With the news dropping yesterday of the MLS side possibly mailing in the rest of the 2018 season, it's a great time to turn our attention to the NWSL side of Orlando City SC--the Orlando Pride--otherwise known as the team that cares about actually scoring goals and winning matches. They face the winless Sky Blue side this evening at Orlando City Stadium. Hopefully, they can secure another result and take 3 points at home, which could potentially push the Pride into second place on the table ahead of the Seattle Reign.
Injuries and Players to Watch
Sky Blue FC
- OUT: Shea Groom (right ankle contusion), Jen Hoy (right knee sprain), Raquel Rodriguez (back spasms)
- Kailen Sheridan leads her team in passes into the final third (73) -- the only GK in NWSL with that distinction.
- Sarah Killion leads the team in crosses/corners (14--which is tied for 5th in NWSL), tackles won (26 -- third in NWSL), touches (675), and successful passes (370).
- Katie Johnson and Sarah Killion are tied for the Sky Blue lead for chances created (13 each) and assists (2 each).
- Carli Lloyd leads the team in shots (21) and duels won (72). Lloyd has also recorded one goal and one assist this season.
- Christina Gibbons leads the team in blocks (8).
- Rebekah Stott leads Sky Blue in clearances (38).
- OUT: Ali Krieger (right knee sprain)
- QUESTIONABLE: Marta (left calf strain) -- this stat is per the league web site, but ProSoccerUSA.com reported on June 11 that she had returned to training at least partially.
- Camila will be available for selection for the Orlando Pride this Saturday after eight months on the disabled list due to ongoing rehabilitation for an ACL tear and MCL sprain.
- Shelina Zadorsky leads the team in Clearances (58 -- 4th in NWSL) and successful passes (355).
- Dani Weatherholt leads the Pride in Tackles Won (25).
- Alanna Kennedy leads the team in duels won (65) and interceptions (27).
- Marta and Christine Nairn lead the team in Assists (3 -- tied for the NWSL lead).
- Christine Nairn also leads the team in passes into the final third (77).
- Chioma Ubogagu leads the Pride in scoring (4 -- 4th in NWSL).
- Sydney Leroux leads the team in shots (16).
- Alex Morgan leads the team in chances created (11). During the international break, Morgan's goal was the winner for the USWNT against China PR.
- Both of the Orlando Pride goalkeepers have clean sheets on the season: Ashlyn Harris (3) and Haley Kopmeyer (1 -- during the International Break).
Starting XI and Score Prediction
I expect Camila to be in the lineup tonight, but I'm not sure if Tom Sermanni will insert her in the Starting XI her first game back. I expect it's more likely she will receive up to 30 minutes as a second-half sub, and more likely will play 15 - 20 minutes to just be sure she feels fully match fit and ready to resume her starting role. Sky Blue FC has really struggled this season so far, earning only 2 points in 10 matches so far. Meanwhile, the Orlando Pride are tied for second in scoring with 16 goals and are two points out of second place in the league standings. I have a lot more confidence in these ladies than I do in the lads on the MLS side, so I'm predicting a 3 - 1 victory for the Pride this evening.
What are your thoughts? Will the Pride take full points tonight, or will the shock waves from the MLS side of the organization throw the ladies into a funk? Let me know in the comments below.