They Said It

💬 Kerry Abello: 'Soccer is a cruel game' after loss to Washington Spirit

Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines

Opening statement 

“We did have a positive reaction after last week [at North Carolina]. Last week wasn’t good enough. Today I felt there was only one team that wanted to win. We started the game very aggressively, pressing, getting a lot of regains higher up the field. We decided to make some changes obviously, with the game against Gotham coming up. A lot of players took their opportunity today and overall, I am really proud of them. I am really proud of what they did and, obviously, it is a cruel game. You don’t always get what you deserve and that is life at times and that is football. We move on, but I am happy with the performance.” 

On Messiah Bright’s impact 

“The harsh reality as a forward, you're going to get judged on goals, I think both Ally [Watt] and Messiah are fighting for that position. I think you always have to be threatening in as a 9. You always have to make an impact straightaway when you come on as a substitute. I thought there were goals on the table today and we've walked away with no goals. That's an area that we need to improve on. We need to score goals when we're dominant in the game. It's a result-based business and we have to win games, especially at home in front of our fans. That's really important to me and the rest of the staff. I think the performance overall was really good, but we have to score.” 

On Kerry Abello’s performance and ability to switch positions mid-game 

“We've had these conversations from the start of the season. I like versatile players. It's football, you can’t be just one-dimensional. You can't just play one position, you have to be able to play multiple positions within a system and a style of play. To have the luxury of players like Kerry Abello... we've converted players who came here and molded them into, different positions. She [Abello] epitomizes what we're doing here. Her aggression, not only on the ball, but off the ball as well. She's brilliant. We have a lot of those players that are important to the team and important to the identity of the team.”

Orlando Pride Midfielder Kerry Abello 

Overall thoughts on tonight's game  

“We worked so hard, I think the team played really well. Soccer is a cruel game and I think we deserved to win that game. I think we showed a lot of grit and we had so many good chances on goal and the ball didn't roll our way. I'm really proud of the team and it's upsetting that that's how it ended, but I think we moved the ball well and I think we created a lot of good chances. A lot of positives from that game, just not the result.” 

On setting the tone on the field after being sideline 

“I think it just speaks to the culture we have on our team right now. I feel so bought in and I know all my teammates are bought in and I know each one of them would go out there too. We always talk about doing everything together and when we go through this adversity and losses, just sticking together. It's no question in my mind to put me back out on the field because I want to be out there for my teammates. I know that they want to get there for me and that's the culture we've created.” 

On the mentality of being able to shift into different positions on the pitch  

“It is a lot of thinking and staying sharp. I need to make sure that I know my role, no matter what position I'm in, I've always kind of been put all over the place so it doesn't really phase me anymore. I'm happy to play wherever they need me. It's going back to my roots. I played left-back tonight and I'm comfortable there. Wherever they need me, I'm locked in.”

Orlando Pride Defender Emily Madril

On frustrating moments about control over the game. 

“I think after the result last week against North Carolina we came out and we fought hard, and we were the better team out there tonight. It's just unfortunate that we didn’t get the result and score on our opportunities. I think we got back to playing how we were used to playing and we should have won.” 

On playing with Caitlin Cosme again in a professional game 

“I think each center-back pairing has their own strengths and weaknesses. It's about recognizing those differences and strengths and how we can cover for each other. I love playing with Caitlin [Cosme], I think she's great, she brings great energy into training and to the games. It was fun that I got to play with her again.” 

On contributing factor in terms of the defensive line.  

“We could have done better in previous games; I think that the goal of every game is to look at the film and see what we can do better. I think it's just trying to learn those lessons in every game. We got scored on quite a few times last week so we have a lot to learn from and a lot that we can tighten up on and I think we did that tonight.”

UKG Challenge Cup: Orlando Pride (0-3-1, 1 point) vs Washington Spirit (2-3-0, 6 points)

When: Friday, August 4, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla

TV: Paramount+ (subscription required)