ORLANDO, Fla. (May 15, 2021) - The Orlando Pride open up play in the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) regular season on Sunday, May 16 at Exploria Stadium, set to host the Washington Spirit. Kickoff for the match, presented by Orlando Health, is slated for 6 p.m. ET.
The match will be available to stream on Paramount+, with international viewers able to tune in on Twitch, and live radio broadcast on the newly-announced iHeart NWSL Radio channel. Tickets for Sunday’s match are available at Orlando-Pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
“It’s going to be a tough game. We’ve played [Washington] recently and took the victory, but they’re a very good team. It’ll be a difficult game,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said ahead of Sunday’s regular season opener. “We need to do what we did last time, but also add quality moments to our game to score more goals. Just looking for that consistency and continuing that energy and start the season off well is what we want to do.”
The Pride return to the pitch after a 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup campaign that saw them finish third in the Eastern Conference with a record of 1-1-2. The side’s lone victory came against Sunday’s opposition, with draws at Louisville and North Carolina, and a loss to Gotham FC accounting for the other results.
Orlando last took the pitch on May 1, traveling to face the Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park in a match that resulted in a scoreless draw. Ashlyn Harris recorded three saves in the match en route to her second-consecutive clean sheet in the competition.
Sydney Leroux, Taylor Kornieck and Abi Kim all found the back of the net in the Challenge Cup, with Meggie Dougherty Howard and Alex Morgan each registering assists, the former with two and the latter with one. Harris finished the competition third in the league in saves with 16 total, including a nine-stop effort against the Spirit on April 21 at Exploria Stadium.
Washington comes into Sunday’s match after battling to a scoreless draw against eventual top-finishers in the East, Gotham FC, on April 27. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe had to make just two saves in that match to preserve the clean sheet for the Spirit. Washington finished the Challenge Cup at fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a pair of losses to the Pride and North Carolina and a victory against Racing Louisville to add to the draw against Gotham.
Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez and Kumi Yokoyama all found the back of the net in Challenge Cup play, while Bledsoe finished the competition tied for fourth in the league in saves with 12 to her credit.
Following Sunday’s match, the Pride will head out on the road for the first time in regular season action, traveling to face the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday, May 22.