World superstars and once-in-a-generation talents can only do so much. A team, by definition, is a collection of players driven towards a singular goal. And while superstars definitely have an impact on a team and reaching that goal, every single player has a role.
On Sunday night, the Orlando Pride showed that every single player on their roster can have an impact and even, when called upon, carry a team.
With six players reporting to their international squads for the 2016 Olympics, the Pride have been forced to rely on their entire roster, showing the depth they have in every position on the pitch. Coach Tom Sermanni was full of praise for his squad after their 2-1 victory over the Boston Breakers, with both goals coming in second-half stoppage time.
“I think it says a lot about the squad,” Sermanni said. “I think what it says is we are a squad with depth, a squad that’s got players that are prepared to go in and do what we need to do to try and win games, and a squad that keeps going to the 90th minute.”
Kristen Edmonds was the star of the show on Sunday, scoring both of the Pride’s goals, including a stunning free kick goal that the Breakers were helpless to defend against.
Still, without their international players, many feared the Pride would struggle. Pride defender Maddy Evans, however, says the team is ready and that it was clear from the match they have the players to compete.
“We definitely have full confidence,” Evans said. “People who were called upon today have been working hard from day one and we feel great.”
The Pride look to again rely on that depth to push them past the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday night in Camping World Stadium. Orlando is currently tied for fourth with the Red Stars in the NWSL standings.