ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Orlando Pride closes out a two-game home stand when it hosts the Washington Spirit on Saturday, July 6. Kickoff for the match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium. Saturday’s match will be available to stream on Yahoo! Sports, with international fans able to tune in on NWSLsoccer.com, with match tickets available at orlando-pride.com/tickets.
“In my opinion, I think they’re [Washington] probably the best team from playing out from the back. I think they’re excellent, I think they’re doing a great job over there. I think they have fresh, young players. They use the draft system well. They’re a very, very strong team, I’m not surprised they are where they are,” Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “They’re very, very good and I think we’ve got to be excellent to beat them on the day and I think that we can do that, we’ve just got to make sure we’re on our money when we play them. Good team, they’re coached well and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
The Pride come into Saturday’s match following a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Red Stars this past Sunday at Exploria Stadium. Sam Kerr opened up the scoring in the match in the seventh minute only to be answered by Chioma Ubogagu’s second finish of the season in the 22nd. Kerr would then go on to score two unanswered with a finish in first half stoppage time and again in the 55th minute. Marta cut the Red Stars’ lead in half in the 79th minute by converting from the penalty spot, but the Pride’s rally came up short giving the Red Stars all three points on the night.
Ubogagu now leads the Pride with two goals this season, followed by Joanna Boyles, Danica Evans, Toni Pressley, Marta and Alanna Kennedy each with one apiece. Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer currently sits at second in the league with 39 saves in 2019.
Washington enters Saturday’s contest looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to the North Carolina Courage last Saturday. Debinha scored for the Courage in first half stoppage time and Leah Pruitt followed suit in the 53rd to give the visitors a 2-0 advantage. Crystal Thomas cut North Carolina’s lead in half with a finish in the 82nd minute, but it was not enough to give the Spirit any points on the night.
Ashley Hatch leads the Spirit with three goals this season, followed by Jordan DiBiasi and Cheyna Matthews each with two apiece. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsore leads NWSL with 45 saves this season.
Saturday’s match will be the first of three between the two sides this season and the first of two at Exploria Stadium. The Pride will face off against the Spirit in back-to-back contests next month, traveling to Washington for a match on August 24 before hosting the Spirit the following week on August 31.
The Orlando Pride contributed to this report.