ORLANDO, Fla. (July 23, 2021) - Orlando Pride (4-3-4, 16 points) welcomes OL Reign (3-6-1, 10 points) to Exploria Stadium Saturday, July 24. Kickoff for the match is set for 7 p.m. ET, with the contest available to stream exclusively on Twitch.
"The Reign have some wonderful players and are obviously a very good team so I’m looking forward to facing that challenge with our team,” said Carl Green, who will be coaching the Pride on Saturday following the departure of Marc Skinner. “My approach [to coaching] is very much based off Marc’s approach, I’ve worked with him for six years, so there’s not a lot of change in my opinion on strategy, on the game plan, etcetera.”
Saturday will serve as the first regular season matchup between the Orlando Pride and OL Reign since Oct 12, 2019. The two sides played to a 2-2 draw, with Marta and former Pride forward Rachel Hill scoring for Orlando, while the Pride’s newest signing English forward Jodie Taylor found the back of the net for the Reign.
The Pride are coming off a 2-1 loss at Providence Park where they took on the Portland Thorns this past weekend. The Thorns struck first when the team scored in the 28th minute, then found the back of the net again in the 58th minute. While it looked like the Pride may be shut out, Marisa Viggiano found the back of the net in the 95th minute, setting a new record for the latest goal scored in Club history, just edging out the record set by Sydney Leroux the previous week.
Abi Kim recorded her first professional assist when she provided the cross to Viggiano in stoppage time. The goal was Viggiano’s first of the season, bringing the total number of goalscorers to seven. Sydney Leroux continues to lead the Pride, and the league, in goals scored at five.
Heading into Saturday’s match, the Pride have added former Washington Spirit defender Natalie Jacobs as a National Team Replacement Player. Jacobs, 23, was drafted by the Spirit No. 13 overall in the 2020 NWSL Draft and made 13 appearances during her time in D.C., with two assists.
OL Reign enter Saturday’s matchup after a 3-1 defeat at Chicago, where two own goals sealed the Reign’s fate. Bethany Balcer scored the lone goal for OL Reign and Celia provided the assist.
Bethany Balcer has tallied four goals over the last five games, making her the leading scorer for the club this season. Shirley Cruz has scored two goals on the season and Megan Rapinoe, Jess Fishlock and Jasmyne Spencer have each recorded one. Sofia Huerta leads the Reign in assists with two so far on the season.
Following Saturday’s match, the Pride travel to take on the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, July 31. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET at WakeMed Soccer Park.