Regular season home opener: Orlando Pride vs Angel City FC
When: Sunday, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL
TV: FOX35 PLUS, Paramount+
As the Orlando Pride prepare to return to Exploria Stadium for the first time in the 2023 regular season, here are five storylines to watch during Sunday's home opener against Angel City FC:
1. Always Remember Your First
The match in Portland saw five players make their Pride debut for the Club. 2023 NWSL Draft picks Emily Madril and Messiah Bright earned the start also marking their professional debuts. Another 2023 NWSL Draft pick, Summer Yates, made her professional debut coming in the match as a substitute in the 53rd minute.
Brazilian Adriana earned the start up top, making her Pride debut after joining the Club from Brazilian side Corinthians. Pride defender Caitlin Cosme, who missed most of last season due to injury, made her return to the pitch in the match earning the start in the backline and making her Pride debut.
2. California Love
The Pride went unbeaten against the California teams last year sporting a combined 2-0-2 record against Angel City FC and the San Diego Wave.
The Pride’s first win of the 2022 season came against the 2022 expansion side Angel City in a 1-0 win at then-named Banc of California Stadium. The Pride were backed by a third-minute goal from Sydney Leroux, the third-fastest goal in Orlando Pride history. In the return trip to Exploria Stadium, the Pride were in the midst of an unbeaten streak and extended it to five games following a 2-2 draw against Angel City.
Forward Julie Doyle scored for the Pride in the 64th minute followed by a 90th-minute own goal from Angel City to level the match before the final whistle.
3. Moor’house Records
Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse made a Club-record 12 saves in the match against the Thorns. The 12 saves beat the previous Pride record held by Ashlyn Harris, who made 10 saves on April 29, 2017, against the North Carolina Courage.
The performance also ties the league record for single-games saves in the regular season.
The English international made five starts last year across all competitions.
4. Adding Fuel to the Fire
On Wednesday, the Pride announced the signing of defenders Tori Hansen and Brianna Martinez to one-year contracts through the 2023 NWSL season, with options for an additional year.
Hansen was selected by the Pride in the third round, No. 25 overall, of the 2023 NWSL Draft by the Pride out of the University of North Carolina. Martinez was selected with the No. 17 overall in the 2023 NWSL Draft by Racing Louisville FC before joining the Pride this preseason as a non-roster invitee.
5. Debuting the Highway Woman Kit
Sunday’s match will see the Pride sporting their new 2023 primary jersey for the first time this season, influenced by and paying tribute to one of Florida’s iconic female trailblazers: Mary Ann Carroll.
The jersey, presented by Orlando Health, was designed in collaboration with the estate of Carroll, a legendary Black artist and the only woman of the iconic Highwaymen painters.
The jersey was ranked No. 1 by ESPN, as this season’s most ‘stylish’ jersey in the NWSL.