Hey there, Pride fans. As the season creeps closer, I’ve been going over the stats year to year and finding all the moments we could potentially catch in 2019. I was a bit worried taking on the project, because as we all know, the stat keeping for the NWSL is suspect at best. Luckily, I have two things in my favor. One — the Pride’s first season was in 2016. It’s the years before that that get really sketchy. Two — The Mane Land’s own Sean Rollins is a stat-keeping wizard. Spreadsheets. Spreadsheet everywhere! It’s an amazing source of information.
So without further ado, I’m going to lay out some great moments to look for in 2019.
A handful of players are within reach of 5,000 minutes played, and even with international duty, it should be easily attainable for them. Ashlyn Harris is in the lead with 4,436. She’ll need just 6.5 games to break the mark. Behind her, we have Kristen Edmonds (4,096), Dani Weatherholt (4,012), Alex Morgan (3,999), Alanna Kennedy (3,991) and Ali Krieger at 3,925. That’s just shy of a full 12 games to hit the mark.
Edmonds was the first Pride player to notch 50 starts. She did so on Aug. 11, 2018. Right behind her was Harris, getting her 50th on Sept. 8, 2018. Players to look for on reaching that mark are Alex Morgan at 45, then a three-way tie at 44 between Weatherholt, Kennedy, and Krieger. It depends on how much time Marta misses the year due to international duty, but she currently sits at 37 starts. Toni Pressley and Chioma Ubogagu have a shot at 50 this year too, at 35 and 34 starts, respectively.
The team is sitting at 98. So the dream is to see the Pride hit the big 100 on opening day, at home against Portland. As far as individual accomplishments, we should see Morgan (18) and Marta (17) hit 20 career goals for the Pride. The next player within reach of them is Edmonds sitting on nine. So we’ll just have to see how the lineups shake out during the World Cup to see who has a chance of catching the two greats.
Even a march to the 2019 championship isn’t enough matches to get the Pride to 100 games played, so that’s a record for next year. Tom Sermanni left the Pride with a 25-30-14 record after 69 games played. Like Sermanni in 2016, new Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner will have his work cut out for him due to international play taking a lot of starters. But hopefully this will be a year where we see the win column take the lead over the losses. And maybe — just maybe — notch a first ever playoff victory!
So here we are, on the brink of another season, with more than a handful of chances at milestones to look forward to. Did I overlook a record you have your eye on? Let me know in the comments and let’s all just hope no one breaks Marta’s record for most red cards (at one)!
What record are you most excited for?
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