Orlando Pride

Home, sweet home: Coach Seb Hines wants to make Exploria Stadium 'a fortress' for Orlando Pride

SANFORD, Fla. -- It’s back to work for the Orlando Pride after their opening weekend in Portland.

Following the disappointing start to the Pride’s 2023 campaign, the team is already looking forward to their next matchup, the home opener against Angel City FC on Sunday.

It’s a point of focus for head coach Seb Hines as he looks to set up his team for consistent success at home.

“Last year, we know we didn't win enough games at home,” he said Wednesday. “That's not good enough. We want to make [Exploria Stadium] a fortress. We want to make it a difficult place for teams to come and play, and what better way to do it in your home opener in front of a good crowd against Angel City so we also need to bounce back from this weekend and I think everyone's excited to get out there and play again.”

Looking ahead through the week, Hines and his staff have been breaking down film from the team’s first game, looking for points of emphasis to work on throughout the week of training leading into Sunday.

“We spoke about the basics,” he added, “with the attacking elements and in defending, how we can manipulate both boxes. You could see that Portland took shots and followed them in. As defenders, we have to follow in as well and trust the goalkeepers to make a save and get first contact after the save.

“What defines your season will be what you do in both boxes. What we did between the two boxes was good but it doesn't result in goals at the end of the day. There always has to be a purpose so our purpose is to possess, to score goals. We did the first part is working on the second part.”

Kickoff for the Pride’s home opener against Angel City is set for 5:30 on Sunday afternoon, with the match being broadcast locally on FOX35 PLUS locally and Paramount+ nationally.

Pride sign Hansen, Martinez

Two more rookies from the 2023 NWSL Draft joined the Pride officially on Wednesday afternoon as Tori Hansen and Brianna Martinez signed one-year deals through the 2023 season.

Hansen, picked 25th overall by the Pride, is a four-year centerback from the University of North Carolina, who will help with the depth in defense through this season.

Martinez on the other hand, was selected 17th overall by Racing Louisville FC, though did not sign with them, instead joining the Pride this preseason as a non-roster invitee and eventually earning a contract. The defender will bring versatility and depth to the positions along the right flank.

Tymrak named to UF Athletics Hall of Fame

Also on Wednesday, Pride midfielder Erika Tymrak was honored by her alma mater, the University of Florida, by being named to their Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

Tymrak played in 95 games for the Gators in her four-year career, scoring 32 goals during that time. She also notched 40 assists in that time, which remains number 3 all-time in the Gators record book.

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Orlando Pride (0-1-0, 0 points) vs. Angel City FC (0-1-0, 0 points)

When: Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando

TV: FOX35 PLUS, Paramount+ (subscription required)

Tickets: View seats