The Orlando Pride will try to help fans in The City Beautiful end the weekend on a high note as they face the Seattle Reign in a late-night affair on Sunday. The game at Seattle's Memorial Stadium kicks off at 9:00 pm Eastern and will be streamed on the Go90 app. The Pride will attempt to climb a rung of the ladder on the table as they sit third, two points behind the Reign in second place in the league.
Last week the Pride had two thrilling games that both featured seven goals. They lost at home to the league-leading North Carolina Courage by the score of 3 - 4, and they defeated Chicago on the road by the tally of 5 - 2. This week, they will have to try to find ways to win without several key players who are out for International Duty.
Injuries and International Duty
Both teams have a few players out for injury and international duty. And on Friday, the Pride announced signing two National Team Replacement Players in Abby Elinsky (M) and Sarah Shimer (GK). Both have been practicing with the club for some time, and Elinsky was signed as a replacement player earlier in the season, making two appearances off the bench for a total of 32 minutes.
- OUT: Yael Averbuch (illness), Jaycie Johnson (right knee sprain – D45), Megan Oyster (left knee sprain)
- QUESTIONABLE: Steph Catley (left groin strain)
- INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Allie Long (USA), Megan Rapinoe (USA)
- OUT: Camila (right knee surgery – D45), Ali Krieger (right knee sprain), Marta (left calf strain), Rachel Hill (left groin strain)
- QUESTIONABLE: Monica (right knee soreness), Toni Pressley (left quad strain)
- INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Ashlyn Harris (USA), Alex Morgan (USA), Shelina Zadorsky (CAN)
Lineup and Score Prediction
I'm putting Monica in my Starting XI because she was listed with that same knee soreness last time and played 90 minutes, so I think that's an error in the injury report. I have a fair degree of confidence about most of the players in my projected lineup, but I honestly have no idea how Coach Sermanni is going to deploy them. With a 20-player roster, NWSL players seem to be a lot more versatile in where they can play and be effective than players on the 30-player MLS rosters. With a smaller roster, you're almost forced to have players who can give you starts or strong substitute performances at different places in the formation.
As for the result, I'm going to predict a 2 - 2 draw. The Pride is averaging over 2 goals a match in their last five, and giving up a little over 1 goals per match. Meanwhile, Seattle is not quite averaging 2 goals per match in the same period, but they have a bit of a stingier defense. A road draw is a good result, and it will keep the unbeaten streak away intact.
What are your thoughts on the match? Do you think the Pride can come away with a win or do you believe that Seattle will reign supreme at home? Let me know in the comments below.