It’s no secret that the Orlando Pride offense has been firing on all cylinders lately and has been one of the most potent scoring teams in all of the NWSL. While scoring goals helps win games, the defense has been thriving throughout the last month of the season.
“I think defensively we’ve tightened up considerably,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said of his team’s defense. “You know, I did a little bit of looking at the number of games. In the last five games, we’ve conceded three goals. In the previous groups of five games, we conceded an average of seven goals. So, not conceding goals combined with us scoring goals, again, you know, helps us go on this run and boosts the confidence.”
One of the biggest benefits for the Pride defense comes down to training. With the backline able to practice against two of the best offensive players in the league in Alex Morgan and Marta, it helps them prepare for a lot of the skilled players that they will come up against through the last stretch of games.
“The offense boosts everybody, because it’s about everybody doing their jobs,” Sermanni said, “And I think, you know, at one end of the field, the defenders see the team scoring, they get more focused at their end of the field to make sure that nothing goes in the net at our end.”
With the boost from both ends of the field, each training session for the Pride has continuously upped its intensity. Even on the good run of form that the team has been in, all the players on the Orlando roster continue to push harder and harder to improve their game.
“Each week, obviously, we have to manage our load, but every session is intense, and we’re demanding more from each other and holding a higher standard, which I think is what you need in teams like this in a professional environment,” Defender Alanna Kennedy said of the group, “So, yeah, everyone’s obviously looking after their recovery and taking good care of their bodies. Everyone’s fit and healthy, so I think that’s good and good time in the season for us to be getting these results.”
The Pride will look to get another good result this weekend, as they take on the Boston Breakers at home. Kickoff is set for 7:30 from Orlando City Stadium.