Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (3-9-2, 11 points) take on the Houston Dash (5-7-4, 19 points) at Exploria Stadium. This is the third and final meeting between the two teams this season. Houston currently sits in seventh place with the Pride eight points behind in eighth place. If the Pride lose, Orlando could drop to the bottom of the table with a Sky Blue FC win on Wednesday.
The all-time series between Houston and Orlando is tied. Each team has won five games and the clubs drew in the last meeting that ended 2-2 back on June 15, 2019. Joanna Boyles got her first professional goal off a free kick on the edge of the 18. The ball sailed into the side netting and the Pride went up 1-0 early. Orlando took that lead into halftime, but the Dash stormed back and scored two unanswered goals. Minutes later, Danica Evans scored the game-tying goal, and it finished 2-2.
The first meeting this year occurred on May 5. With the U.S. internationals away on international duty, the Pride desperately missed the attacking force that Alex Morgan brings. Orlando failed to send a single shot on target and Kealia Ohai’s seventh-minute goal won the game for the home side, 1-0.
Orlando won the first game in 2018, 1-0 at home off of Chioma Ubogagu’s 65th-minute goal. But, the Pride then fell in the final two meetings last season by a combined score of 5-2. The teams split the series in 2017 with each team winning the away match.
The Pride won the first three matches against the Dash. In the first-ever meeting, 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 for a goal and then scored on her own to bring the score to 3-2. Orlando was unable to find a third though and Ohai got her brace in the 94th minute as Houston came away with a 4-2 victory.
The Pride haven’t played in a few weeks, but plenty of news has surrounded the team lately. After coming back from the World Cup, Marta has taken the league by storm. She has four goals in just as many games and was named to the NWSL Team of the Month.
The club announced on Wednesday that Orlando Pride original and starting center back Toni Pressley has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Pressley has begun treatment already and had surgery last week. Here’s to hoping the best for the 29-year-old, who has the fifth-most appearances in Pride history.
Orlando then announced the signing of defender Julie King on Thursday. The 29-year-old brings a vast amount of experience to the Pride, having spent five years in the NWSL. King is available to play tonight, but given the short amount of time that she has been with the team, it is unlikely.
In its previous game, Orlando beat Sky Blue, 1-0. Marisa Viggiano’s first professional goal gave the Pride their first shutout win of the season in front of the biggest home crowd since 2017. It was not the best performance from Orlando but it was enough to get the three points. Houston played last week and fell to Reign FC, 1-0. While the Dash dominated the stats — leading in shots, shots on goal, corners, total passes, and possession— Rosie White’s first goal for the Reign in her second game was too much for Houston.
The Pride are expected to have a few individual player accolades tonight. Ashlyn Harris is expected to make her 100th regular-season appearance in the NWSL. Meanwhile, Ali Krieger could make her 50th start and appearance for the Pride.
Marta currently leads the team with four goals on the season, and Ubogagu is the only other player with multiple goals, with three. Ubogagu has never had more than four goals in a season for Orlando, so she is nearing a career high.
The Dash will be without three players due to season-ending injuries: Veronica Latsko (left knee), Kayla McCoy (left knee), Nichelle Prince (right knee). Orlando has two players out — Sydney Leroux, who returned to training this past week, and Pressley. Morgan (knee) is listed as questionable but Head Coach Marc Skinner said the team is targeting her return for next week. Alanna Kennedy (thigh) is also listed as questionable.
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Carson Pickett, Shelina Zadorsky, Julie King, Ali Krieger.
Midfielders: Marisa Viggiano, Alanna Kennedy, Joanna Boyles.
Forwards: Chioma Ubogagu, Marta, Claire Emslie.
Bench: Haley Kopmeyer, Erin Greening, Morgan Reid, Camila, Rachel Hill, Dani Weatherholt, Kristen Edmonds.
Houston Dash (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Jane Campbell.
Defenders: Allysha Chapman, Amber Brooks, Clare Polkinghorne, Haley Hanson
Midfielders: Sophie Schmidt, Kristie Mewis, Kealia Ohai.
Forwards: Jamia Fields, Rachel Daly, Sofia Huerta.
Bench: Lindsay Agnew, Bianca Henninger, Cecelia Kizer, Ariana Calderón, Kyah Simon, Ally Prisock, Cami Privett.
Ref: Reyna Fonseca.
AR1: Katarzyna Wasiak.
AR2: Jordan Davis.
4th: Alex Billeter.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, FL.
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 with The Mane Land’s Twitter live tweeting the Orlando City game, you can follow along at my own account, @scottcarnevale.
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!