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Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The winless Pride take on the defending NWSL champs.

Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (0-6-1, 1 point) take on the reigning NWSL champions, the North Carolina Courage (2-2-3, 9 points). This is the second of three meetings scheduled this season, with the final meeting taking place on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at 7 p.m. in North Carolina.

There was plenty of news surrounding the Pride this past week. The Pride announced that they will have the NWSL’s first ever “customized, exclusive training facility.” Orlando also signed Scotland international Claire Emslie. However, both of these moves will not affect the Pride this weekend, and Head Coach Marc Skinner will have to continue to work with what he has to earn his first NWSL win.


This will be the eighth meeting between Orlando and North Carolina. The Courage lead the all-time series, 5-2-0, with four of those wins coming in the last four games. These teams also played this preseason, where the Courage dominated the Pride, 4-0. The Courage franchise was formerly known as the Western New York Flash before relocating after the 2016 season, and the teams split their two matches when the Courage were still the Flash.

The Pride went 2-1-0 against the Courage during their first year in North Carolina in 2017. In the first meeting of the season Jessica McDonald, Samantha Mewis, and Lynn Williams all found the back of the net as North Carolina won, 3-1. The Pride got revenge a few weeks later as they won, 3-1, and got their first win of 2017.

The final match of 2017 was probably the best match of the series, and possibly in Orlando Pride history. It was a back-and-forth affair, and the Pride found themselves up 2-0 with goals from Kristen Edmonds and Marta. Williams haunted the Pride again, as she recorded a second-half brace and the game looked to be heading to a draw. However, Alanna Kennedy found the game-winner in stoppage time off a perfect free kick that put Orlando into third place in the final league standings — the club’s best finish to date.

Last season, North Carolina dominated the Pride, winning the three games by a combined scoreline of 10-3. The last meeting of 2018 looked like the one Orlando would finally win as the Pride were the better team. However, play was suspended in the 22nd minute and had to be resumed the next day. Upon the restart, it once again was all North Carolina, as the Courage came away with a 3-0 victory.

The last time these teams played was April 17. The Pride had one of their best performances to date this season in the first 45 minutes. However, self-inflicted wounds cost Orlando and North Carolina ran away with it in the second half, winning 5-0.


This will be one of the most intriguing matches of the season. Both North Carolina and Orlando are heavily impacted by the World Cup and have a combined 16 players in France. Both teams are also looking very poor compared to last year. The Courage were almost unbeatable in 2018 and now find themselves in seventh place. The Pride ended on a poor note but were in the playoff mix for most of last season and yet are still in search of their first win of 2019.

“[North Carolina is] a good team, I think they’re hurting a bit at the minute, but they’re the championship team for a reason,” Skinner said in a club press release. “They know how to win, they know how to come back from disappointing results. I think what we’re trying to get with this [Pride] team is that they want to take on anyone and that’s all I can ask. I think they’ll be ready to take on North Carolina, I think they’ll want to beat North Carolina. They want to go and beat them and I think that’s the character that we’re trying to create and I know we’re starting to get there.”

It will be difficult for Orlando, as the Pride have struggled to start the season. A few themes have developed in the first seven matches. First, Orlando has been outplayed in just about every game. Skinner’s side is constantly bested and struggle to get into games. However, the majority of the goals allowed have been because of individual mistakes like poor decisions, not tracking back, and turnovers. The Pride have also struggled in the final third and have the fewest shots on goal in the league.

North Carolina has the most shots on goal and is tied for most goals scored. A good note for Orlando though is that without North Carolina’s international players only Lynn Williams has scored multiple times this season.

Of course, Orlando has only found the back of the net twice and both have come from center backs off of set pieces. Skinner has been adamant about getting more player movement this season and he will want to see better ball control in the final third to lead to ,more goal-scoring opportunities.

Orlando is coming off of a 2-0 loss to the league-leading Utah Royals. Utah dominated the entire match and Orlando never looked like it had a chance at winning.

North Carolina is coming off of a 2-1 loss to Reign FC. Bethany Balcer and Shea Groom scored for Reign FC and went up 2-0. Abby Erceg scored in the 89th minute but the Courage could not find the equalizer.

Orlando will be without Sydney Leroux (maternity leave) as well as its nine players in France for the World Cup — Alex Morgan (USA), Ali Krieger (USA), Ashlyn Harris (USA), Alanna Kennedy (AUS), Emily van Egmond (AUS), Marta (BRA), Camila (BRA), Shelina Zadorsky (CAN), Claire Emslie (SCO).

The Courage will be missing Abby Dahlkemper (USA), Crystal Dunn (USA), Jessica McDonald (USA), Samantha Mewis (USA), Stephanie Labbé (CAN), Debinha (BRA), and Abby Erceg (NZL) for the World Cup. Additionally, Hailey Harbison (left knee) and Julie King (left thigh) are out injured and both Denise O’Sullivan (right thigh) and Peyton Perea (left thigh) are questionable.

Official Lineups

Orlando Pride (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: Haley Kopmeyer.

Defenders: Carson Pickett, Toni Pressley, Morgan Reid, Erin Greening.

Midfielders: Marisa Viggiano, Bridget Callahan, Dani Weatherholt.

Forwards: Chioma Ubogagu, Abby Elinsky, Rachel Hill.

Bench: Lainey Burdett, Danica Evans, Hana Kerner, Taylor Porter, Caitlin Farrell, Joanna Boyles, Alika Keene.

North Carolina Courage (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Samantha Leshnak.

Defenders: Jaelene Hinkle, Kaleigh Kurtz, Cari Roccaro, Ryan Williams.

Defensive Midfielders: Denise O’Sullivan, Merritt Mathias.

Midfielders: Lynn Williams, McCall Zerboni, Kristen Hamilton.

Forwards: Leah Pruitt.

Bench: Katelyn Rowland, Heather O’Reilly, Meredith Speck, Julia Spetsmark, Ally Haran, Elizabeth Eddy, Shannon Horgan.


Ref: Eric Tattersall.

AR1: Jennifer Garner.

AR2: Kaili Terry.

4th: Jamie Willis.

How to Watch

Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Venue: Orlando City Stadium – Orlando, FL.

TV: None.

Streaming: Yahoo! Sports app (U.S.),, NWSL app (international).

Twitter: For live updates, follow along at the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride) and on The Mane Land’s Twitter (@TheManeLand).

Match Thread Rules

This is your live thread for posting comments on the match. So use our comments section below to talk about the game in real time with other supporters. If you’re new, welcome to our happy home! While you’re here, please observe a few basic rules:

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Enjoy the match! Go Pride!