Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (0-7-1, 1 point) travel to BBVA Stadium to take on the Houston Dash (3-2-2, 11 points). This is the second of three meetings this season between the Pride and Dash. Houston won earlier in the season, which was also an away Pride match. The final meeting of the season will be in Orlando on Saturday, Aug. 10.
The all-time series between Houston and Orlando is tied. Each team has won five games, and there has never been a draw. The Pride won the first three matches against the Dash. In the first-ever meeting, Alex Morgan and Lianne Sanderson both scored, plus Andressa scored in her own net. This led to a 3-1 Pride win, and Orlando broke the NWSL attendance record with 23,403 fans in attendance.
The Pride followed that win up with back-to-back 1-0 wins. Kristen Edmonds got the game-winner on May 20, 2016, and Jasmyne Spencer netted the lone goal on June 23, 2016. The Dash stormed back in the last meeting of the season though and beat Orlando, 4-2. The game seemed over heading into the final 10 minutes of the match with the Pride down, 3-0. However, Edmonds set up Morgan and then scored on her own to bring the score to 3-2. Orlando was unable to find a third, and Kealia Ohai got her brace in the 94th minute as Houston came away with a 4-2 victory.
The teams split the series in 2017 with each team winning the away match. Marta wreaked havoc on June 17, 2017, with two goals and two assists, as the Pride won 4-2. Orlando won the first game in 2018, but then fell in the final two meetings.
The teams last met on May 5 of this season. The U.S. internationals were all missing, and Marc Skinner’s side desperately missed the attacking force that Morgan brings. Orlando failed to send a single shot on target, and Ohai’s seventh-minute goal won the game for the home side, 1-0. Houston has won four of the previous five meetings and has outscored the Pride 8-3 in those games.
The Orlando Pride have struggled this season, and are in last place in the NWSL. Houston is in sixth place, but the Dash are currently riding a two-match winless streak. Orlando has improved in the previous few games behind its young core and will look to strengthen its play in the final third.
“[Houston’s] a very good team. I’m expecting a very, very good team, well organized, and I’m expecting, as it was last time, a tough game,” Skinner said. “We’ve got to get to a point where we can play anybody. I’m happy with the progress, not the results I will say that, but we’re happy with the progress that the players are showing. If we can limit the mistakes and make the other team make more mistakes we’ll be in a good place.”
Orlando last played on June 1 against the North Carolina Courage and fell to the reigning champions, 3-0. The Pride did well in the first half, and for the first time all season did not allow a goal in the first 45 minutes. The second half was a different story. Rachel Hill missed a golden opportunity in the opening minutes and a rare Haley Kopmeyer mistake occurred in the 60th minute that led to a North Carolina goal. That was all the Courage needed to break out and win 3-0.
The Dash are coming off a 1-1 draw against Reign FC. A poor pass in the 32nd minute led to the Reign going on the counter. Darian Jenkins stole the pass, dribbled down the field, played a terrific through ball to Bethany Balcer, and Balcer had no issue finding the back of the net. It looked like the Dash would lose, but former Pride midfielder Christine Nairn scored from distance in the 90th minute to steal a point.
Both teams will be missing key players tonight because of the World Cup. The Pride will be without Morgan, Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, Alanna Kennedy, Emily van Egmond, Marta, Camila, Shelina Zadorsky, and Claire Emslie. Meanwhile, Lindsay Agnew, Allysha Chapman, Nichelle Prince, Sophie Schmidt, Rachel Daly, Clare Polkinghorne, and Kayla McCoy will be missing for the Dash.
Houston also has a few injuries. Meleana Shim (left ankle) and Veronica Latsko (left knee) are out, and Taylor Comeau (right arm), and Kyah Simon (right thigh) are questionable.
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Haley Kopmeyer.
Defenders: Carson Pickett, Toni Pressley, Morgan Reid, Erin Greening.
Midfielders: Bridget Callahan, Joanna Boyles, Dani Weatherholt.
Forwards: Chioma Ubogagu, Abby Elinsky, Rachel Hill.
Bench: Lainey Burdett, Danica Evans, Hana Kerner, Taylor Porter, Caitlin Farrell, Marisa Viggiano, Alika Keene
Houston Dash (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Jane Campbell.
Defenders: Satara Murray, Amber Brooks, Ally Prisock, Arianna Romero.
Defensive Midfielders: Haley Hanson, Kristie Mewis.
Midfielders: Kealia Ohai, Christine Nairn, Sofia Huerta.
Forwards: Cecelia Kizer.
Bench: Elizabeth Brandon, Ariana Calderón, Jamia Fields, Bianca Henninger, Riley Smith, Devon Kerr, Kyah Simon.
Ref: Samantha Martinez.
AR1: Maggie Short.
AR2: Melissa Gonzalez.
4th: Wilfredo Mejia.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: BBVA Stadium — Houston, TX.
Streaming: Yahoo! Sports app (U.S.), NWSLsoccer.com, 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
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Enjoy the match! Go Pride!