1 - Welcome Home
Saturday’s match will mark a historic occasion for the Orlando Pride, as the team plays its first-ever match at Orlando City Stadium. After spending its inaugural season at Camping World Stadium, just a mile down Church St., the Pride will move the Club’s new home, which boasts a natural grass field, the nation’s only safe-standing supporters section and canopies to trap the noise in.
The $150 million venue, which features a capacity for 25,500 purple-clad fans, was 100% privately financed and serves as the home for the Club’s three-teams: Orlando City (MLS), Orlando Pride (NWSL) and Orlando City B (USL).
The stadium is also the home for the Club’s front staff office.
2 - #FillTheBowl
Orlando Pride re-introduced the #FillTheBowl campaign at the start of the NWSL season, with the goal of packing the Club’s new venue for Saturday’s home opener.
#FillTheBowl was introduced in 2015 for Orlando City’s first Major League Soccer match, calling upon fans to fill the then-Orlando Citrus Bowl with over 60,000 fans. The fans did it not once, but twice, by again welcoming the Lions home in 2016.
This year, the Pride posted the challenge to fans to pack Orlando City Stadium for the inaugural game.
3 - Familiar Faces
Saturday’s match will mark the first time Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger faces her former team, Washington, since being traded to Orlando on Nov. 2, 2016.
Krieger was acquired by the Pride in exchange for Orlando’s spot in the NWSL Distribution Ranking after leading the Spirit to its third consecutive playoff appearance and first NWSL Championship match.
Pride goalkeeper coach Lloyd Yaxley is also a former member of the Spirit staff, having coached the ‘keepers since the start of NWSL. Those years included three years of coaching Ashlyn Harris, who he was reunited with in Orlando.
4 - Meeting Marta
Orlando Pride fans may get to see Brazilian superstar Marta for the first time on Saturday, after the forward arrived in Orlando Thursday night.
After arriving, the forward was introduced to media on Friday morning before participating in her first training session with the Pride on Friday afternoon.
5 - Danica's Debut
Orlando Pride rookie Danica Evans made her NWSL debut in Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Portland, entering the match in the 72nd minute.
The University of Colorado product brought her energy to the front line, keeping the Thorns on their toes and also winning a dangerous set piece for the Pride late in the match.
6 - All About That Pass
In her Orlando Pride debut, Brazilian Camila featured
as one of the team’s most efficient ball-handlers, with a 94.7% passing accuracy in Saturday’s match at Portland.
In addition, Ali Krieger proved to be a key to the Pride’s distribution - leading the team with 63 pass attempts on the evening. Fellow center back Alanna Kennedy ranked second, seeing the ball 60 times throughout her 90 minutes.
7 - New Players, New Matchup
In 2016, the Pride and Spirit faced off twice, with Washington taking the season series with two wins. However, both teams underwent some changes in the offseason, creating new look teams on both sides of the ball.
After a number of offseason and preseason moves, Orlando has brought in seven new players since its inaugural season concluded. Washington, on the same token, has a total of nine new faces.