Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (2-5-2, 8 points) and Racing Louisville FC (2-4-3, 9 points) face off at Daytona International Speedway. The game is a part of the 2022 Daytona SoccerFest, a two-day event that also includes a friendly between Colombian rivals Deportivo de Cali and America de Cali on Saturday and a legends game on Sunday. This is the first of two scheduled meetings between the sides this season, with the Pride making the trip to Louisville on Sept. 16.
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s game.
Racing Louisville joined the NWSL last season as an expansion team, so the teams have only met during one season. The teams met once in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup and three times during the regular season with the Pride going 1-1-2 (1-1-1 in the regular season and 0-0-1 in the Challenge Cup).
The first meeting between the two teams was their Challenge Cup opener in Louisville. The hosts took the lead in the 12th minute as Cece Kizer scored the first competitive goal in Racing Louisville history. Taylor Kornieck gave the Pride the lead just before the half and Abi Kim scored the apparent winner in the 88th minute. However, Brooke Hendrix beat Toni Pressley to a header three minutes into injury time, scoring and lifting the hosts to a 2-2 draw.
The teams met for the first time in the regular season on July 9 at Exploria Stadium. Ebony Salmon gave Louisville the lead in the 21st minute, and it appeared as though the visitors would claim all three points. But Sydney Leroux equalized four minutes into second-half injury time, allowing the Pride to pull out a 1-1 draw.
The second regular season game was on Sept. 11 in Orlando. Leroux gave the Pride the lead in the 30th minute and Marta doubled the lead in the 34th minute. Louisville got one back in the 51st minute through Kizer, but Alex Morgan put the game away in the 65th minute and the Pride won 3-1.
The most recent meeting came last Oct. 16 in Louisville. The Pride took an early lead when Jodie Taylor struck in the third minute. But that was the end of the scoring for the Pride and Louisville took over. Salmon scored a minute into first-half injury time, Katie McClure scored in the 52nd minute, and Yuki Nagasato made the final score 3-1 to Louisville.
The Pride enter this game on a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) and a three-game losing streak. Even though the game is in Daytona instead of Orlando, this is the team’s first home game since May 27, a 2-2 draw with the Washington Spirit. They recently finished a three-game road trip that included a 5-0 loss to the Houston Dash, a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, and a 6-0 loss to the Portland Thorns.
The likelihood of ending their three-game scoring drought this weekend became more difficult when the team traded Leroux to Angel City FC on Wednesday. The trade adds to the fact that the team is already without Marta, who is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL during the Challenge Cup.
Similar to the Pride, Louisville went into its June 17 game on a three-game losing streak. However, Racing bounced back in its most recent game with a 2-2 draw with the Spirit.
Racing Louisville is led offensively by Nadia Nadim and Jessica McDonald. Nadim leads the team with three goals this year. After McDonald transferred from North Carolina during the off-season, the forward has recorded two goals and three assists in nine games for her new club.
“It’s gonna be a great event for both parties,” Interim Head Coach Seb Hines said about the game in Daytona. “They have some threats. They have some experienced players, in terms of Gemma Bonner and Jess McDonald, who we have to be aware of. But looking back in our last game, we’ve got things to prove going into this game. You know, there’s been a different mindset in training sessions after Portland and I expressed that our fundamentals need to be better. And the players have shown this in the last two training sessions since we’ve come back from the break. So really excited for the game. It’s going to be a great event for everyone. And looking to get three points and technically get that first win at home.”
The Pride have four players listed as out for this historic event. The team’s injury list includes Marta (SEI), Leah Pruitt (knee), Julie Doyle (ankle), and Angharad James (excused absence). Additionally, the Pride will be missing captain Gunny Jonsdottir, who’s with Iceland for the Women’s Euro Championship.
Louisville has four players away on international duty this weekend. Emily Fox (USA) and Satara Murray (JAM) are at the Concacaf W Championship and Nadim (DEN) and Rebecca Holloway (NIR) are at the Women’s Euro Championship.
Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Erin McLeod.
Defenders: Celia, Megan Montefusco, Toni Pressley, Kylie Strom.
Defensive Midfielders: Jordyn Listro, Meggie Dougherty Howard.
Midfielders: Viviana Villacorta, Erika Tymrak, Thais Reiss.
Forwards: Darian Jenkins.
Bench: Anna Moorhouse, Kerry Abello, Mikayla Cluff, Courtney Petersen, Carrie Lawrence, Chelsee Washington, Caitlin Cosme, Parker Roberts, Abi Kim.
Racing Louisville (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Katie Lund.
Defenders: Nealy Martin, Julia Lester, Gemma Bonner, Lauren Milliet.
Midfielders: Jaelin Howell, Savannah DeMelo, Freja Olofsson.
Forwards: Emina Ekic, Jessica McDonald, Kristen Davis.
Bench: Hillary Beall, Jordyn Bloomer, Allison Whitfield, Alex Chidiac, Taylor Malham, Parker Goins.
REF: Alexandra Billeter.
AR1: Ashlee Varnson.
AR2: Miguel Martes.
4TH: Shawn Tehini.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8 p.m.
Venue: Daytona International Speedway — Daytona Beach.
TV: CBS Sports Network.
Streaming: Paramount+ (USA), Twitch (International).
Twitter: For live updates, follow along at the Orlando Pride’s official Twitter feed (@ORLPride) and on The Mane Land’s Twitter (@TheManeLand).
Enjoy the match. Go Pride!