ORLANDO, Fla. (September 9, 2016) – Less than 72 hours after finishing its first-ever match against Sky Blue FC, Orlando Pride will welcome the same team to Camping World Stadium for the second leg of a home-and-home series on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. ET. With two games remaining in their inaugural season, the Pride aim to take six points out of their next matches, starting with Saturday’s penultimate game.
Saturday’s game will be streamed at orlando-pride.com/live or can be followed on Twitter through the Pride’s official account, @ORLPride.
“In these last two matches, we’re looking to continue to improve the team and win a couple more matches,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “Sky Blue played [on Wednesday] as we thought they would play and we’re assuming they’ll do something similar tomorrow. I thought how we planned for them, tactically, and how we set up was good for us. We did enough and had enough chances to probably win the game, so hopefully we can do the same on Saturday and come away with a win.”
Orlando and Sky Blue faced each other just three days ago at Rutgers University, playing to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night. It was the first tie in Pride history.
Alex Morgan scored her fourth goal of the season in the 23rd minute with a classy finish on a perfectly placed ball from Maddy Evans. It was Evans’ first assist of the season, sending Morgan behind the Sky Blue backline for a first-time shot just outside of the penalty area.
The Pride held possession early and often in the midweek match, but the New Jersey team was able to find the equalizer with 10 minutes remaining on a rebound attempt. Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made a breakaway save on Maya Hayes moments before, but the rebound fell into the path of Sam Kerr who leveled the game at one apiece.
While both teams have been eliminated from postseason contention, Sermanni not only hopes to use the final two matches as 2017 preparation, but as a way to thank the Club’s loyal fan base.
“There’s a real connection [at this Club] between the supporters and the team. It’s almost like one family. The fans are the lifeblood of this team,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “We are very lucky to have a set of fans that are there to the bitter end, and it’s important that they see we’ve got a team that will go out there - win, lose or draw - and leave every drop of sweat on the field.”
After Saturday, the Pride will have a bye the following week as Morgan, Harris and Monica join their respective national teams for international friendlies. The team will return to Camping World Stadium for the final time, hosting FC Kansas City at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 24 in the season finale.