Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (2-0-1, 7 points) take on Kansas City (0-1-2, 2 points). This is the first of two scheduled meetings this season. The teams will play again on June 23 at Kansas City.
Kansas City is in its first year of existence and this will be the first meeting between the two sides. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any history whatsoever. Many of Kansas City’s players migrated over from the old Utah Royals. There will be a few faces that Pride fans will recognize. Former Pride players Kristen Edmonds are now with Kansas City.
The Orlando Pride come into this match as the favorite. The Pride are not only undefeated through the first three matches of the season, but also in first place. The Pride have one of the best defenses early in the season and have allowed just three goals. Alex Morgan has been on fire. The USWNT regular has three goals in her last three games and Sydney Leroux has added a goal in each of the last two matches.
“There’s great energy, great commitment and the group has been wonderful,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “We have to take that energy into the next bout of games. It’s going to be a difficult match. [Kansas City] want to be in ball possession, they want to exploit you, they want to open up the width of the field. They’ve got some very good players and some standouts in midfield, so I think they’ll be expansive and want to dominate the ball to work on their identity, but it just depends on how they come out. It will be an interesting mix, but what we have to do is try and take control as much as we can, dictate the game as much as we can to them.”
Kansas City is coming off a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Red Stars on Wednesday. It was a close contest, but Kansas City allowed two goals three minutes apart in the second half. The expansion side could not come back from the deficit. Kansas City has struggled to find the back of the net this season. It has only scored in one game — a 2-2 draw against Houston.
The Pride played a midweek match against the Portland Thorns and came away with a 2-1 win. It looked like Portland would break away in parts of the match, but Orlando was strong defensively and rarely broke.
Both teams have players on the injury report. Orlando’s Jade Moore continues to miss time with a left knee injury.
Kansas City’s injury report is much more extensive. Lo’eau Labonta (lower right leg), Chloe Logarzo (left hip), Arielle Ship (lower right leg), Diana Matheson (left foot), Kiara Pickett (left thigh), and Taylor Leach (right knee) are out. Abby Smith (right thigh) and Edmonds (left leg) are questionable.
Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Ashlyn Harris.
Defenders: Courtney Petersen, Phoebe McClernon, Ali Krieger, Ali Riley.
Defensive Midfielders: Gunny Jónsdóttir, Marisa Viggiano.
Midfielders: Sydney Leroux, Marta, Taylor Kornieck.
Forward: Alex Morgan.
Bench: Erin McLeod, Ally Haran, Konya Plummer, Toni Pressley, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Chelsee Washington, Abi Kim, Crystal Thomas, Erika Tymak.
Utah Royals (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Abby Smith.
Defenders: Kristen Edmonds, Rachel Corsie, Elizabeth Ball, Katie Bowen.
Midfielders: Jordyn Listro, Addie McCain, Desiree Scott.
Forwards: Mallory Weber, Mariana Larroquette, Darian Jenkins.
Bench: Nicole Barnhart, Michelle Maemone, Kate Del Fava, Jaycie Johnson, Madeline Nolf, Michele Vasconcelos, Amy Rodriguez, Victoria Pickett, Gaby Vincent.
Ref: Alyssa Nichols.
AR1: Maggie Short,
AR2: Albert Escovar.
4th: Sarieni Vasquez.
How to Watch
Match Time: 6 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, FL.
Streaming: Paramount+ (USA), Twitch (International).
Enjoy the match. Go Pride!