Against the Red Stars
The Pride have faced off twice against the Red Stars this season, but the meeting on Friday will be the first at Exploria during the regular season. When Orlando traveled to the Windy City in August, the Pride beat Chicago 2-0, being only one of two teams to beat Chicago on their home field this season. Both Jodie Taylor and Sydney Leroux found the back of the net in that contest.
Another for Jodie
Jodie Taylor found the back of the net in the third minute in the Pride’s match against Racing Louisville on October 16th. Alex Morgan provided the through ball for Taylor, who found herself behind the backline and slotted the ball home in the opening minutes. The three-minute goal was the third fastest in Pride history and Taylor’s third goal of the season. All three have been scored in the first 15 minutes of a match, the second-highest in the league during that time frame.
Back for More
Emily van Egmond made her official return to the Pride in the side’s last match at Racing Louisville, entering the game in the 76th minute. The Matildas’ midfielder was re-signed by the Club at the end of September following a season with England’s West Ham, having appeared 25 times for the Pride in her previous stint from 2018-20.
Gold Within Grasp
Sydney Leroux currently leads the Orlando Pride with eight goals scored, just two shy of the league leader, Washington’s Ashley Hatch, who sits at 10. Barring any changes, Leroux would need at least a hat trick in Friday’s match to take sole possession of first place in the Golden Boot race. If Leroux was able to bag a hat trick, it would be the first in Orlando Pride history.
Something to Bark About
Friday’s match will feature special guests from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, who on September 15th suffered a devastating fire to its Orlando-based shelter. The organization will have a display set up during pregame in the concourse behind section 21, which will feature a number of dogs that will be available for adoption. The dogs will also walk the purple carpet with players as they arrive to Exploria Stadium.
The Orlando Pride had six players represent their respective countries during the recent international break:
- Alex Morgan and the U.S. WNT took on the Korea Republic in two matches. Morgan started the first fixture for the U.S. and then scored a 69th minute goal in the second matchup between the nations.
- Emily van Egmond appeared for Australia when the Aussies took on Marta and the Brazilian National Team twice in Sydney. Australia would take a 3-1 win in the first match up with van Egmond finding the back of the net in that contest, and battle to a draw 2-2 in the second meeting.
- Ali Riley capitained the New Zealand WNT against teammate Erin McLeod and the reigning Olympic Gold Medalists Canada. Canada would win both matches of its victory tour against the Football Ferns.
- Gunny Jónsdóttir represented the Iceland WNT against Cyprus during the international break with Iceland going on to win 5-0 in that matchup.
- Marta currently sits at 73 appearances with the Pride, tying her with former Pride player Dani Weatherholt for third most appearances for the Club, meaning if Marta appears in Friday’s match, she will move into sole possession of third most appearances for Orlando.
- Marisa Viggiano (39) is one appearance shy of recording her 40th regular season appearance, with all of them coming in purple for the Pride.
- Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (89) is just one appearance away from recording her 90th appearance for the Pride.
- Toni Pressley (96) is just four matches away from recording her 100th NWSL regular appearance.
- Sydney Leroux (45) is five appearances away from recording her 50th appearance for the Pride in regular season play.