Orlando Pride

💬 Kylie Strom: Pride look to 'go back to our principles' in preparation for Sunday's match against Portland

Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines

On how the team adapt to the unique week leading into this game

It was being adaptable, using the resources that you have. Again, it's just making sure that the players feel prepared going into each game. We've had a couple of setbacks in terms of training and obviously the game against Gotham getting called off. But the players are always excited to come out and train and today, leading up to the game against Portland, they're raring to go. They want to get out here, work hard, get as much preparation to go out and put a performance against Portland.

On learnings from their first match at Portland

You know what? At the end of the game, and obviously, there was some first game nerves going into a hostile environment, but, you remember those moments. We are always looking at when do we play them next and it comes on Sunday. And now we're excited, we're excited to really show what we can do against a top team. Performances haven't gone our way the last couple of games, results haven't gone our way last couple of games, but you’re playing against the champions of last year and against some of the best players in the world and that's why you play. We're all looking really forward to it, and again, to prove a point because although the results didn't go our way against Portland, I thought there was a decent performance. Ultimately, we didn't score enough goals against them and we gave them their goals also. We've come a long way from that game and there's a bit of fire in the bellies to go out there and, again, change people's opinions and make another statement within the league.

On how the team will generate more offense 

With the ball, finding spaces that we can manipulate them. When we reviewed it last game, get more numbers in the box, more commitment, more desire and more belief to go out and score a goal. Whether it's across, whether it's a dribble, whether it's a second phase or set pieces. We've added those layers to our games also. And it will be a test, [Portland are] good players, they’re international players, they have a good understanding of how they want to play. But again, that's why we're here. We want to be here to challenge teams like Portland and make them feel uncomfortable in our environment. So with the backing of the fans and coming here in the heat, it should be a good environment for us to go out and get a win.

On how he balances players attacking more vs. defending the counterattack 

Simple as if you put the ball in the net, it doesn't lead to a counterattack. If we talk about the 2% of getting across a defender or anticipating the ball and getting an end product then it eliminates them moments where [Portland] can be lethal in transition. It's not going to happen every time, so you have to be mindful of your [Sophia] Smith's, your [Morgan] Weavers and Crystal Dunn's and make sure that you have good countermeasures. But ultimately, they can't transition if you score goals.

Orlando Pride Defender Kylie Strom

On how the team feels after a long travel week

It was a long travel week for sure and unfortunate with the game being postponed, though. We're trying to take the positives from it. Now we’re all rested going into the game for Portland, and we're really excited. We're really looking forward to it being at home. It feels good to be back.

On how the team has changed since they first played Portland

Obviously the first game of the season wasn't our best and I think we've improved so much in so many different areas. So we're a different team, for sure. And, yeah, we're definitely hoping for a different result this time. Portland's a great team. But we've proven before that we can compete with the best as long as we bring our best. So just as long as we go back to the basics, go back to our principles, I think we'll be successful.

On learnings from the first game against Portland

It's always interesting playing a team the second time around, I think it does feel like so long ago when we played them before. So they've adapted a little bit and we've changed a little bit in the way we play as well. So just going back to the basics and focusing on ourselves. They're really dangerous on the counter so we’ve got to stop that. But I think we can play against them and bring the game to them.

On being named to May Best XI 

Super honored, super grateful. I think it is a testament to this team, though, and how well we've been doing, especially in the month of May. We picked up some really good results. And I really do think if we continue to be consistent and play at our best, there's going to be so many more Orlando Pride players on that list.

Orlando Pride (3-6-1, 10 points) vs Portland Thorns (5-1-4, 19 points)

When: Sunday, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

TV: CBS Sports Network