had one interception, one block, four clearances, and three recoveries.

2019 Final Grade

Like the majority of the Pride, 2019 was a worse year for Zadorsky than 2018. The Mane Land staff gave Zadorsky a composite grade of 5, down from a 6 in the previous season. Almost all of her stats were worse than in 2018, and the Pride allowed 53 goals. While most of them were not necessarily her fault, the poor performance of the team affected her too. She was arguably the best center back for Orlando, but it still was not good enough.

2020 Outlook

Zadorsky’s 2020 will likely look similar to 2019. Unless she is moved in the off-season, she will again be the number one choice center back and the best defender that Orlando has. Hopefully her numbers jump back up to those of 2018, but I expect her to be back next season and the leader on the back line.


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