This past week, the Orlando Pride entered their fourth week of the 2019 preseason.
After returning from a match in North Carolina that handed the Pride a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the reigning champion Courage, the Pride entered the week looking to build off the positives of their performance that may not have been indicated by the scoreline.
“You see the result and obviously it doesn’t look good, but when I look back the performance, which will always be the case, the performance first, I was really pleased with them,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “They’ve taken on something new. Given the right environment these people can grow, as people and players, and you’ll see just a massive jump because I’m going to support them regardless.”
Having just over three weeks under his belt with his squad and yet to have one day with all his players in camp, Skinner has already showcased his emphasis on winning and instilling a new mentality to his team and those who follow them.
Most importantly though, his focus now is on developing a relationship with each of his players to help garner a sense of understanding of what he and his staff are trying to accomplish. Those very relationships are what he anticipates will be the backbone of the success that he expects this very talented group to achieve.
“I’ll take responsibility for the game and the way I’m asking them to play and I’ll support them through the good and the bad. I think once they feel that, then you just jump as a human and when they jump as that you’re going to see a team that’s transformed and that’s what I know is coming for this team.”
Two weeks out from his first regular-season match at the helm, Skinner now holds a sense of understanding of what it takes not only to be the best in this league, but to beat the best as well.
In the remainder of the preseason, it can be expected that Skinner will continue to instill the newfound culture of the Club within his crop of players and staff to provide the squad with both a new energy, accompanied by their own distinct style of play.
While this may prove difficult with eight players heading out on national team duty, Skinner has already made it clear that he will not tolerate any excuses for anything short of his expectations.
“We’ve got work to do, but I always knew that,” Skinner said. “That’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to work, work, work and make sure that our players understand what their roles and responsibilities are. In time, I’m absolutely adamant we’ll see the fruition of what we’re trying to do.”
The Pride will open their season on Sunday, April 14 at 5 p.m. ET against the Portland Thorns FC at Orlando City Stadium. Ticket information can be found at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY