ORLANDO, Fla. (July 30, 2021) - Orlando Pride (4-4-4, 16 points) travels to take on the North Carolina Courage (5-4-2, 17 points) on Saturday, July 31 at WakeMed Soccer Park. Kickoff for the match is set for 7 p.m. ET, with the contest available to stream on Paramount+ and international viewers able to tune in on Twitch.
“It’s been a whirlwind, for sure. A really big credit to the team because they’ve been extremely welcoming and receptive. I think they’re excited we’re here and we’re excited we’re here,” Orlando Pride interim Head Coach Becky Burleigh said ahead of Saturday’s match. “One of the biggest [team strengths] is that they are such a resilient group. It’s never easy to have a coaching transition in the middle of your season. I’ve been really impressed with the chemistry of the team and the resilience of their mindset and their willingness to work. There’s nobody that’s feeling sorry for themselves because of the situation they are in, they’re just ready to go forward and not look back.”
Saturday will serve as the first at the helm for interim Head Coach Becky Burleigh, coming in for the third meeting of the regular season between the Pride and Courage. The two sides first met on May 22, with the Pride handing North Carolina its first home loss in 23 home fixtures thanks to finishes from Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, and the Courage avenging that loss on July 4 at Exploria Stadium.
The Pride look to bounce back following a 2-0 loss against OL Reign this past Saturday. Jodie Taylor made her debut for Orlando in the match, while Ashlyn Harris made her fifth penalty kick save across all competitions, denying Jess Fishlock from the spot in the 62nd minute.
Sydney Leroux leads the Pride with five goals, good for second in the league. Taylor Kornieck and Marta sit with three assists on the season, each with a goal to add to that count.
North Carolina enter the weekend following a scoreless draw against Kansas City in its last outing. The match marked the fourth time all season that the Courage were held scoreless, two of which have come in their last three matches.
Three of the Courage’s six goal scorers this year remain unavailable for the side at the weekend due to the Olympics in Lynn Williams, Debinha and Sam Mewis, as Jess McDonald serves as the leading goalscorer of those still in Cary, having a pair of finishes this season. Former Pride defender Carson Pickett leads the Courage with three assists. North Carolina also recently picked up veteran striker Amy Rodriguez from Kansas City, adding depth and attacking power to its front line.
Following Saturday’s match, the Pride travel to Chicago to take on the Red Stars on Sunday, August 8. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. ET at SeatGeek Stadium.