ORLANDO, Fla. (July 18, 2019) - Orlando Pride (2-9-2, 8 points) returns home to face Sky Blue FC (2-7-2, 8 points) on Saturday, July 20. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium. The match will be available to stream on Yahoo! Sports, with international fans able to tune in on NWSLsoccer.com.
Saturday’s contest will serve as the Pride’s World Cup Welcome Home Match, with each of the Pride’s nine players that participated in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup set to be recognized. 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Alex Morgan will each be honored in their return to Exploria Stadium along with their six teammates that participated in this year’s marquee international tournament in Marta and Camila (Brazil), Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond (Australia), Shelina Zadorsky (Canada) and newcomer Claire Emslie (Scotland). Tickets start at just $9, courtesy of Orlando Health, and can be purchased at the link here.
“I’m expecting a big crowd [on Saturday], that’s what I’m expecting,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “When we played [Sky Blue] I was really impressed with them, I was impressed with the way they tried to play. They get caught at times, but you’re going to in this league. I think that they’ll try and play, they’ll try and sit, counter-attack us into the spaces because we’ll be attacking, trying to exploit. They tried to exploit us wide last time, so we need to be aware of that, but I just think that we have to put on a show for our fans.”
The Pride enter Saturday’s match after falling 4-3 at Portland this past Sunday. The Thorns jumped out to a 2-0 lead, scoring in the third and 58th minutes only for their lead to be cut in half by a finish from Marta in the 61st. Christine Sinclair scored a third for the Thorns in the 66th, which was again answered by Marta who forced an own goal off Portland defender Emily Menges in the 68th minute. Erin Greening leveled the two sides at 3-3 with her first professional goal in the 90th minute, but Tyler Lussi found the back of the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give the Thorns all three points on the afternoon.
Marta now leads the Pride with four goals this season, each of which she’s scored in her last three games. Chioma Ubogagu follows with three finishes of her own, while Joanna Boyles leads the Pride with two assists.
Sky Blue comes into Saturday’s contest after a 1-0 victory over the Utah Royals last Friday. Jennifer Hoy scored the game-winner for the home side in the 92nd minute, her second match-deciding goal in as many contests.
Raquel Rodriguez leads Sky Blue with three goals this season, followed by Hoy and U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd, each with two. Sarah Killion leads the side with two assists.
Saturday’s match will be the second of three between the two sides this season and the lone match to take place at Exploria Stadium. The Pride defeated Saturday’s opposition in their first meeting, taking a 2-1 victory at Yurcak Field, good for their first win of the 2019 season. The third meeting between the two will take place on September 29, a match that will serve as the Pride’s last on the road in the regular season.