ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Pride (4-6-1, 13 points) defeated the defending NWSL Champion Portland Thorns FC (5-2-4, 19 points) 3-1 on Sunday night at Exploria Stadium. The Pride were backed by a brace from Brazilian international Adriana and a second-half finish from Messiah Bright. The win serves as the Club’s third straight at home, the first time they have taken a trio of consecutive victories in The City Beautiful since the 2017 season.
Adriana bagged a brace on the night, her first since joining the Pride in the offseason. The Brazilian international found the back of the net in the first half via a direct free kick to open her account. The direct free kick was the first scored by a Pride player since Joanna Boyles did so back on June 15, 2019.
Adriana followed it up shortly after halftime with a finish off of a ball from Ally Watt. The assist for Watt served as her first helper since joining the Club via trade last year.
The brace by Adriana was the first in the regular season for the Pride and the first by a Pride player since June 23, 2021, when former Pride forward Sydney Leroux was able to find the back of the net twice against Kansas City. In addition, the second goal from Adriana counted as the 100th goal scored by a Brazilian player in the NWSL.
Bright also found the back of the net, serving as her third goal of the season across all competitions, and is tied for the most on the team alongside Adriana. Bright’s third goal marked the first time an NWSL team has scored three unanswered goals against the Thorns since Sept. 11, 2019.
20’ Sophia Smith (Morgan Weaver) – POR 1, ORL 0
The visitors got on the board first with Morgan Weaver driving down the left flank and sending the ball into the box, finding an open Sophia Smith, who was able to slide the ball just past Anna Moorehouse and into the goal.
26’ Adriana – ORL 1, POR 1
The Pride leveled the match after they earned a free kick when Julie Doyle was taken down a few yards outside of the box. Brazilian international Adriana stood over the ball and fired a rocket of a shot over the wall and into the back of the net.
47’ Adriana (Ally Watt) – ORL 2, POR 1
The Pride took the lead shortly after the halftime break when Ally Watt found a sprinting Adriana in the middle of the pitch. The Pride’s No. 9 was then able to cut the ball inside onto her right foot, juking the defender and placing the ball into the net.
69’ Messiah Bright – ORL 3, POR 1
The home side doubled its advantage with Messiah Bright jumping on a misplayed back pass by the Portland defense, running past her mark and taking a touch around Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby before slotting her shot inside the far post for the finish.
Head Coach Seb Hines:
“It was good. You can see the effort that the players have put in. We had a good chat after the Houston game about what we needed to do and bring it back to our identity and style of play. We showed today that commitment from the players, the desire and the attention to detail in sticking to the game [plan] was brilliant. You have to win the game in multiple ways and today, we saw an opportunity to soak up a little bit of pressure and be lethal in the counterattack and the goals were well taken. I am really pleased for Adriana and Messiah [Bright] to get that goal because I know she has been working hard to get it. Overall, I was really pleased with all the performances.”
- Adriana scored her second and third goal of the season for the Pride with the brace.
- Adriana’s free kick goal is the first direct free kick scored by a Pride player since June 15, 2019, when Joanna Boyles found the back of the net against the Houston Dash. The goal marked the team’s sixth set piece goal across all competitions this season.
- Adriana’s second goal of the match also served as the 100th goal scored by a Brazilian across the entire NWSL.
- Messiah Bright tallied her third goal of the season with the second-half finish.
- The three goals scored by the Pride marked the first time a team scored three unanswered goals against the Thorns since Sept. 11, 2019.
- Ally Watt recorded her first assist while donning a Pride kit on Adriana’s second goal. Watt joined the Club in August 2022 via trade.
- Forward Julie Doyle made her first start with the Pride since April 2.
- With the victory, the Pride have won three-straight home matches at Exploria Stadium, the first time the Club has done so since the 2017 season. From Aug. 8 to Sept. 2 of that year, the Pride took victories over the Washington Spirit, Sky Blue FC and the Boston Breakers.
- Head Coach Seb Hines made three changes to his starting lineup entering the match, with Marta, Ally Watt and Julie Doyle all getting the nod for the Starting XI.
The Pride will travel to WakeMed Soccer Park to battle the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, June 17. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET with the game available to stream on Paramount+.