On the Defensive
The Pride backline has conceded just once in the run of play in three Challenge Cup matches, with Midge Purce’s finish in the 87th minute at the midweek serving as the lone goal given up by the side. The only other goal given up by the Pride came via a penalty kick on March 26 at North Carolina.
Last Go Around
Sunday will serve as the second meeting between the Pride and Washington of the Challenge Cup, with the two sides having faced off in their respective openers of the competition just over two weeks ago. That match resulted in a scoreless draw, with goalkeeper Erin McLeod posting her first shutout as a member of the Pride.
A Couple of Milestones
Wednesday night saw two Pride players reach significant milestones in their respective careers with Erika Tymrak tallying her 150th NWSL appearance across all competitions, while Sydney Leroux recorded her 125th. A pair of 10-year veterans, Tymrak was drafted by FC Kansas City in 2013, the league’s first-ever Rookie of the Year, while Leroux joined the Boston Breakers that same year.
A Pride Debut
Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse posted her first start in between the sticks on Wednesday night, recording her Orlando Pride debut on her birthday. The 27-year-old made two saves on the night, including a doorstep stop on Paige Monaghan in the 67th minute. Moorhouse was signed by the Pride on Jan. 31 from French D1 Féminine side Bordeaux.
Home Again, Home Again
Sunday’s match will serve as a homecoming of sorts for Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell. Cromwell was born in Washington, D.C. and played her college soccer in the DMV area at the University of Virginia. In 2001, Cromwell played professionally as a member of the Washington Freedom of WUSA and, in 2010, was inducted into the Virginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame.
Making the Rounds
With 10 new players on the roster, Cromwell and Co. have been using the Challenge Cup to give playing time and valuable experience to the roster. Through three matches, 19 of 22 eligible players have seen time on the field, with Cromwell also using three different starting lineups over the matches. The remaining four Pride players have not yet been eligible to play due to injury.