ORLANDO, Fla. (June 21, 2018) - Following a 3-2 victory at home, Orlando Pride (5-3-4, 19 points) travels to take on the Washington Spirit (2-7-4, 10 points) on Saturday, June 23. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at Maryland SoccerPlex. For the first time this season, the Pride's match will be broadcast on ESPNews.
“If you look at that game [against Washington] at the start of the season, a number of players we were missing and we had virtually zero preseason, without several key players, so we weren't really up and running at that stage. However, the game this weekend will be equally as difficult as it was at the start of the season,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “There are no easy games. Whether you’re playing North Carolina Courage at the top or Sky Blue FC at the bottom, every game is difficult in this league.”
The Pride will look to extend a Club-record five-game road unbeaten streak, having gone 3-0-2 and earning 11 points in their last five away matches. The streak began with the Club’s first ever win over Chicago on May 2 and Orlando’s most recent result came in a scoreless draw at Seattle on June 3.
Orlando enters the match after defeating Sky Blue FC 3-2 at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday. Sydney Leroux scored the fastest goal in Club history just 92 seconds into the match and found the back of the net again in the 31st minute to record her second brace of the season. Sky Blue answered both Leroux goals to level the match first at 1-1 then again at 2-2 until Rachel Hill broke the stalemate, scoring a header off a perfectly placed cross from Alex Morgan in the 83rd minute.
Hill, Leroux and Chioma Ubogagu share the title of leading scorer for the Pride and are tied with three other players in NWSL with four goals apiece. Christine Nairn leads the league with four assists.
Washington is fresh off a scoreless draw on Saturday against Seattle Reign FC. Francisca Ordega and Ashley Hatch lead the Spirit with three goals each. Former Orlando Pride goalkeeper Audrey Bledsoe leads the NWSL with 63 saves, 25 more than the next closest netminder.
The two sides have met once already this season, with Washington earning a 2-0 win at Maryland SoccerPlex on March 31. Hatch and Mallory Pugh scored for the Spirit in that match. The Pride, however, were playing without numerous players as Marta, Monica, Poliana, Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond were all on international duty. Alex Morgan and Camila also missed the match due to injury.
Camila, who was removed from the disabled list last week after missing eight months due to a torn ACL and sprained MCL, could make her 2018 debut on Saturday night.
Saturday will also mark the second time in three days that an Orlando City SC team plays at the Maryland SoccerPlex, as the Club’s MLS side saw a 1-1 (4-2) penalty kick victory over D.C. United on Wednesday night in the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.