Orlando City has had an incredible start to their 2017 MLS campaign, winning their first three matches at home in front of roaring, sold-out crowds.
Now the Pride are ready for their turn.
“I think we’re definitely ready for our first game. We’re really excited,” Dani Weatherholt said. “Coming into preseason everyone came in fit and ready to go. It was very evident that people had been playing and they kept their game very sharp. So, you saw the competition was deep right away and that made the training level rise and I think in our past four or five games we’ve been doing really well. So, we’re excited to have that in our first game.”
Similar to the men, the women’s team wants to make Orlando City Stadium a fortress. “It’s something we’re aiming for, it’s a goal of ours,” Weatherholt said. “That atmosphere is incredible and I think it’s something we had here in our opening game against Houston and that’s the expectation we have here.”
The Pride players had their first training session on the new pitch last Thursday before travelling to Portland for their season opener. That experience only increased their excitement for next weekend.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for since the season ended and obviously since we knew that we were gonna be able to be playing in the stadium. This is so exciting, just the atmosphere of such a stadium and having all the fans support and being able to play in front of such a great crowd gives us that inspiration and motivation to want to succeed because of that,” Krieger said. “And I think that having the entire community around us and watching the game, and just hearing the fans cheer, that just gives us that extra 10% to want to do well and succeed. And I think that that is our motivation and mentality going forward. So, it’s incredible to even play on a pitch like that. The ball is moving so nice. You can’t have many excuses when you play on a field like that. So, we’re very excited and very honored to be able to play here.”
Krieger admitted that the success of the men’s team and the support from the community has been extra motivation for them to start off on the right foot next weekend. The most important thing for them to do is win games, and they have every intention of doing that.
“It’s incredible motivation for us to do the same and to have sort of this type of dynasty that we want to build here in Orlando for the community, for ourselves, for this team,” Krieger said. “We know that. And we are mentally prepared for that. We are in this positive direction, this healthy direction, this refresher of a new season, and we’re here to win. And we’re here to succeed. Yes, we’re here to improve women’s football in the community, and the world, but we’re here because we want to win and we want to play at the highest level and we want to succeed and that is our ultimate goal. So, we’re gonna take one game at a time, one training at a time, one week at a time, and hopefully get the job done and that’s gonna be our focus. But as I said before because the men are winning and they’re doing so well at the beginning of the season that also helps and gives us the motivation to want to do the same. So, it’s really great that they’re off to a great start.”
The Pride want to see you this weekend, when we pack Orlando City Stadium for the team’s home opener against the Washington Spirit and #FillTheBowl. To buy your tickets for the match, click here.