Rapid Reactions: Marta magic secures first win of the season


1. The Orlando Pride remain undefeated after a massive road win out West, taking down Utah Royals FC 1-0 tonight.

2. It could only be the 🐐. In the 68th minute, Marta scored the 200th goal in Orlando Pride history, just minutes after subbing into the game. Kerry Abello's ball into the box found the Brazilian unmarked in the box, as she fired a one-time shot with her right foot into the top corner.

3. The goal came after the Pride knocked on the door for the first 67 minutes of the game, controlling many of the attacking actions in Utah's defensive half of the pitch. Looking at the advanced stats, Marta's goal was only the fifth best scoring chance of the game, with three of the highest expected goals coming late in the first half. It's a stat that shows something that's been a theme this season for Orlando: good chance creation, not enough goals.

4. Once again the Orlando midfield dominated the match, controlling a lot of the run of play as a result. Angelina and Morgan Gautrat work incredibly well in tandem, moving the ball quickly in tight spaces. With Utah's high-pressing action, the quick ball movement took a lot of the bite out of the Royals' defensive play, allowing for more control from Orlando.

5. Not only did the midfield do well, but the defense kept a clean sheet, their first of the season. Still playing in a pseudo-makeshift backline with Kylie Strom deployed as center back, the entire backline held Utah to just five shots, four of them outside the 18-yard box. The defense was stifling in the final third, not just by the backline but also by the midfield and forwards coming back to get behind the ball.

6. The Pride continue to generate set-piece opportunities this season, earning a whopping 10 corners on the night. Still leading the league in set-piece goals, Orlando will have a bevy of those opportunities over the course of the season to score from.

7. It was a memorable night for Summer Yates, who got her first NWSL start for the Pride. Over the first three games, her play has proven to be a difference-maker in the attack, and Seb Hines said after the game that it's been well-deserved for her to get the starting nod. She provided a solid 84 minutes of play before subbing out for Ally Lemos.

8. After tonight's game, the Pride will return home to host the San Diego Wave for Florida Is Citrus Night, presented by OUC, next Friday night at INTER&Co Stadium, with kickoff set for 8:00 p.m. ET.