Orlando Pride

💬 Ally Watt: Pride lacked 'consistency' in loss to North Carolina

Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines

Opening statement 

“We just weren't ourselves today. Every second ball, North Carolina was there. They pressed effectively and we didn't have that sharpness, and it's becoming a theme away from home. That was the message after the game. We've got to figure this out away from home and we need to start picking up points away from home. We can't only rely on our home form. So again, it's just going back to the drawing board, see where we can improve. The game plan was to be threatening in transition and I felt early on we caused them problems. They weren't able to play through the lines as often as they probably used to in previous games. There were moments where we could have been thrown in transition and we just weren't thrown in transition. We didn't have the internal drive that we showed last week against Portland and to go straight to the ball. That was a disappointing factor of the game.” 

On differences between Portland last week and North Carolina this week 

“I felt like it was probably a similar game. We allowed the players to have possession at the back. Probably one thing that North Carolina did more than Portland was they played a lot more longer balls in behind the backline. We worked on that quite often, dealing with long balls, making sure that we were ready, dealing with the space behind and it looked like, today, we just weren't prepared for that. They’ve got the likes of Kerolin who can be threatening in trying to get the ball behind. So we have to reinforce that message that we're compact. But if there's time on the ball, you have to be prepared to drop quickly. Ultimately, the game was probably lost in those moments. But the more disappointing thing is that we weren't threatening in the attack. We didn't cause North Carolina enough problems. We went with four forwards, four attacking threats up top and it didn't work out.” 

On the offensive disconnect seen tonight 

“The way that North Carolina play, they're very compact, there's not a lot of space between the lines but we felt like our best outcome in the attack was the space in behind. You've got the likes of Ally [Watt], Julie [Doyle], Adri[ana] and Messiah [Bright] who are all quick players and the moments where we played in behind, there was a disconnect between understanding when to go and when to play the ball. There's been moments in games where we controlled the tempo through the midfield but we felt with the likes of [Denise] O’Sullivan, Mille [Gejl], there's a lot of congestion there. Best outcome was probably to play down the sides of North Carolina, play quick to the outside backs and play down the channels, give the likes for running in behind and go straight to goal. There was moments where we did that but it just broke down in the final third.”

Orlando Pride Forward Ally Watt 

Overall thoughts on the game 

“We just have to compete. Seb was saying we need to be consistent. We had such a great weekend, last weekend getting those three points against Portland. So we need to be consistent, get those points away from home. We know home is our fortress but we need to get goals and get points on the road as well.” 

On the difference between the team this week to last week 

“Energy. We just had to just want it more. We were just a little passive and just wasn't getting it done right. The second half was better for us but we need to be consistent, we were not consistent with our energy in our press and our setup today. So on to the next game, we'll get it right next weekend.” 

On the difficulties the North Carolina defense presented 

“They're very strong, very strong defensive line. They were playing the offside trap really well. I was getting offside a lot and their 1-v-1 defending is really good. They’re a solid backline and a solid goalkeeper, we were doing a lot of defensive work so I think we were tired tying to get into the attack.”

Orlando Pride (4-7-1, 13 points) vs Kansas City Current (3-8-0, 9 points)

When: Saturday, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

TV: Paramount+ (subscription required)