Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (7-7-7, 28 points) take on the Chicago Red Stars (8-8-5, 29 points) in Bridgeview, IL. This is the second of three meetings between the two teams this season. The final game will take place on Oct. 29 in Orlando — the final game of the regular season.
The Pride are 4-7-1 against the Red Stars, dating back to 2016. However, all four of those wins have come at SeatGeek Stadium, the location of tonight’s game.
The most recent meeting between the two teams came on Aug. 8 in Bridgeview. The Pride entered the game on a six-game winless streak, having lost multiple starters to the Olympics. Relatively new arrival Jodie Taylor scored a 15th-minute goal and Sydney Leroux doubled the lead just before full time as the Pride came away with the 2-0 win.
Due to the global pandemic, the most recent game prior to this season came in 2019. On June 30, 2019 in Orlando, Sam Kerr was the star of the game, netting a hat trick. The Pride stayed close with goals by Chioma Ubogagu and Marta, but it wasn’t enough as the visitors escaped with a 3-2 win.
The Pride got the upper hand on Aug. 21, 2019 in Bridgeview. Goals by Rachel Hill and Ubogagu on either side of halftime lifted the Pride to a 2-1 win. Sept. 11, 2019 was the final meeting that season at Exploria Stadium. The game appeared to be headed for a draw, but Chicago’s Casey Short scored five minutes into second-half stoppage time, allowing the Red Stars to claim all three points with the 1-0 win.
The 2018 season saw the Pride take two of three games against the Red Stars. On May 2, 2018, Ubogagu and Hill both scored as the Pride won 2-0. The second meeting on May 26 of that year saw the Pride jump out to an early lead, with Hill and Alex Morgan goals coming inside 10 minutes. Leroux and Kerr both scored braces in the game and the Pride ended with a high-scoring 5-2 victory.
The final match-up came on Aug. 25, 2018 as the Pride looked for the season sweep at home. The Red Stars stunned the Pride with goals by Kerr and Vanessa DiBernardo just before the half. Morgan got one back for the Pride in the second half, but the late first-half attack was enough for the Red Stars, who handed the Pride a 3-1 loss.
The teams’ first two games of 2017 were the Christen Press show. The U.S. international scored the lone goal in a 1-0 Red Stars win on July 1, 2017 in Orlando. The Pride got their first goal against Chicago on July 22, 2017 through Alanna Kennedy, but Press had already scored a brace, leading her team to a 2-1 win.
The Pride finally claimed their first point against Chicago after five tries in the final meeting of 2017. Morgan gave the Pride the lead in the 24th minute, but Sofia Huerta equalized in the 55th, resulting in a 1-1 draw.
The 2016 season saw the two teams meet for the first time and Chicago took both games. On May 1, 2016 in Bridgeview, Press’ 65th-minute strike led the hosts to a 1-0 win. The return game was on July 16, 2016 at Camping World Stadium and ended with the same result, except this time it was Taylor Comeau scoring in a 1-0 Red Stars victory.
Tonight’s game is a makeup of the postponed match from Oct. 2 and is the antepenultimate game of the season. The Pride come into this game after falling in their last two previous matches.
After falling 3-0 to OL Reign, the Pride took to the field Saturday night against NJ/NY Gotham FC for the first time in two weeks. An early first-half goal and two quick second-half strikes put the Pride behind. But a late surge made it interesting. A mistake by Kailen Sheridan allowed Erika Tymrak to score in the 84th minute and Marta converted a penalty five minutes later. The Pride hit the post in injury time but came up just short in a 3-2 loss.
The Red Stars have been in better form recently, ending a five-game unbeaten run with a 3-2 loss to the Reign over the weekend. Tonight’s hosts have had a good offensive output in the last two games, scoring four goals and all by different players.
The Pride and Red Stars come into this game in a similar situation. They’re the first two teams out of the playoffs, but are within striking distance of Gotham FC and the Washington Spirit.
It’s a must-win for both teams, and the Pride need a defensive performance that’s been missing after giving up six goals in their last two games. It will be a difficult task to control the team’s three top scorers — Mallory Pugh, Kealia Watt, and former Pride forward Hill.
The Pride will also need better offensive output by its attackers. Taylor, Morgan, and Leroux have been kept off the scoresheet the last two games and Marta’s only goal came on a penalty. That’s not good enough for a foursome that has scored 19 of the team’s 26 goals this season.
The Pride enter this game in a relatively healthy state. The only two Pride players injured are Jade Moore (left knee) and Viviana Villacorta (knee surgery), who have been injured all year. They’re joined by Parkers Roberts (COVID protocol) as players that are on the injured list for this game.
Additionally, the Pride will be missing Meggie Dougherty Howard tonight, who is out for yellow card accumulation.
The Red Stars will play without two key starters. U.S. internationals Julie Ertz (right thigh) and Alyssa Naeher (right knee) remain missing for Chicago.
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Courtney Petersen, Amy Turner, Ali Krieger, Ali Riley.
Midfielders: Marisa Viggiano, Marta, Gunny Jonsdottir.
Forwards: Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Jodie Taylor.
Bench: Erin McLeod, Carrie Lawrence, Phoebe McClernon, Toni Pressley, Kylie Strom, Erika Tymrak, Abi Kim, Taylor Kornieck, Crystal Thomas.
Chicago Red Stars (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Cassie Miller.
Defenders: Casey Krueger, Sarah Gorden, Tierna Davidson, Arin Wright.
Midfielders: Morgan Gautrat, Vanessa DiBernardo, Sarah Woldmoe.
Forward: Rachel Hill, Kealia Watt, Mallory Pugh.
Bench: Emily Boyd, Katie Johnson, Kayla Sharples, Bianca St. Georges, Tatumn Milazzo, Ella Stevens, Nikki Stanton, Makenzy Doniak, Danielle Colaprico.
REF: Karen Abt.
AR1: Ethan Buege.
AR2: Kaitlyn Trowbridge.
4TH: Calin Sadosav.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8 p.m.
Venue: SeatGeek Stadium — Bridgeview, IL.
Streaming: Twitch (Global).
Twitter: For live updates, follow along at the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride) and The Mane Land’s Twitter feed (@TheManeLand).
Enjoy the match. Go Pride!