Orlando Pride Returns to Play Hosting Portland Thorns FC on Friday

match preview

ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 8, 2022) - Orlando Pride (5-6-6, 21 points) is set to host the Portland Thorns (7-3-7, 28 points) at Exploria Stadium on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET with the match available to stream on Paramount+ in the U.S. and internationally on Twitch.

“[Portland] are a quality team with quality players again, similar to Seattle, they are stacked with international players and it is another really good test to see where we are at,” Interim Head Coach Seb Hines said. “There was a lot of disappointment after the [Reign] game, but to go all the way to the final whistle against a good quality team, it shows a lot of growth of how far we have come over the last two months. We expect the same against Portland. We had a week off, but it was a week off without a game and the players have been working extremely hard in preparation for this game.” 

Friday’s match, presented by Rasmussen University, is To the Moon night in downtown Orlando. The Pride will celebrate the contributions of women in STEM in Central Florida. The night is inspired by NASA’s Artemis Lunar Exploration Program, which aims to land the first woman on the moon by 2025. 

The Pride are coming off a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the OL Reign after the Reign scored the game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time. Meggie Dougherty Howard found the back of the net for the Pride marking her second goal of the season, with her first coming from the penalty spot and serving as the game winner in a 1-0 victory over the San Diego Wave. The goal was also the first regular season goal scored from outside the box during their 2022 campaign. 

Dougherty Howard was also just recently named to NWSL Best XI of the Month for the month of August. The midfielder had an extremely productive month appearing in every game and collecting two goals, including that game winner in San Diego. The Pride are represented along with six other teams in the NWSL Best XI of the Month. 

The Portland Thorns dropped a 2-0 decision in their last game against the San Diego Wave. Portland was shutout for the first time since May 21st and for just the third time this season, snapping a 12-game scoring streak. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn made her 150th NWSL appearance in the match, making her the 14th player in league history to reach that milestone.

Following Friday’s match, the Pride will hit the road and head to Lynn Family Stadium to take on Racing Louisville on Friday, Sept. 16. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.