storylines pride vs thorns 2018 pt 1

The Final Rose 

Alex Morgan is the only player with Orlando Pride to have played for the Portland Thorns. Morgan was a member of the Thorns from 2013-15 and during that time she appeared in 36 matches, tallied 15 goals and was a member of the 2013 NWSL Championship team. Emily Menges, Tobin Heath and Christine Sinclair are the only current members of Portland’s roster that played with Morgan during her three seasons as a Thorn.

A New Dawn, A New Day 

In their first two seasons, Orlando Pride has not yet been able to defeat the Portland Thorns but will aim for the three points in its first of three meetings this season. In five all-time matches against the Thorns, the Pride have drawn once and lost four times, including in the 2017 NWSL semifinal. This will be the third season in a row that Orlando will play in Portland on or before April 17 and the second year in a row they will play each other on April 15. Orlando opened its first two seasons on the road at Providence Park and play them this year in its third match of the season. 

All She Does is Score

Last weekend during the NWSL bye week, Alex Morgan appeared in two matches for the U.S. Women’s National Team. In both matches against Mexico, Morgan tallied a brace for a total of four goals. This makes three games that Morgan has scored a brace against Mexico, the first taking place on Sept. 13, 2014 in Sandy, Utah. Morgan has seven goals all-time when playing against Mexico and 85 goals in 140 matches for the United States. Morgan has scored 12 goals in her past 13 appearances for the national team.

If You Ain't First 

The first goal has proven to be extremely important when the Pride play on the road. Historically, Orlando has taken points from nine of 11 matches when it scores first, totaling a 6-2-3 record on the road since the team’s inception. Conversely, Orlando has yet to win an away match if the opponent is the first to tally, with an 0-11-0 all-time record in the scenario. Seven of those losses came during the Pride’s inaugural 2016 season, while they dropped three games in 2017. Orlando lost in its first away trip last game, a 2-0 defeat at Washington.

Keeping Up With The Pride 

This past week nine Orlando Pride players played in international matches for their country. Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris saw minutes in the United States’ two matches against Mexico. Morgan played and started in both matches, scoring four goals, while Harris came on as a 67th-minute substitute in the second match. Shelina Zadorsky started at center back for Canada in a 1-0 loss to France. Lotta Ökvist appeared for the U-23 Sweden national team in the 2018 La Manga Tournament.Orlando’s Brazilian and Australian players are halfway through their FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournaments. Marta and Monica both started in Brazil’s first three appearances in the Copa America Femenina, with Monica scoring a goal on Wednesday and Marta tallying a goal and three assists over the matches. Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond saw minutes in the first two matches during the AFC Asian Cup for Australia. Kennedy and van Egmond both scored in Australia’s dominant 8-0 victory over Vietnam. The top two teams of both tournaments will receive an automatic bid to the 2019 World Cup in France. National Team Replacement Player Nádia Gomes was the Pride’s 10th player away on international duty last week but did not appear in Portugal’s 1-1 draw against Belgium. 

Aussie Mates 

Though they’ll be facing each other as opponents on Sunday, the Pride were recently playing alongside many players from the opposite side of the pitch. This past offseason, Carson Pickett played for Brisbane Roar of the Australia’s Westfield W-League, where she was teammates with Portland Thorns midfielder Celeste Boureille and forward Hayley Raso. As members of Canberra United, Haley Kopmeyer and Toni Pressley played alongside Portland defender Ellie Carpenter while Emily van Egmond played for Newcastle Jets with Thorns FC goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom.