The Pride look to build on the form that has vaulted them into second place on the NWSL table as they host the Houston Dash at Orlando City Stadium for a midweek match. Coming off the 1 - 0 victory over the Washington Spirit and former Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, the Pride look to try to gain three more points. Alanna Kennedy's golazo from inside the midfield circle was voted the NWSL goal of the week and was an ESPN Sports Center Top 10 pick over the weekend.
The Pride's most recent win extends their road unbeaten streak to six matches, and overall they have suffered only one loss in their last ten games. Maybe interim MLS coach Bobby Murphy needs to throw away game film from his team's matches and show them matchday film from the Orlando Pride to help motivate and turn around their recent dismal run of form in MLS league play.
Injuries and Players to Watch
Statistics below are courtesy of NWSL.
- OUT: Kristie Mewis (left ACL sprain - out for season)
- QUESTIONABLE: Kyah Simon (left ankle sprain)
- INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None
- SUSPENDED: None.
- SUSPENDED NEXT CAUTION: Rachel Daly
- Taylor Comeau played her first match for the Dash last week. She recorded team-highs in touches (63), duels won (10), and fouls won (3) against the Thorns.
- Janine van Wyk leads the team and the league in blocks on the season (18). Van Wyk has also leads the Dash in Clearances (64), the third-most of any player in the league.
- Amber Brooks is nipping at van Wyk's heels with the second-most blocks (14). Brooks is also leading the team second in the league in interceptions (49). She also leads the Dash in successful passes (352).
- Rachel Daly has created 19 chances this season to lead the Dash, making her at fifth in the league in chances created. Daly also leads the team in dribbles completed (18), passes into the final third (94), shots on goal (9), and touches (772).
- OUT: None
- QUESTIONABLE: Ali Krieger (right knee sprain)
- INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None
- SUSPENDED: None
- SUSPENDED NEXT CAUTION: None
- Christine Nairn leads the Pride and is tied for the NWSL lead in assists (4). Nairn also leads Orlando in successful crosses/corners (14), passes into the final third (100), and chances created (18).
- Dani Weatherholt leads the Pride in tackles won (27) this season.
- Alanna Kennedy has won the most duels (86) and aerial challenges (54) of any Orlando player this season.
- Shelina Zadorsky leads her team and is tied for second in the league in clearances (66). She also leads the Pride in successful passes (420).
- Mônica leads Orlando in blocks (11).
- Carson Pickett has the second-highest tally of interceptions (31) and tackles won (14) for the Pride.
- Rachel Hill, Sydney Leroux, and Chioma Ubogagu share the team scoring lead with four goals on the season.
- Ubogagu leads the team in dribbles completed (14).
- Leroux leads Orlando in shots on goal (12).
Lineup and Score Prediction
Being in the middle of a stretch of three matches in eight days, Coach Tom Sermanni has the opportunity to mix up his lineup a bit on the night. Houston has been struggling this season, winning only once on the road in five away matches, and holding a -6 goal differential on the season. Still, every point is important, so I don't expect Coach to simply go into the lab and brew up anything too different from what we've been seeing in the Pride's recent run of success.
In terms of the scoreline, both teams are averaging 1.6 goals against in the last five matches, while Orlando is finding the net at a clip of 2.2 goals scored compared to 1.4 goals scored for Houston. I'm hoping to see more scoring from Orlando in this match, and I predict a 3 - 1 win for the Pride.