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ORLANDO, Fla. (April 22, 2022) - Orlando Pride (0-4-1, 1 point) travels to Red Bull Arena this Saturday, April 23 to face off against NJ/NY Gotham FC (1-2-2, 5 points) at 7 p.m. ET in the final match of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup for the Pride. The match will stream on Paramount+ in the U.S. and internationally on Twitch. 

“I thought that [March 30 against Gotham] was our best game of the season so far. At least, as close to a complete 90 minutes as we’ve had. So we have confidence from that match but also know they have been getting better,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell said. “They have very dangerous players, a quality team and quality coaching staff. So we’ve got to play a complete 90 minutes, that’s what we’ve been lacking. We’ve had really good parts, halves of games or we start well or we don’t get one. We have to get [a goal] early, we have to get momentum, and then finish out the game.”

Saturday’s match will kickoff a home-and-home series with the New Jersey-based side, as Orlando hosts Gotham just a week later in the team’s 2022 regular season opener. In the previous Challenge Cup matchup between the two teams on March 30, the Pride fell 1-0 on a late goal, despite holding Gotham FC to just three shots on the night. 

The Pride are returning to play after most recently suffering a 4-2 loss to the North Carolina Courage at home. The Courage went up 3-0 in the first 10 minutes before Orlando was able to claw one back on Darian Jenkins’ first goal of the night in the 15th-minute, with Leah Pruitt earning the assist. 

Jenkins followed up in the 56th-minute via a cross from Celia that found the head of Kerry Abello, who played it across the face of the goal. Jenkins got her foot to it to send it home. The Pride nearly completed the full comeback, but Debinha netted an insurance goal late to seal the win for the visitors.

Gotham FC are coming off a loss at home to the Washington Spirit last weekend. Gotham’s Nahomi Kawasumi scored first in the fourth minute, but were unable to hold off the Spirit as they came back to score three unanswered before the final whistle blew for the 3-1 final.  

With the brace on Saturday, Jenkins now leads the team in Challenge Cup goals, while the rookie Abello picked up her first assist in her second career appearance. Jenkins and Pruitt each have one assist to their name, as well. Four different Gotham players have scored one goal on the year, tied for the team lead, while Kristie Mewis and Ellie Jean each have one assist. 

Following Saturday’s match, Orlando will return home to open up the regular season on May 1 at Exploria Stadium against Gotham FC. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m ET with tickets available at Orlando-Pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.