ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2019) - Orlando Pride (4-16-3, 15 points) closes out its 2019 NWSL campaign when it hosts Reign FC (10-6-7, 37 points) on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET with the match available to stream domestically on Yahoo! Sports and internationally across ESPN’s platforms.
Saturday will serve as the Club’s first ever Breast Cancer Awareness Match. Tickets are available to purchase for $21 here, with $5 from each ticket donated to Libby’s Legacy, an Orlando-based non-profit selected by Pride defender Toni Pressley. Pressley, a four-year Pride veteran, announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer on Aug. 7.
The Pride will wear limited-edition pink logo pre-match tops during warm-ups, which will be auctioned off following the match. A limited-edition t-shirt and a specialty scarf will be available for purchase in The Den at Exploria Stadium and online at ShopOrlandoPride.com with a portion of proceeds from sales going to Libby's Legacy. The match has also been supported by a league-wide online auction that began on Sept. 11, with over 100 items available to bid on across NWSL.
“I think [the players] know there’s a lot on the line and I think they’ve known for a while. It’s not only that, it’s a really important night to raise awareness and continue to raise awareness and to continue to support a wonderful charity,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “I’m expecting an excellent team [in the Reign] who will try to hit us hard early. If they get the points on Saturday and Portland don’t, they go above Portland in the table. That’s a really important thing for them, so they’re going to try to hit us hard. We’ve got to stop the wave, stop their confidence and if we do that, then we’ll have the opportunity to win the game.”
Saturday’s match could see the return of Pressley to the pitch for the first time since her diagnosis as she will be available for selection. The Florida State product’s last appearance came on July 20 in the Pride’s 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC. Pressley has appeared in nine matches for the Pride this season, all of which were starts, with one goal in 2019.
The Pride enter the weekend following a 3-0 defeat to the Washington Spirit last Saturday. The match saw goalkeeper Lainey Burdett record her first professional start, while forward Sydney Leroux made her 2019 home debut, entering the match in the 75th minute.
Marta leads the Pride with five goals this season, followed by Rachel Hill with three. Hill also sits tied for the team lead in assists with Joanna Boyles, each with two in 2019.
The Reign come into Saturday’s matchup coming off a 2-0 victory at home over the Portland Thorns in their last outing on Sept. 29. The Tacoma-based side scored on both sides of the break, with Jodie Taylor giving the home team the early lead in the 27th minute and Bethany Balcer doubling the advantage in the 81st to secure the victory.
Balcer leads the Reign with six goals this season followed by Taylor with four. Taylor holds the sole lead in assists for the team with three in 2019.
Saturday’s match will serve as the regular-season finale for both sides. The two battled to a 1-1 draw on April 21 in Tacoma, highlighted by a bicycle kick finish from Alanna Kennedy in the match, followed by the Reign taking a 3-1 win at Cheney Stadium on Sept. 7.