Orlando Pride (9-11-1, 28 points) vs Houston Dash (6-7-8, 26 points)
When: Sunday, October 15, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL
TV: Paramount+ (subscription required)
As the Pride look for a win to clinch their spot in the playoffs, here are seven things to watch for:
Playing for More
For the third year, Orlando Pride will recognize Breast Cancer Awareness at their match on Sunday. In collaboration with Orlando Health Cancer Institute, the Pride will wear their secondary Luna Kit at home, this time adorned with pink names and numbers, as well as specialty “Fight with Pride” patch on the front. Both the pink customizations and the patch will be available for purchase, while the game worn kits will later be auctioned off to raise money for the Orlando Health Cancer Institute.
With a Win...
The Pride’s final match of the season could present the Club with the opportunity to set a new record in home wins. The Pride’s last 2-1 win over the North Carolina Courage at Exploria Stadium saw them record their sixth home win of the season, tying their Club record, which was set back in 2017. With a Decision Day win, not only will the Pride have a chance to clinch a spot in the playoffs, but they will also set a new season best, recording seven wins at home. The Pride enter Sunday’s match with nine wins, just one win below both Portland and San Diego who will be competing for the 2023 NWSL Shield in the season finale.
Defender Emily Madril is on track to become the second Iron Woman in Pride history since former Pride player Ali Krieger earned the honor in 2017. Madril has competed in every minute of the regular season and could become just the fifth rookie in NWSL history to earn the title. So far, the defender has racked up 1890 minutes on the pitch and is one of five players in the league to play every minute.
The Season Finale
The Pride will play their final game of the 2023 regular season at Exploria Stadium and are set to host the Houston Dash on Sunday night. The Pride’s last match in the City Beautiful resulted in a 2-1 win against North Carolina Courage. The Pride sit one spot below the playoff line with only one point separating them from OL Reign who is currently in sixth place. The Pride will need a couple different scenarios to happen, but a win and the Pride could clinch the Club’s second-ever postseason berth.
Defender Kerry Abello recorded her first professional goal during the Pride’s most recent face-off against Racing Louisville FC. Abello has appeared in 19 matches this season and has managed 21 shots. Abello was the 11th different goal scorer for the Pride this season. The Penn State alum joined the Pride in 2022 and has since made 48 appearances, earning the start in 30 matches across all competitions.
Rookie of the Year
Rookie forward Messiah Bright will look to close out an impressive rookie season with the match on Sunday. She leads the team and leads all NWSL rookies in goals scored with seven across all competitions this year, six of which came in the regular season. Bright was drafted by the Pride in the second round, No. 21 overall, in the 2023 NWSL Draft.
One More for Moorhouse
Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse enters the season finale just one win away from tying former captain Ashlyn Harris for the single-season saves record. Moorhouse has totaled 70 saves on the year, while Harris holds the record at 71 saves overall. The England international ranks fourth in the league in total saves, but first in the league in goals prevented (.617), and this year also set the Pride’s single-season record for shutouts in a season with six.