Wednesday’s match will mark the return of two faces very familiar to Pride fans. Former Pride captains Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger will return to Exploria Stadium for the first time since being sent to Gotham via trade for a 2022 NWSL Draft First Round selection, a 2023 NWSL Draft natural Third Round pick and $50,000 in Allocation Money.
The Pride used the acquired 2022 draft pick to select forward Julie Doyle eighth overall in the 2022 NWSL Draft.
Two members of the Pride reached first milestones in the Club’s last match against the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, March 26. Midfielder Parker Roberts earned the first start of her professional career and forward Leah Pruitt made her Orlando Pride debut as a second-half substitute. Roberts was signed by the Pride at the tail end of 2021, re-signing at the start of the 2022 season, while Pruitt, a USC graduate, was drafted by the Courage in 2019.
Looking to Get Off the Mark
Both head coaches in Wednesday’s matchup will be looking to take their first NWSL Challenge Cup wins, with both sides entering the game with a 0-1-1 record. The Pride’s Amanda Cromwell and Gotham’s Scott Parkinson are both coaching in the Challenge Cup for the first time in their career, with Cromwell taking over at the helm of the Pride in December of 2021, while Parkinson joined up with the New Jersey-side last August.
No. 150 & No. 125
Should they play against NJ/NY Gotham FC, Wednesday’s match will mark Erika Tymrak’s 150th appearance and Sydney Leroux’s 125th appearance across all competitions in their NWSL careers. Leroux has started both of the Pride’s Challenge Cup matches this year, with Tymrak appearing in both matches as a substitute.
The Pride will look to increase their series lead over NJ/NY Gotham FC, holding a 6-5-4 record all time against the side. The two teams split the 2021 series, with Gotham winning the latest matchup 3-2 at Exploria Stadium in October, the Pride taking a 1-0 shutout victory at Red Bull Arena in August and the teams splitting the points 1-1 at Exploria Stadium in their first meeting regular season meeting of 2021. Gotham won the lone Challenge Cup match, 1-0.
Historically, the Pride have fared well against the New Jersey-based side, scoring a total of 24 goals against the franchise - the most the Pride have scored against any opponent.