At training a few days prior to the Orlando Pride's match in San Diego, head coach Seb Hines talked about how "anyone can win on a good day."
Well, Saturday night ended up being the Pride's "good day" as they took down one of the top teams in the NWSL, the San Diego Wave, by a scoreline of 3-1. It was a result that finally showed all the hard work that the team had been putting in over the last few months.
"We had a good chat before the game about looking more ourselves, looking more like a real Orlando Pride team and that's the reward," Hines said after the match. "The intensity, the work off the ball, and the work with the ball, as well to create goal-scoring opportunities, we looked like more ourselves tonight.
“I thought we managed [the game] really well. The subs came on and knew the roles and responsibilities, and it's a team game. Everyone played their part. I thought the backline was pretty solid, we had a shaky start to concede early but they stuck to the game plan. We looked threatening in transition, as well, and to come away with three goals was really good."
It was always going to be a tough ask for the Pride coming up against the Wave. One of the top teams last year and in the top three early into this season, the challenge was a steep one. However, just like they did last season, the Pride took all three points on the road.
Three separate goal scorer's names were on the scoresheet, including two players notching their first goals in a Pride uniform, Haley McCutcheon and Adriana. It was a game that, despite conceding first early on, felt like one that Orlando continued to get better in as it played out.
For Hines, it was probably the most comprehensive performance his team has played this season. From the chances created to the buildup through the midfield, to the composure of his young team late in the game, the performance is one the team can truly build off of as they return home next weekend.
"I was really pleased that we controlled the game with possession and finding the little pockets and played through the lines and still looked threatening the attack because we got end products," he said, "We managed to get shots, we managed to get through balls, even set pieces.
"So it's starting to come together, but this is one game. We have to look forward to the next game back at home and do the same at home as well in front of our fans. That's important to me and the rest of the staff that we start putting these performances together in front of our fans as well."
Next match: Orlando Pride (1-4-0, 3 points) vs Racing Louisville (0-1-4, 4 points)
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando
TV: Paramount+ (subscription required)
Tickets: View seats
Worth a click
- Match report: Orlando Pride earn first win of season, down San Diego Wave 3-1 on the road
- Head coach Seb Hines: 'Everyone played their part' in Orlando Pride's road win over Wave
- In-N-Out with a dub: All the best photos from Orlando Pride's first win of 2023 campaign at San Diego
- WATCH: All highlights from Orlando Pride at San Diego Wave