Tucker Serm

The Orlando Pride (2-2-0, 6 points) picked up their second win of the season on Sunday, recording two goals and a shutout in a victory over Seattle Reign FC, winner of the NWSL Shield for the past two seasons. The early evening sun still shined on the Citrus Bowl at the first whistle as the two teams began play on this Mother’s Day contest. In the end, the Pride came out victorious and looking ahead to their last home match up with the Western New York Flash on Saturday before a four-match road trip.

Head coach Tom Sermanni was “delighted with the win, especially delighted with the clean sheet.” He spoke on his preparations leading up to the game with the Reign, acknowledging that they “are a very formidable team” and “play a really, really good brand of possession soccer.” He complimented his team’s enduring performance, saying, “I think our players coped with the condition and the quality of Seattle really well and limited their opportunities to… the first shot on goal,” which came in the 82nd minute. Sermanni added, “Beating any team gives us confidence, but when you beat the team that’s probably the benchmark in the league, that certainly gives us a great deal of belief.”

Asked if he had settled on the 4-4-2 scheme as the ideal system for the team, Sermanni responded, “I think we’re still in the phase of not sitting down and saying ‘We’re definitely going to play this system’.” Sermanni added to that, reminding reporters that when Sanderson came in for Hagen, the team shifted to a 4-3-3 set up. “We want to be as flexible as possible in a system.”

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The win over the Reign also meant that the Pride were now undefeated at Camping World Stadium. “I think winning at home’s always important,” Sermanni said. “When [opposing teams] come into our stadium and see how good our supporters are, and how vociferous our supporters are, it really gives us an edge.”

The team hopes to change their winless away streak, as after this upcoming Saturday, the Pride don’t have a home game for over a month. “I think if we can get the other bit right, of just keeping the ball a little bit better,” Sermanni explained, laying out his plans for improvement, “I think we’ll create far more chances and be a much more potent [offensive] side than we are at the moment.”