Orlando Pride

💬 Midfielder Kerry Abello 'really proud' of young players' performance


Orlando Pride head coach Seb Hines, defender Tori Hansen and midfielder Kerry Abello give their thoughts following Wednesday's 4-2 loss in the UKG Challenge Cup.

Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines 

Overall thoughts on the match 

“Disappointed, you never want to lose a game by [allowing] four goals. It’s a hard one because we took a lead, Tori [Hansen] scored a terrific goal, and you go one-nil up early in the game. You’re looking for the team to manage it from that moment and I don’t think we did; I don’t think we managed the game too well. I think we showed a little bit of naivety within the team and we allowed them to get back into it. The goals, I’m disappointed, I don’t know how many goals they’ll score like that in the season let alone in one game. But we have to learn from it, we had a really young team [tonight], a team that hadn’t played together [before]. Again, we use every game as a learning moment for us so we’ll review it and ultimately be better come the next game.” 

On if the youth in the lineup impacted the game management 

“Yeah, of course, the only way that you're going to be able to manage games is by playing games. We saw this [game] as an opportunity to play a lot of the players who haven't been playing minutes in the [regular] season. It's a tough environment to come to. And I thought there was some really good performances out there, as well. Players who were making their first start in the NWSL and showing what they can do. I think that's important. I think it's, again, another moment for us to learn from. Players who are looking to be playing and knocking on the door and come NWSL game, and that's what we want. We want to create a competitive environment, everyone feels valuable. And, again, we did have a young team out there and the only way they're going learn is by putting them out on the field.” 

On if any player stood out on the evening 

“I thought Summer Yates made an impact when she came on. I thought her being left out of the starting lineup, we got an impact from her. She came on, made a difference. She was more direct with her play, it was a terrific assist for Ally Watt. So a lot of compliments go to her because it's not always easy when you're the out the team and not starting, so it's the best way to make an impact and I thought she did that well today.”

Orlando Pride Defender Tori Hansen 

Overall thoughts on the game 

“Tough result for sure. It felt great to get my first goal, for sure. But giving up four goals is not great and that's not the expectation. But obviously, we came into this game wanting three points, and we didn't achieve that. So we're definitely going to learn from this and move on.”  

On scoring her first professional goal 

“Thais [Reiss] played a great ball in and, honestly, I thought I was going to head it in. Then I think I headed it and there was a big jumble. Then the ball was at my feet, and I just tapped it with my back heel and it went in. So I was very happy about that.” 

On what changed after the first 15 minutes of the game  

“I think we just started having to defend more, and kudos to the Spirit, they had some really, really great finishes. But we just can't let off the [gas]. We have to keep going once we do score that goal because we're in the driver's seat when we're up 1-0. We let them back into the game and we've got to learn from that.”

Orlando Pride Midfielder Kerry Abello  

On captaining the team tonight  

“It means everything to me, right? I've been building relationships with these players this whole season and preseason. And, to me, I think it just means that they trust me, that my coaches trust me and it's a privilege to be charged with leading the team. And I hope I made them proud tonight, but it's definitely an honor and something that I’m really proud of.” 

On playing various roles for the team 

“I think it's something that I always say I really pride myself on, is being a versatile player. I like to just bring it back to the basics of the game, it's just soccer. So even when I'm put in a different role, I try to bring it back to the basics. I think for me, the biggest thing is just fulfilling whatever role the team needs me to fulfill. While it's intimidating at first to switch positions, I think I've gotten really comfortable in a lot of different positions. So when they switch it up on me, I'm ready to perform whatever they need me to do.” 

On Amanda Allen and Haley Bugeja’s play 

“I thought they did great. I was really proud of their performances. I think they're both eager to learn, eager to follow and that's really all you can ask for. They're very talented players and I think they have a really bright future with the Pride.”