Match Preview | Pride Return to Exploria Stadium to Face NJ/NY Gotham FC

Match Preview | Pride Return to Exploria Stadium to Face NJ/NY Gotham FC

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 13, 2021) - The Orlando Pride will make their return to The City Beautiful on Wednesday, April 14, set to take on NJ/NY Gotham FC, formerly known as Sky Blue FC, at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET.

The match will be televised on CBS Sports Network, the Pride’s first national broadcast of the year, with international viewers able to stream the contest live on Twitch. Wednesday’s match will also be open to fans at a limited capacity, with tickets available at Orlando-Pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

“We’ve played now, we’ve got experience playing so hopefully that will show. We can be a little bit sharper, we can set the tone within our backyard. Being in Orlando will be special for us and I have no doubt about that,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said ahead of the match. “We have to make this home a real fortress for our performances, that will give us the best chance to win. Use the wonderful support of being in front of our fans again to drive us forward and then from there, when we are at home, play as a force to be reckoned with.”

Facing a quick turnaround, the Pride return to action after battling to a 2-2 draw at 2021 NWSL expansion side Racing Louisville FC over the weekend. Louisville opened the scoring early with a finish from Cece Kizer in the 12th minute, but was answered just before the halftime break with the first league finish from Taylor Kornieck in her NWSL debut. Just 10 minutes after entering the pitch, Abi Kim would score the go-ahead for the Pride in the 88th, but Louisville was able to bag a late equalizer in second half stoppage, forcing the two sides to split the points on the evening.

With an assist on each of the Pride’s finishes over the weekend, Meggie Dougherty Howard leads the side and the NWSL with two to her credit. The performance served as the first multi-assist outing since May 26, 2018, when Marta did the same against the Chicago Red Stars.

Wednesday will serve as the first in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup for Gotham FC and the first under the NJ/NY-based side’s rebrand. Announced last week, Sky Blue FC is now Gotham FC, with a new name and crest to enter the calendar year.

Ifeoma Onumunu led the side in scoring at the 2020 Fall Series, netting three finishes through four matches for the side. Gotham returns 23 players of its 24 from a year ago, making just two moves this past offseason.

Following Wednesday’s match, the Pride will close out its home slate for the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup, next set to take on the Washington Spirit on Wednesday, April 21 at Exploria Stadium. Tickets for that match are available at Orlando-Pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

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