The all-time series between the Dash and the Pride is nearly even. Orlando trails slightly, thanks to a draw in Houston last season. The Pride’s record is 5-6-1 in four years. The series is split in Orlando, with each team winning three matches. In Houston, the Dash have a slight edge, 3-2-1.
The Pride won the first three matches against the Dash. Alex Morgan and Lianne Sanderson both scored in the first-ever meeting, plus Andressa scored in her own net. This led to a 3-1 Pride win as Orlando broke the NWSL attendance record at the time, 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 herself to bring the Pride within one goal. Orlando could not find a third, though, and Kealia Ohai got her brace in the 94th minute as Houston came away with a 4-2 victory.
In 2018, Orlando won the first game 1-0 at home off of Chioma Ubogagu’s 65th-minute goal. 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 went winless in three matches against Houston last season. While that was the trend as a whole in 2019, each match against the Dash was decided by no more than a goal. The first meeting of 2019 occurred on May 5. With the U.S. internationals away on international duty, the Pride desperately missed the attacking force that Morgan brought. Orlando failed to send a single shot on target, and Ohai’s seventh-minute goal won the game for the home side, 1-0. The clubs drew in the second 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, 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.
On Aug. 10, 2019, Marta and Julie King were both issued red cards. The match started out slowly but picked up in the final minutes. It was King’s first appearance for the Pride, but she only lasted an hour after fouling Kristie Mewis and earning a straight red. Edmonds tripped Ohai in the box in the 85th minute. This led to a scuffle, and Marta was issued a straight red. Sofia Huerta converted the spot kick, and then Houston played defensively for the last five minutes and stoppage time to win the match, 1-0.
The Pride are coming off an impressive goalless draw against the North Carolina Courage. Orlando’s roster was loaded with rookies and second-year players and played against a Courage team that it had lost to in the previous six meetings. Both teams had chances and hit the woodwork, but were unable to find that decisive goal.
Houston, champions of the NWSL Challenge Cup, did not play last week, but two weeks ago, the Dash also faced the Courage. This was an entirely different match from the Pride’s. North Carolina won 4-3 in a back-and-forth match that saw five lead changes and six different goal scorers. Debinha led the way with a brace, including the game-winner in the 86th minute. Houston had more passes (437-355), duels won (49-36), tackles won (21-11), and possession (55%-45%) than the Courage. However, they were also playing with 10 players after Allysha Chapman received her second yellow card in the 53rd minute.
“We’re playing two totally different opposition, the wonderful thing is that they’re both top teams,” said Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner in a club press release. “In terms of Houston, after their success in the Challenge Cup, they have come back and you can see they were full of vigor and full of life against North Carolina. It’ll be a different challenge, they’ll offer a different system, a different opportunityto play against, which gives an opportunity for some of our players to expose that and to be exposed into that as well. I expect it to be an extremely tough challenge like North Carolina was, but in a slightly different way.”
Last week, five players made their first NWSL debut — Carrie Lawrence, Courtney Petersen, Jordyn Listro, Chelsee Washington, and Deneisha Blackwood. This has been a trend for Skinner in his first two seasons in Orlando. Among the many players who he gave debuts to last year were Marisa Viggiano and Abby Elinksy, who both started a week ago.
Houston has a couple of former Pride players in Jamia Fields and Christine Nairn. Fields made 28 appearances (13 starts) in 2016 and 2017 for the Pride. Nairn also had 13 starts for the Pride and an additional seven appearances off the bench. Neither player was too successful in front of the net as they combined for just one goal.
The Pride do not have anyone on their injury report. Houston has a few players who will miss the match — Kayla McCoy (left knee), Bridgette Andrzejewski (general illness), and Erin Simon (unavailable – personal). Megan Oyster is questionable with a rib injury.
Orlando Pride (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Carrie Lawrence, Ali Krieger, Toni Pressley, Courtney Petersen.
Midfielders: Abby Elinsky, Marisa Viggiano, Jordyn Listro, Chelsee Washington.
Forwards: Marta, Savanah Uveges.
Bench: Brittany Wilson, Ally Haran, Konya Plummer, Deneisha Blackwood, Kate Howarth.
Houston Dash (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Jane Campbell.
Defenders: Brianna Visalli, Katie Naughton, Ally Prisock, Haley Hanson.
Midfielders: Kristie Mewis, Sophie Schmidt, Shea Groom.
Forwards: Christine Nairn, Veronica Latsko, Nichelle Prince.
Bench: Lindsey Harris, Katie Stengel, Cami Privett, Jamia Fields, Jaci Jones, Maegan Kelly, Megan Oyster.
REF: Alyssa Nichols.
AR1: Tiffini Turpin.
AR2: Jennifer Garner.
4th: Gloria Resendiz.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: BBVA Stadium – Houston, TX.
Enjoy the match! Go Pride!