World Cup Watch
- Australian internationals Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond featured in the starting XI for The Matildas in their 2-1 loss to Italy on Sunday. Both members of the Pride played the entirety of the match for Australia. The duo then both played all 90 minutes in a thrilling 3-2 win over Brazil in match two.
- The Pride’s Brazilian duo did not appear for Brazil in their 3-0 victory over Jamaica, but Marta started, played 45 minutes and scored a penalty kick goal on Thursday in a 3-2 loss to Australia.
- Newly signed Pride forward Claire Emslie scored the lone goal for Scotland in their 2-1 loss to England in their Group D opener, serving as the inaugural goal for Scotland at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Emslie played the full 90 minutes for the Scots in their opener.
- Canadian defender Shelina Zadorsky played the entirety of Canada’s opening match against Cameroon, starting at center back. This marked Zadorsky’s first World Cup cap for Canada and the 53rd cap of her international career.
- The Pride’s trio of U.S. WNT players got off to a commanding start, routing Thailand 13-0 to begin their title defense. Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan scored five goals on the night for the U.S. Morgan now sits at 106 goals in her international career and is tied with Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Carli Lloyd in third place on the USA’s top World Cup scorers list. Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and defender Ali Krieger did not appear for the U.S. in their opening match of group play.
Two Pride players were in the spotlight during the opening round of World Cup matches, making history with their play. In Sunday’s 13-0 win by the U.S. WNT against Thailand, Alex Morgan posted five total goals, tying U.S. legend Michelle Akers for the most scored in a single match in World Cup history. The win also marked the largest margin of victory in a World Cup match.
Then, on Thursday, Marta scored from the penalty spot in the 27th minute - marking her 16th career World Cup goal. With that strike, Marta tied Germany’s Miroslav Klose for all-time World Cup goals - male or female - and extended her lead in the women’s circuit. In addition, that goal made Marta the first player to score a goal in five-straight World Cups.
Oh Captain, My Captain
With an appearance on Saturday against the Houston Dash, Orlando Pride midfielder Dani Weatherholt is projected to surpass Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds on the Club’s all-time minutes played list. Weatherholt currently sits at 4,709 minutes in matches, including the postseason, and 4,628 in regular season matches only, which are both good for second behind Edmonds’ 4,718 and 4,629 minutes, respectively. Weatherholt has captained the Pride in their last three games and has started for the team in its last 16 matches dating back to last season.
Saturday’s match will feature two of the league’s top shot-stoppers in Haley Kopmeyer and Jane Campbell. Kopmeyer currently sits at 20 saves in NWSL, good for third in the league and two shy of Campbell’s 22. Campbell trails only Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, who has registered 32 saves thus far in 2019. While Kopmeyer trails Campbell in total saves, she bests her in saves per game, averaging four per contest compared to Campbell’s 3.14.
With the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup underway, the Dash will be without six players due to international duty for Saturday’s match including leading goal-scorer, Lioness Rachel Daly. Australia’s Clare Polkinghome, and a quad of Canadians in defenders Lindsay Agnew and Allysha Chapman, midfielder Sophie Schmidt and forward Nichelle Prince.
Welcome to Exploria Stadium
Since the Pride’s last match on June 1, their home received a new name. Orlando City Stadium is now Exploria Stadium. The Club has partnered with Exploria Resorts, a Clermont, Fla. based organization, to become its first-ever naming rights partner for the 25,500-seat soccer specific stadium. The Pride will return to their newly named home on June 30 to face the Chicago Red Stars.