ORLANDO, Fla. (July 3, 2021) - Orlando Pride (4-1-3, 15 points) welcomes the North Carolina Courage (4-2-1, 13 points) to Exploria Stadium on Sunday, July 4. Kickoff for the match is set for 6 p.m. ET, with the contest available to stream on Paramount+ and internationally on Twitch.
Sunday’s match, presented by Rasmussen University, will serve as American SHE-roes Night, in celebration of Independence Day and our past and present American SHE-roes. Specialty concession items as well as patriotic merchandise will be available for purchase. Tickets can be found at Orlando-Pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
“It’ll be a very difficult match. North Carolina, since we’ve beaten them, they’ve been in good form. They’re obviously a really attacking, threatening team regardless of wherever they play, but what we have to do is continue to work out the ways that we can stop their attack,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “We have to be prepared to absorb a little bit of pressure and then really exploit some of the spaces they’ll leave. The last few games with them have been a really tight affair, so I expect it to be the same thing. We have to be focused, we have to be prepared and it’s going to be a tough challenge for both teams. It’s going to be the finer margins that make the difference in this game, the ones that take their chances when they come.”
Sunday will serve as the second match between the Pride and North Carolina this season, the first taking place on May 22 at WakeMed Soccer Park with Orlando taking a 2-1 victory on the night. The loss served as the first at home for the Courage since June 16, 2018, a span of 23 unbeaten games over 1,071 days. Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan scored for the Pride in the match, the latter netting the eventual game-winner in the 79th minute.
The Pride will look to bounce back on Sunday, dropping their first result of the year at the Houston Dash in a 2-1 defeat last Saturday. Gunny Jónsdóttir scored the lone goal for the Pride in the match, with Marta earning her league-leading third assist of the year on the finish.
Leroux and Morgan sit tied for the team lead in goals scored this season, each with four, sitting one finish behind Lynn Williams for the NWSL-lead. Jónsdóttir and Taylor Kornieck sit in second in assists on the side, each with two to trail only Marta.
The Courage enter Sunday’s contest after a 2-0 victory against Portland in their last outing, handing the Thorns their first shutout of the season. Williams tallied a brace in the match, with former Orlando Pride defender Carson Pickett providing an assist, bringing her season total to three to tie with Marta for the league-lead.
Williams’ five goals puts her atop the league this season, while Hallie Mace and Jessica McDonald sit second on the team at two goals apiece.
Orlando enters the match with two of its four Olympic players already departed in Alex Morgan and Erin McLeod. With McLeod joining the Canadian women’s national team, the Pride have signed Kaylie Collins as a National Team Replacement Player for the second time this season.
Following Sunday’s match, the Pride welcome expansion side Racing Louisville to Exploria Stadium for the first time on Friday, July 9. Kickoff for that match is set for 7 p.m. ET, with tickets available at Orlando-Pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.