The Orlando Pride has found themselves in a fourth-place position after nine matches in the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. After their third mid-week match in 2018, the Pride fell to the Courage but look to regain their undefeated streak when facing Chicago this weekend.
Here are a couple things to watch out for against Orlando:
A Break in Resting Time
Despite this being the third mid-week match for the Pride, it will only be the second time Orlando has had matches within days of each other, creating less of a break for the players. Between April 28-May 2, Orlando played twice, earning a draw and win against Seattle and Chicago, respectively. After Chicago, Orlando received a Bye Week, giving them rest for their next match the following Wednesday. They battled to a draw against Utah, and three days later earned a victory against Portland. The Pride had another Bye Week yet again, giving them 11 days of rest before their match against North Carolina. But the rest didn’t pay off this time, as Orlando suffered their first loss at home this season, falling 4-3 against the Courage.
The Pride may have tired legs playing Chicago just three days after taking on the top team, but with the amount of rest Orlando has had in the prior weeks, it’ll be a test to watch after the Red Stars are finally back on track after a grueling six matches in 22 days.
Undefeated Streak Dropped Heroically
Before Wednesday, Orlando was tied with North Carolina for the best record in the last five games, going 3-0-2, adding 11 points to their now total of 12. During that time, the Pride conceded just two goals in the five games, tallying six themselves. Five different players notched goals for Orlando; Marta, Rachel Hill, Alex Morgan, Christine Nairn all scored one each while Chioma Ubogagu added two. After their loss against North Carolina, Orlando added another new scorer, Alanna Kennedy, while Hill and Ubogagu tallied another.
Marta (15) and Morgan (14) are the only two Orlando players that have scored more than 10 goals for the club. While both of them have tallied goals this season, Ubogagu currently leads the team with four goals, showing multiple players making scoring differences.