They Said It

💬 Carly Nelson: 'These are the moments we prep for' after subbing into match against OL Reign

Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines

Opening statement  

“I think everyone could see there was a real togetherness here today after going down a player so early on. You do all the preparation to win a game of football and then within two or three minutes you are down a player, so then you have to be adaptable, and you have to adjust. It really challenged our players defensively and, coming into an environment like this against some of the players of the opponent, is difficult but I am really proud of the players and how they coped with a lot of difficult moments and their real togetherness. Obviously disappointed with the result, but not too much on the performance.” 

On how proud he is of the team, regardless of the result 

“Yeah, and even their courage to still try and play. One way to start a team’s attack is keeping the ball and I thought there was some really good moments and real bravery to try and keep the ball in risky situations, certainly in the first half. Real togetherness as you see the forwards doing their work to defend and get back and being hard to beat. Ultimately, Seattle were very direct trying to get the ball forward and made our defenders defend long balls and try to pick up second balls. Again, from back to front, I thought they did a terrific job.” 

On the performance of goalkeeper Carly Nelson 

“A lot of credit has to go to Paul [Crichton] because he is working with the goalkeepers day in and day out and they always have to be ready. Coming into a game three minutes in is always going to be difficult, certainly as a goalkeeper and she handled it really, really well. Some of her distribution and some of her shot stopping kept us in the game in pivotal moments. It just means that everyone has to be ready to come onto the field and put up a solid performance.”

Orlando Pride Goalkeeper Carly Nelson

Opening statement 

“As a second string, you are never, ever hoping your first string goes down, but you are always ready when it does happen. Literally saw Anna [Moorhouse] come out, which was unlucky, took an unlucky bounce and that is when I was just like ‘OK, I am ready’ and we have to go. These are the moments we prep for. It felt good to be back out there after I was able to settle into the game.” 

On the coach’s message throughout the match 

“It was just to keep going, we got this, stick together, stick to the gameplan and move on. Mistakes happen, that is part of soccer, it is a game of mistakes and we got this, just keep pushing forward, which is what we did.” 

On the mentality of having to enter the match so early 

“For me, I just disassociate. I am in it and I have to be in it. I do this every single day and it is no different. Yeah, there is a little bit of nerves, but once I get past those nerves my motor skills just took over, and being in the mindset of being ready and focused for literally anything, just locked in.”

Orlando Pride Midfielder Mikayla Cluff

Opening statement 

“Given the circumstances I think we did good, I think we can hold our heads high for the situation and we battled. But it's obviously disappointing and tough anytime you lose and don't get the result that we wanted, but content with how we battled, I guess.” 

On the team’s mentality to still compete despite being down a player all game 

“Yeah, that was unlike anything we've experienced before, obviously, we haven't had that situation face us yet this year. We tried to do what we could, we've obviously tried to drop back and tried to sit in and attack when the opportunity presented itself and try to take advantage of situations in the game, whether that's corners, different set pieces. But, yeah, it's just as difficult anytime you go down player and the third minute or whatever it was.” 

On if it's more a physical battle or mental battle being down a player 

It's physically challenging for sure. But I think that what you said is true, I think it's even more mentally challenging. You have to be more engaged, you have to be more creative, try and find different solutions to the situation that you're in and the game looks different in those environments. When you're down a man, you're battling a whole other thing on top of just trying to get the result as it is so, yeah, it's difficult."

Orlando Pride (7-10-1, 22 points) vs North Carolina Courage (8-6-4, 28 points)

When: Sunday, September 17, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

TV: Paramount+ (subscription required), FOX 35+ (local broadcast)