After pulling out a last-minute draw Sunday night, the Orlando Pride (3-0-3, 12 points) return to action this afternoon as they take on Kansas City (0-4-2, 2 points) at Legends Field. This will be the second of two scheduled meetings between the teams this season and the only meeting in Kansas City.
The NWSL returned to Kansas City this year for the first time since FC Kansas City folded in 2017. Although an expansion side, the team features many players from the old Utah Royals SC. Orlando holds a 1-0-0 record in the all-time series between the two teams.
The Pride’s first match against this Kansas City team came on May 30 at Exploria Stadium. Alex Morgan scored the game’s only goal in the 16th minute and the Pride’s defense earned its first shutout of the season in the 1-0 win.
Today’s game features the teams at the top and bottom of the NWSL standings. Courtney Petersen’s last-minute goal Sunday night in a 1-1 draw against Gotham kept the Pride in first place, though they are now tied with the Portland Thorns. Kansas City sits at the bottom of the league with just two points from its first six games.
The Pride enter this game on a six-game unbeaten streak, having yet to lose in 2021. On Sunday night, NJ/NY Gotham FC nearly ended the unbeaten run through a late first-half goal by Caprice Dydasco. But a goal very similar to Dydasco’s by Petersen allowed the Pride to claim a point.
Kansas City faced the Thorns on Sunday. Playing at Providence Park in Portland, Kansas City kept close in every statistical category, but fell 1-0 to the Thorns. Both the Pride and Kansas City are on short rest before playing again this Saturday.
“It’s going to be tough,” Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said regarding the quick turnaround. “But it’s something we’re preparing for and another challenge we want to take on.”
The first game between the Pride and Kansas City at Exploria Stadium was similar to other Pride games this season. The visitors held 55.9% possession but the hosts had most of the chances. The Pride out-shot their opponents 14-9 and 5-0 in shots on goal.
“It’ll be a different game,” Skinner said about today’s match-up. “We are going to be on a baseball field, so it will be a tighter situation. There will be less space, so we have to be more effective. I think set pieces will be key in what we have to do.”
On the injury front, the Pride are relatively healthy. The only injured player is Jade Moore, who continues to recover from a left knee injury. Carrie Lawrence also missed Sunday’s game with a heat illness.
Kansas City is not so fortunate. It is currently missing former Pride midfielder Jordyn Listro (leg), Diana Matheson (foot), Sydney Miramontez (foot), and Arielle Ship (leg) to injuries. Kiki Pickett (thigh) is listed as questionable.
Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Erin McLeod.
Defenders: Courtney Petersen, Phoebe McClernon, Ali Krieger, Gunny Jonsdottir.
Defensive Midfielders: Marisa Viggiano, Chelsee Washington.
Midfielders: Abi Kim, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Erika Tymrak.
Forwards: Sydney Leroux.
Bench: Brittany Wilson, Ally Haran, Konya Plummer, Toni Pressley, Ali Riley, Marta, Taylor Kornieck, Crystal Thomas.
Kansas City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Abby Smith.
Defenders: Katie Bowen, Taylor Leach, Rachel Corsie, Elizabeth Ball.
Midfielders: Gaby Vincent, Lo’eau LaBonta, Victoria Pickett, Jessica Silva.
Forwards: Amy Rodriguez, Mariana Larroquette.
Bench: Nicole Barnhart, Darian Jenkins, Chloe Logarzo, Michelle Maemone, Addie McCain, Maddie Nolf, Desiree Scott, Michele Vasconcelos, Mallory Weber
REF: Samantha Martinez.
AR1: Shane Kennard.
AR2: Melissa Beck.
4TH: Velimir Stefanovic.
How to Watch
Match Time: 2 p.m.
Venue: Legends Field — Kansas City, KS.
Streaming: Paramount+ (U.S.), Twitch (International).
Enjoy the match. Go Pride!