After a stellar performance against the league-leading North Carolina Courage, the Orlando Pride made the west coast trip to face off Seattle Reign, an attacking powerhouse. Although Seattle has struggled on the road, they hold an undefeated record at home. Perhaps the Reign’s 2-1-2 record does not correlate with their offensive lethal firepower.
Megan Rapinoe has scored four goals, ranked as the second top scorer in the NWSL, also Beverly Yanez fifth in the league with three goals, and Nahomi Kawasumi leading the league in assist with five – Seattle has the best goal differential: scoring 15 goals and conceding 10 goals. Meanwhile, Orlando Pride has allowed nine goals and scored seven goals this season. In this early stage of the season, Orlando’s back-line has not been organized nor stable, but credit is due to their top quality goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris, for keeping them in games; she has 23 saves in the league thus far, ranking her as third in the NWSL (tie with Nicole Barnhart). Despite only having one victory this season, Orlando has shown quality in their attacking third, but they haven’t been able to capitalize on their chances.
Orlando Pride displayed their attacking threat within the 9’ minute, as Jasmyne Spencer passed two inside the box, attempted to cross it to Martha, who was roaming around the goalkeeper’s box, but Haley Kopmeyer punched it out by the left post, and Jessica Fishlock cleared out from the penalty box.
Unfortunate news for Orlando in minute 23, when Ashlyn Harris suffered a quadriceps injury near her hip. Caroline Stanley replaced Harris for the remainder of the match. Orlando Health’s evaluation indicated that Harris is expected to miss eight weeks to recover from her injury, according to a report from the club.
Narrowing down the first half, Megan Rapinoe torpedoed a right cross that threatened in front of the goalie’s box, Stanley, directed the ball out, but landed around Beverly Yanez’s midsection, as it took a bounce, and she tapped it in with a right foot twist.
Orlando Pride brought the intensity with great build up play, responding to Seattle’s goal. Ali Krieger worked on the left wing, finding Camila Martins Pereira on the edge of the penalty box, side passed it to Martha, about 17 yards out from goal, she attempted a curler with her left foot to the far post, but the shot was hammered out by Kopmeyer. Just two minutes later, Kopmeyer miscued a pass to Jessica Fishlock, a lethargic outlet pass, led to a turnover as Camila pressed and won the ball, Martha finished with a shot to the bottom right corner in the 52’ minute.
Overall, the match was even between both clubs, many chances but the teams split one goal apiece. Seattle Reign’s undefeated home record continues; Orlando Pride stole a vital point away from home. Seattle will visit the struggling Houston Dash, although, the Reign have not won a game on the road so far this season. As for Orlando, they will continue their road trip; next stop to New Jersey, facing a strong Sky Blue FC side, which are currently sitting in second place of the NWSL standings.