Orlando Pride (4-6-1, 13 points) at North Carolina Courage (5-4-2, 17 points)
When: Saturday, 7:00 p.m.
Where: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC
TV: Paramount+ (subscription required)
As the Orlando Pride head out to North Carolina to take on the Courage, here are six things to watch for:
A Dream Game for ‘Dri
Brazilian international Adriana found the back of the net twice last Sunday against the Portland Thorns, becoming the first Pride player to record a brace during the regular season since 2021 when former Pride player Sydney Leroux found the back of the net twice in their match-up against Kansas City Current. The first goal came via a direct kick, equalizing the match and becoming the first direct kick scored by the Pride since 2019 by former Pride player Joanna Boyles. Adriana scored again off an assist from Ally Watt, doubling the Pride’s advantage against the 2022 NWSL Champions and making history by serving as the 100th goal scored by a Brazilian international across the NWSL.
Brighter Than Ever
Forward Messiah Bright tallied her third goal of the season, adding insurance to the Pride’s lead against the Portland Thorns. Bright, who joined the Club after being drafted in the 2023 NWSL Draft, has made 13 appearances across all competitions and became the first member of the Pride to score a goal in the 2023 campaign which came during Pride’s home-opener match against Angel City FC. Bright and Adriana are currently tied with three goals each for the most goals scored throughout the regular season for the Club.
The Pride recorded a 3-1 win on Sunday, marking their third straight home win at Exploria Stadium after claiming victories over Racing Louisville, Washington Spirit, and now the Portland Thorns. The last time the Pride won three-straight home games was during the 2017 season where they took wins over the Washington Spirit, Sky Blue FC, and the Boston Breakers. The Pride previously recorded a 3-1 win this season against the San Diego Wave at Snapdragon Stadium seeing Adriana score her first goal as a member of the Pride.
Ally Watt picked up her first helper as a Pride player, lending Adriana the assist on her second goal of the night. Watt, who joined the Pride in August 2022 via trade, has tallied 11 appearances and two goals logging 518 minutes throughout the 2023 campaign.
Not The Pride’s First Rodeo
The Pride are set to square-off with the North Carolina Courage for the first time during the 2023 NWSL regular season. The Pride and the Courage met earlier this year, kicking off the first match of the UKG Challenge Cup, where the match resulted in a 1-1 draw at Exploria Stadium. The match saw Watt record her first goal of the 2023 campaign, while Carly Nelson made her first appearance between the sticks for the Pride.
More for Megan
On Thursday, the Pride announced that defender Megan Montefusco signed a contract extension with the Club. The Chicago native is now under contract through 2024, with an option for the 2025 season. Additionally, on Saturday, Montefusco has the opportunity to record her 150th regular season appearance, spanning her time in Orlando, Houston, DC, Seattle and Boston.