Orlando Pride (0-4-1, 1 point) at NJ/NY Gotham FC (3-1-1, 10 points)
When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
As the Pride play their final Challenge Cup match, here here are five things to watch for:
Friday’s match against the Washington Spirit saw the Pride outshoot the visitors with 25 attempts compared to the Spirit, who recorded seven attempts throughout the match. The Pride’s 25 attempts of the evening served as the Club’s season-high, which also ties for third in Pride history for most shots, tied with a 4-1 win over Kansas City in 2017. In Challenge Cup play, the 25 shots surpassed a record of 23 set on March 30, 2022 – a match that the Pride outshot Gotham 23-14 but also fell by a 1-0 scoreline.
And this Concludes...
The Pride’s match against Gotham FC will serve as their sixth and final match of UKG Challenge Cup. During the tournament, the Club has logged four goals across five matches with forward Ally Watt leading the team in goal scoring throughout Challenge Cup play. Defenders Tori Hansen and Megan Montefusco also got in on the action, netting one goal each. The match was originally scheduled for June 7th but was rescheduled to August 9th due to poor air quality in the New York City area, a product of Canadian wildfires.
The Perfect Passes
During UKG Challenge Cup play, midfielder Viviana Villacorta finished with 100% passing accuracy, the second time over the course of the competition, she has done so, successfully completing all 15 of her attempted passes in the game. Villacorta is the only Pride player in Challenge Cup play to have perfect passing accuracy with 10 or more passes. Historically, only three players have had 100% accuracy across all competitions with 10+ passes: Villacorta, Erin McLeod (2021) and Maddy Evans (twice in 2017).
What’s at Stake
With Wednesday already known as the final UKG Challenge Cup match for the Pride, with the team not advancing past the group stage, it is a match that means everything for NJ/NY Gotham FC. The host will need to take all three points from the match, or a draw and a 7+ goal differential, in order to advance to the Knockout Round. The Pride will look to finish the Challenge Cup on a high note, playing spoiler for Gotham and take winning momentum into their return to regular season play, which begins again on Aug. 20.
We Meet Again
Wednesday’s meeting will serve as the fourth meeting between the two sides throughout the 2023 campaign. The Pride’s last meeting with Gotham saw defender Megan Montefusco record her first goal as a Pride player in the early minutes of the match after a freekick from midfielder Erika Tymrak. Tymrak collected her fourth assist of the campaign on that goal, becoming the all-competition leader in that category for the Club. Both of the Pride’s Challenge Cup matches with Gotham were also rescheduled from their original dates, the first due to the previously mentioned air quality and the second due to travel delays experienced by Gotham in getting to Orlando.
- Defender Haley McCutcheon is one appearance away from 125 across all NWSL competitions.
- McCutcheon also is one appearance away from 25 as a member of the Pride, and one appearance from 20 career Challenge Cup appearances.
- Erika Tymrak is one appearance away from 60 across all competitions as a member of the Pride.
- Forward Marta is five appearances away from 100 across all competitions as a member of the Pride. The Brazilian is on track to become the first Pride player to hit the century mark milestone for the Club.
- Rookie Emily Madril is one appearance away from 20 across all competitions.