ORLANDO, Fla. (April. 20, 2021) - The Orlando Pride (0-1-1, 1 point) close out its 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup home slate on Wednesday, April 21, hosting the Washington Spirit (1-1-0, 3 points) at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
The match will be available to stream on Paramount+, with international viewers able to tune in on Twitch. Tickets for Wednesday’s match are available at Orlando-Pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
“It will be a difficult game, it’s a different challenge because Washington has a different style. They’re adapting and obviously looking at variances in their shape. They like to have the ball, they like to try and manipulate teams so they can find spaces,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said of Wednesday’s opposition. “It’s important that we have an air of discipline to ourselves in order to maximize the potential of where we can hurt them and their buildup. I think we have to be balanced in our approach, but it will be a tough challenge. They’re a good team, have some very good players returning as well. We’ll be ready, try to eek out more performance values and build on the Louisville and Gotham games.”
The Pride come into the midweek looking to bounce back following a 1-0 loss to Gotham FC this past Wednesday. Paige Monaghan scored the lone goal of the match in the 79th minute, tapping in a ball from Ifeoma Onumonu. The New Jersey-based Club had an early chance to take the lead from the penalty spot in the 12th minute, only to be denied by Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.
Taylor Kornieck and Abi Kim each have bagged a goal for the Pride in the Challenge Cup to sit tied for the team lead, while midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howards sits atop the league with two assists following a multi-assist performance in Louisville on April 10.
Washington enters Wednesday’s contest after taking all three points in second half stoppage time last Thursday against Louisville. Forward Ashley Sanchez scored the game-winner on the night, finishing a cross from rookie forward Trinity Rodman to seal the victory for the Spirit.
Sanchez, Rodman and Kumi Yokoyama have accounted for each of Washington’s three finishes through two Challenge Cup matches, with Rodman leading the side in goal contributions with an assist to add to her credit. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe currently holds the league-lead in saves with eight through two contests.
Following Wednesday’s match, the Pride will close out NWSL Challenge Cup play on Saturday, May 1, traveling to take on the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park in a nationally televised match on CBS Sports Network.