Storylines | Pride vs. Washington Spirit 2017 pt2

1 - Goals On Goals On Goals 

The Pride have picked up eight points on the road this season, doubling their efforts away from home over last season. Orlando has scored seven goals in their last two away games, as many as they had in 10 road games last season.

On June 17, the Pride rolled to a 4-2 win at the Houston Dash. Then, 11 days later, Orlando posted a thrilling come from behind victory at Sky Blue FC - rallying from a 2-1 de cit to take a 3-2 win behind Rachel Hill’s first professional goal in the 86th minute.

2 - M[ARTA]VP?

At the halfway point of the 2017 season, forward Marta has made a big impact on the Pride and the league.

With six goals through 11 games, Marta ranks second in that category and first in the NWSL in chances created at 31. In addition, the Brazilian has three assists and has already been in talks as a potential 2017 Most Valuable Player candidate.

3 - Bring The Firepower 

With the return of Alex Morgan to the Pride lineup, Orlando has arguably the strongest attacking trio in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Marta (six goals and three assists) and Camila (three goals and three assists) were already one of the best attacking duos in the league, but adding Morgan gives a dangerous threat up top.

Marta and Camila are both in the top eight this season in goals+assists – Marta tied for third with nine and Camila tied for sixth with six. Last year, Alex Morgan was second on the team in goals+assists with five, while teammate Kristen Edmonds lead the team with eight.

4 - Welcome Back Kriegs

Saturday will mark defender Ali Krieger’s first game back at the Maryland SoccerPlex after being acquired from the Spirit in November 2016.

Krieger started her NWSL career with the Spirit and played the first four seasons in the league with her hometown team, captaining Washington to three playoff appearances and the 2016 NWSL Championship match. The veteran defender, who is currently wearing the captain’s armband for the Pride, was acquired by Orlando early in the offseason in exchange for the Pride’s second- place spot in the NWSL Distribution Ranking Order.

Washington eventually flipped the two spot for the top of the list, which was eventually used to bring in up-and-coming U.S. Women’s National Team forward Pugh.

5 - Air Alanna

Moving from center back to holding midfield, a position she played last season with Western New York, has allowed Alanna Kennedy to make a bigger influence on the Pride and the team’s performance.

Kennedy has won the third-most aerial duels this season with 33. Additionally, her 59 aerial duels are tied for third-most in the league.

6 - From Golden Boot To Right Back

After leading the Pride with six goals during their inaugural season, Kristen Edmonds has seen a shift in her role during her second season with the Club.

Edmonds, who was acquired as a defender from the Western New York Flash, has moved from midfield to the right back position, which has also coincided with the Pride’s recent improvement in form.

In the five games since moving Edmonds to right back, the Pride have allowed 1.6 fewer shots per game, have picked up three more points and allowed four less goals than in their first seven matches.

With the move, Ali Krieger has pushed into the right center back role while Alanna Kennedy moved into the holding midfield position.