ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 20, 2023) – Orlando Pride (7-8-1, 22 points) defeated the Chicago Red Stars (5-10-1, 16 points) on Sunday night at Exploria Stadium by a 5-0 scoreline. The five goals tie the Club record for most goals scored in a match, a feat now accomplished three times in the Pride’s history, two of which have come against Chicago.
The night was highlighted by Pride debuts of Rafaelle and Mariana Larroquette, both of which have just arrived to the Club after playing in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup for Brazil and Argentina, respectively. Both players celebrated their Pride debuts by finding the back of the net, Rafaelle 15 minutes into her debut and Larroquette just four minutes into her debut after coming on as a substitute in the second half.
Forward Messiah Bright scored two goals on the night, recording her first professional brace. Bright now has seven goals across all competitions, which leads the team and leads all NWSL rookies. Bright also has now scored in back-to-back games, as she was able to find the back of the net in the Pride’s previous match against NJ/NY Gotham FC, which was a part of UKG Challenge Cup play.
Mikayla Cluff came on as a substitute in the 60th minute and made an immediate impact. The midfielder recorded her first assist of the 2023 season, and of her Pride career, on the Larroquette finish after being on the field for just three minutes. Four minutes after that she found the back of the net for the second time this year. It is the first time in Cluff’s career she has notched a goal and an assist in a single match.
Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse earned her fifth clean sheet of the season, only needing to make one save on the night. The backline held the visitors to just nine shots, with only one target. Pride goalkeepers have now recorded at least five clean sheets in the season for the third year in a row.
15’ Rafaelle (Adriana) – ORL 1, CHI 0
It took just a quarter of an hour for the debutant, Rafaelle, to make her mark in the match, scoring her first Pride goal off the corner. The center back was set up by fellow countrywoman Adriana, who sent a line drive ball into the box that was headed back across the goal and in by Rafaelle.
24’ Messiah Bright (Julie Doyle) – ORL 2, CHI 0
Forward Messiah Bright extended the Pride’s lead after receiving the ball from Julie Doyle and sprinting down the left flank. Bright cut back on her right foot from just outside the top of the box and sent a rocket of a shot into the corner of the net.
49’ Messiah Bright (Marta) – ORL 3, CHI 0
Bright finished off the brace after Marta sent a looping ball behind the Red Stars’ backline with the outside of her boot, finding a sprinting Bright. The TCU product dribbled around the goalkeeper and sent the ball into the back of the empty net.
64’ Mariana Larroquette (Mikayla Cluff) – ORL 4, CHI 0
Mariana Larroquette marked her Pride debut with a goal after Mikayla Cluff laid the ball off to Larroquette, who cut back on her right foot and sent the shot into the side of the goal past a diving goalkeeper.
68’ Mikayla Cluff (Adriana) – ORL 5, CHI 0
Cluff added a goal to go along with her assist after Adriana took on her defender on the right flank and sent in a pass to an oncoming Cluff near the penalty spot, who struck the ball on her first touch and put it in the bottom corner.
Head Coach Seb Hines:
“The players were brilliant today from start to finish and the intensity of how they did everything from attacking to defending. We talked heavily about taking our opportunities and end products in the final third and they were brilliant. I can’t speak highly enough of them. We've felt like that performance has been coming, but it's nice to finally get a good scoreline at the end of it.”
- Earning the start, defender Rafaelle marked her Pride debut with a goal with her first-half finish. The goal also counted as her first NWSL career goal.
- Messiah Bright earned her sixth and seventh goals of the season across all competitions, extending her lead in goals scored amongst NWSL rookies. The brace is also the first of her professional career.
- Coming on in the 60th minute, Argentinian international Mariana Larroquette made her Pride debut. Four minutes later, she would score her first NWSL goal.
- Mikayla Cluff tallied her second goal of the season and the fourth of her career. She also recorded her first assist of the season in the match.
- Adriana collected her second and third assists of the season earning the helpers on Rafaelle’s and Cluff’s finishes.
- Julie Doyle recorded her second assist of the 2023 campaign on the Bright finish, both of which have come in regular season play.
- Marta picked up her second helper of the year, extending her Club record to 16 assists.
- Anna Moorhouse earned her fifth clean sheet of the season.
- With a goal contribution from Rafaelle, Marta and Adriana, it is the first time in NWSL history that three players from a country other than the U.S. contributed to at least one goal for a team in a single match.
- The victory also marks the first time the Pride have defeated the Chicago Red Stars at home.
- The start marks the 50th NWSL regular season appearance for Kylie Strom.
- Head Coach Seb Hines made three changes to the starting lineup on Sunday night, with all Marta, Adriana, and Rafaelle returning from the World Cup and getting the nod.
Next Match: The Pride are set to welcome the San Diego Wave to Exploria Stadium on Friday, August 25 in what will be the Club’s first-ever Star Wars Night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET with the match available to stream on Paramount+.