Orlando Pride

💬 Pride look to keep momentum heading into stretch of UKG Challenge Cup matches

Orlando Pride (0-1-1, 1 point) vs. Gotham FC (1-0-1, 4 points)

When: Sunday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla

TV: Paramount+ (subscription required)

Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines

On the importance of the players having time to reset both physically and mentally 

I think mentally it's really important. It's been a pretty long, relentless season adding Challenge Cup during the week, had to use every player this season. So I think having this week’s break is important, but you know, here we are back into it. We need to get the fitness levels as high as possible because the game is around the corner. We play Gotham on Sunday in front of our own fans, we are on good momentum going into the break and we want to continue that in this next game.

On how he approaches keeping the momentum going

I think it's just starting where you left off. You know, we those last two games before the break, we were super physical, our press was great. There was a lot of really good moments, and it's just reinforcing that message, going through film, going through principals on the field. Today it's extremely hot [at training] but we have standards and expectations and we want to continue that throughout the season.

On preparing for only Challenge Cup games in the near future

Challenge Cup is a little bit different going into these next four games, because they've been midweek and we've had league games in between. Listen, it's a competition that we want to win, we want to compete in, we're not far away from winning the group. So yeah, we want to start where we left off, we want to go after Gotham on Sunday and put them under pressure. Again, we want to make this environment, a hostile environment, a difficult place to play and that's what's been our success at the start this year and we want to continue that throughout the season.

On how he expects Gotham to approach the game 

It's difficult to know, right? But as always, we have to focus on ourselves. That's most important. We've shown good moments in the last couple of games, scoring goals, keeping clean sheets, we want to continue to do that. We want to keep putting teams under pressure when they come into our into our environment. But, yeah, I think it's more about ourselves. It's funny because we’ve tried to play them twice now and it hasn't happened. So this game has been long overdue and I think everyone's excited to get back onto the field and play in front of our fans again.

Orlando Pride Forward Messiah Bright

On how refreshed she feels coming off the break 

I'm feeling pretty refreshed. I think it's good to just get away for a second especially for me. I'm from Dallas, so this is my first time away from home. So I'm good and ready to go for the long stretch.

On how the team is preparing for multiple Challenge Cup games coming up 

I think we're just taking it one step at a time and just getting back into the swing of things. I think everyone's feeling mentally prepared. You know, it's a long season. So I think we're just honing in on each other and staying together as much as we can and just taking it one step at a time.

On how she stays balanced given her performances this season 

I mean, it's an awesome accomplishment but I think there's more to be done. I'm super ecstatic where I am, but I wouldn't be there if it wasn't for my team, and just the success that we're having together on the field. So I'm just remaining humble as much as I can and just taking it one step at a time and going from there. I’m not really locking it in, like it's a huge accomplishment, for sure, but we have bigger things to focus on.

On how she keeps herself motivated 

I think really just my motivation comes from the consistency that I'm having. I know that was a struggle for me at the beginning. But now I think I'm really starting to get into full gear. So I think it's really just honing in on my consistency and just having fun as much as I can out there on the field.

On what she expects from Gotham 

They bring a high level of intensity. They're a very aggressive team and they have a lot of stars on their team, as well, but so do we. So I think it's going to be a good matchup for us. They've had success in the past, and we're finally finding our rhythm so, hopefully, it'll be a good turnout for us and we go and get the win.