They Said It

💬 Marta: 'We want to keep going' after breaking NWSL record in win over Portland Thorns

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Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines

On winning eight straight games

It’s a great feeling. I'll be honest, it'll probably be short lived because we have bigger goals we’ve set this season and objectives that we want to reach this season. But of course, it’s a nice feeling. It’s great to do it in front of our fans, our home fans who supported us through the tough times and we’re rewarding them for their support by having this record, setting a record for the NWSL. A lot of the credit has to go to the players and the support staff, because without them we wouldn't have achieved this today. It’s a great feeling, but we have other things we want to aspire to.”

On difference between Portland’s first and second half play

Listen, they’re [Portland are] a top team. They were six games unbeaten coming into this game. They should be looking at the top of the table with the roster that they have. They have internationals all over. They’ve got players who’ve won the league as well. It was always going to be different in that second half. I think the way we started the second half, we started a little surprised. We mentioned that two halves are never the same. 2-0 is a very dangerous scoreline as well, the next goal can be the defining factor. But I thought after that first 10 minutes of the second half, we settled, we started moving the ball very well. We also created a lot of opportunities to score as well. I think if we had gotten that third goal it probably would have put our minds at rest towards the end. But listen, this team digs deep and to get it over the line towards the end, that’s really encouraging and that’s something we’ve done all season, and I’m pleased we didn't stop that today.”

On ownership investing in players, including the dividends that Barbra Banda has paid

“It looks great right. With Barbra [Banda] in particular we knew what we were getting; we were getting a goal scorer. We got a player who has an eye for a goal and puts herself in really good positions for goals. Building that chemistry is probably happening quicker than we’ve thought. But she finds a way and it’s brilliant to see. Even the second goal today, you would feel like the chance is gone, but she finds a way to find the back of the net. I think she puts fear in defenders as well, which is a compliment to her and the presence shows on the field. But like you said, the acquisitions we brought in this year has added that little bit more quality to the group and you can see that everything is coming together nicely. I think we started this journey at the start of last year. We had a rough start. I always remember that first game away at Portland, we were down 4-0 after the first half. But I felt we played well, and from that moment we’ve progressed really well to this point. We just need to continue to move forward; we need to continue to stay humble. Of course, we’re happy we’re at the top of the table right now, but there’s still a lot of growth within this team. We still have players to come back from injury as well. It’s a very exciting time for the Pride.”

Orlando Pride Forward Marta

On how she feels breaking the NWSL record for most consecutive wins

“I feel so good. I think the whole team feels the same because it is not only about breaking the record, but it is about being consistent. We are hungry in every single game and fight for three points and keep improving this season. We have started really well this year and we want to keep going like that.”

On the character of this team

“This league is so hard. It is hard to play, and it is hard to win games and our team needs to adapt in the situation when it is a hard situation like it was in the second half when we conceded a goal. In our minds, we were looking to score the third goal but it happened. Portland is a good team and we needed to adapt our team during situations like that. I think we can do better, yes I do, because we have quality. We should keep the ball a little more and they [Portland] gave us the space and then we need to find that space, so it doesn't make it so hard on us. I am still happy with the result though.”

On the team going out and being themselves in matches

“It is something that I try to talk to everybody about every single time. We are in a comfortable situation but we can’t feel comfortable because everybody is looking to beat us. We need to make the game easy. Every game is a new situation, a new opponent, so depending on what we do on the field, we have to make our game easy. I think we can have that in mind. We need to think that every game is big fight for us, and we need to be prepared for that.”

On everybody now chasing Orlando in the standings

“It is something that we have dreamed about since the beginning. We have worked very hard. We never give up. I have never given up in my life so I will never give up dreaming about this situation. We now look behind and see everyone running after us, so we just need to run [faster].”

Orlando Pride Midfielder Haley McCutcheon

*On the team’s accomplishments

“[I’m] proud. I even said that last year and into this year, we’re building something special, and to have something in the history books is something that I wasn’t expecting to happen so soon. We are thrilled with the record that we set tonight, but we are not satisfied, as there is a bigger goal to achieve at the end of the season still.”

On the difference between the first and second half

“The second half was tough. I like to joke around and say that we like to keep it interesting, as in the past we have been disappointed with conceding late goals, but things like that happen as that’s the game of football. Most importantly, we just need to start digging in and focusing on our principles, backing ourselves and trusting each other to make those plays. Building off of the positives is what we need to focus on to help us get us through.”

On when mindset changes from improving to keeping consistent

“ That is a really good question, I think that we really have focused on improving game-after-game, but as I said before, football is football and there is still some great teams and great players that we are going to play against. We need to dig in especially when it's in the tough moments and to be able to ride out those games. When there’s games that we play really well, and the games that we don’t play really well or as well as we’d like, at the end of the day it's all about getting and grinding out those results. At the end of it, that’s the most important thing.”*