Orlando Pride

💬 Haley McCutcheon: Pride win against Portland 'feels like a turning point in our season'

Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines

Opening statement 

“It was good. You can see the effort that the players have put in. We had a good chat after the Houston game about what we needed to do and bring it back to our identity and style of play. We showed today that commitment from the players, the desire and the attention to detail in sticking to the game [plan] was brilliant. You have to win the game in multiple ways and today, we saw an opportunity to soak up a little bit of pressure and be lethal in the counterattack and the goals were well taken. I am really pleased for Adriana and Messiah [Bright] to get that goal because I know she has been working hard to get it. Overall, I was really pleased with all the performances.” 

On if the previous match against Portland played any factor in tonight’s performance 

“It is massive. You look back at that game and it was due to our own downfall that we lost that game, individual mistakes. A team like Portland will punish you. We used that as fuel for the players to kind of prove people wrong, change people's opinions. Everyone wrote us off early on the season, said we aren’t good enough. Now we are trying to change people's perception of what this team looks like. We have got a lot of young players here, but you can see the commitment, you can see they're all bought in and there's a real togetherness here. Ultimately, the team won the game, because they are so tightly bonded. It was a great performance.” 

On earning three straight home victories 

“I said that at the start of the year, we have to make this stadium [Exploria Stadium] a fortress. We have to make this an environment that's difficult to play in. With the last three games, we've shown that. The crowds are terrific. The crowd fully gets behind the team and they push them on. That helps having that 12th [player] in the stands and it is brilliant to have. I said at the start, we have to try our best to bring more fans into the stadium and, behind the scenes, the Club has done a terrific job of getting more fans into the stadium. Ultimately, it's our job to put the performance together and make them want to come back. With victories against Portland and Spirit and Louisville, and even early on the season the performances were there, and then we fell a little bit short in the 95-plus minute game management. That understanding of how to see out a game might have changed the outcome of some of the earlier results, but we're making good progress and moving forward.”

Orlando Pride Defender Haley McCutcheon

Opening statement 

“The team is feeling good. We've had obviously a really tough week, a lot of unforeseen obstacles in our way and we just chose to band together and this feels like a turning point in our season.” 

On the team’s mentality coming into the match 

“I think especially against our previous opponent, we gave them a little too much respect. We were too relaxed against Houston. I think tonight, we made it a point to make sure we took care of their most dangerous players, be on the front foot and be dangerous in transition. We executed the game plan well.” 

On the team’s response after conceding the first goal 

“It shows that we have belief in each other. We had been in their [Portland] half and they were on the back foot for the first 15 or 20 minutes, and we didn’t put our chances away. Instead of being disappointed in that, we chose to continue doing what was working and it paid off.” 

On having beaten some of the top teams in the NWSL but not lower teams 

“We have to stick to our principles. Maybe sometimes against opponents that might not be top teams, we think maybe we can get away with it subconsciously, but those are just lessons we are learning throughout the season. I think we go into these big games knowing that we have to be at our absolute best and now as we continue on, we know that we have to do that every single game.”

Orlando Pride Forward Adriana 

Thoughts on the match 

"I’m very, very happy, and I have been putting pressure on myself to have a great performance, to be able to help my teammates, so I’m really happy that I got to score on the opportunities I was given, so I could help the team with this win and my goals.” 

On if the group was looking to avenge the previous result against the Thorns 

“Yeah, for sure. It was kind of that feeling. We all know it’s a hard game away and home, but we had to compose ourselves here, we had to show and play and control the game and get that little revenge that we wanted because of the score in the first game. We just tried to control the game and have opportunities so we could deliver a great game in front of our fans and win this game.” 

On what it means to catch form before the international break 

“It’s very important. I keep growing every game so I’m always looking to get better and be able to help my team, the [Brazil] national team as well, and help them bring this title that we all want. It’s always good to be having performances and getting better, adapting more and being able to play better with my teammates here, so I can take that to the national team as well.”

Orlando Pride (4-6-1, 13 points) at North Carolina Courage (5-4-2, 17 points)

When: Saturday, 7:00 p.m.

Where: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC.

TV: Paramount+ (subscription required)