The Game of Soccer: League or No League?

Is your child not quite ready to play sports? Or are they just not interested in a league? That doesn’t mean soccer is completely off the table. There are many ways to enjoy the game of soccer without the competition, without winning or losing, and without the team atmosphere. Sometimes, all you truly need is a couple of friends, a big yard, and a sunny afternoon. The experts in Orlando women’s soccer are here to give you tips and tricks to enjoying soccer without the league. Read on to learn more.

You may be wondering, “Well, how do you play soccer without being in a competitive league?” There are many games out there that are less about making goal after goal, and more about having fun and enjoying the sport as a whole. If you’re still wondering how here are some games that your child can play that don’t require a strict uniform:

5, 5, 3
This game is quite simple and only requires two or more people, but of course, you get to choose the amount. This game is all about shooting for the goal without keeping score. One or more people stand on different sides of the pitch with one other person in the net. You have five chances to make a goal from 10 yards outside the yard box, you then have another chance to make five goals from just outside the yard box, and finally, you have three chances to hit from the PK spot. The goal, no pun intended, is to alternate players inside and outside the net. This is a great way to keep kids active, even if organized sports aren’t their thing.

Around the World
Another classic goal scoring game, just for fun, is just as easy to understand. You line up six to 10 balls around the yard box, or anywhere you feel comfortable on the pitch. Then, as fast as you can, you kick each ball and see how many goals you make. You can switch off each time, and it’s important to keep in mind, this is all for fun! This game is great for kids who may not be ready for sports yet, but are interested in training and learning the game for when they get a little older.

Three Post
The basic premise of this fun game is to hit three posts. There’s a left post, a right post, and, of course, a crossbar. You then shoot from the outside of the yard box or closer, depending on difficulty level. You can either take turns or one person can go until all three posts are hit and then switch. If you hit the part where the post connects with the crossbar, that's two slick! Keep in mind, the ball can hit the posts either in the air or along the ground. This game is great for kids who are wanting to test their accuracy, skill, or nerves.

As you can see, there are many ways to enjoy the game of soccer, and they don’t always include a league. Whether you’re not ready for sports, or maybe just aren’t into them, these games don’t discriminate! They’re all about having fun, enjoying life, and living an active lifestyle, perfect for any kid, their friends, or an adult. The experts in Orlando women’s soccer believe soccer is for everyone, not just the pros. If you want to read more about the great game of soccer, you can visit our blog!

Orlando Pride Returns from Break with 1-1 Draw Against Chicago

Photo: NWSLsoccer.com

Photo: NWSLsoccer.com

After two weeks off due to the Tournament of Nations, Orlando Pride (5-6-5, 20 points) finished a home-and-home series with the Chicago Red Stars (8-3-5, 29 points) at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night. Forward Alex Morgan scored her second goal of the season in the first half, as the Pride went on to earn a point in a 1-1 draw in front of 5,667 fans.

The draw marked the first time the Pride had taken points against the Red Stars, who had previously defeated Orlando by one goal in each of the four previous meetings between the sides including a 2-1 decision on July 22 at Toyota Park.

"We probably should've had the game over by halftime. We dominated the game and played really well in the first half. We hit the woodwork twice. Then we hit a real flat spell in the second half,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “[Chicago] are always a very dangerous team. There was a time, I think, where we could've had the game won, and there was a time where we could've had the game lost. I give a great deal of credit to our players and the way that we finished the game at the end. That last five to 10 minutes we got a second wind and a second burst of energy; we managed to hit the woodwork again. Disappointed we didn't get three points, but I would have been extremely disappointed if we didn't get something out of the game."

With seven players returning on Friday from the three-game, eight-day tournament hosted by U.S. Soccer, Sermanni rolled out a 4-4-2 formation that saw Maddy Evans earn her third start of the season in the midfield and forward Chioma Ubogagu shift to left back in place of mainstay Steph Catley. Catley, as well as Brazilian defender Monica, each played all 270 minutes for their respective teams in the Tournament of Nations and did not dress for Saturday’s match.

Morgan and Ali Krieger, who were both called in for the U.S. Women’s National Team, were the only two players from the tournament to start on Saturday.

Looking to earn their first positive result over the Red Stars, the Pride jumped out of the gates and controlled the first 45 minutes with Morgan giving Orlando its first-ever lead against Chicago in the 24th minute. Ubogagu sent a pinpoint long ball up the field to Jasmyne Spencer, who made a quick turn and found Morgan on a slicing run into the box. The forward took one touch before rifling the ball in with her left foot to give the Pride the lead.

Orlando knocked on the door numerous times before the first half came to a close, including back-to-back chances from Jamia Fields, who saw a shot go inches over the crossbar followed by a rocketed strike in the 37th minute that hit the woodwork and left the goal shaking.

However, Fields’ shot wasn’t the only to be denied by the pipe. Early in the first half, Morgan’s header off an Ubogagu cross beat Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher but was denied by the crossbar.

Late in the match, with the score at 1-1, the Pride dug deep in search of the game-winner and were inches away after Marta’s corner kick went through the defense but bounced off the far post. The kick led to a scramble in the box and shouts from Orlando for a handball, but the Pride could not break through.

Marta started on the bench and was called upon earlier than expected, entering in the 24th minute after Rachel Hill suffered an injury. Camila, fresh off two goals for Brazil in the Tournament of Nations, and Alanna Kennedy, whose Australian side won the four-team competition, earned minutes as second-half substitutes.

Sofia Huerta scored Chicago’s tying goal, sending a curling shot into the corner in the 53rd minute.

The Pride will play two more home matches over the next week, hosting the Washington Spirit on Tuesday, Aug. 8 followed by Sky Blue FC on Saturday, Aug. 12. Both matches will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET with tickets available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: August 5, 2017
Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 5,667
Weather: Humid
 

Scoring Summary

Goals                           1          2          F

Orlando (5-6-5)          1          0          1

Chicago (8-3-5)          0          1          1

ORL - Alex Morgan (Jasmyne Spencer) 24’
CHI - Sofia Huerta (Jen Hoy) 53’

Lineups:
Orlando Pride: Aubrey Bledsoe; Kristen Edmonds, Ali Krieger ©, Toni Pressley, Chioma Ubogagu; Rachel Hill (Marta 24’), Dani Weatherholt (Alanna Kennedy 59’), Maddy Evans, Jamia Fields; Jasmyne Spencer (Camila 75’), Alex Morgan

Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Stanley; Nickolette Driesse; Danica Evans

Chicago Red Stars: Alyssa Naeher; Sarah Gorden (Stephanie McCaffrey 46’), Sam Johnson, Katie Naughton, Arin Gilliland; Danielle Colaprico, Taylor Comeau (Lauren Kaskie 88’), Alyssa Mautz, Vanessa DiBernardo ©; Sofia Huerta, Jen Hoy (Summer Green 90+3’)

Substitutes Not Used: Michele Dalton; Morgan Proffitt, Julie Ertz; Mary Luba

Misconduct Summary:
CHI - Samantha Johnson (Yellow Card) 51’
ORL - Alanna Kennedy (Yellow Card) 69’

Officials:
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Osterhouse
Fourth Official: Janessa Gunn

 

QueensCast Episode 63: Break Out the Calculators! We’ve Got a ToN of Numbers and Not Enough Fingers

Jay and Jen are reunited in the studio! They give their honest opinions on how the teams are sizing up during the Tournament of Nations and breaking down what seven games in twenty-two days could mean for seven of the Orlando Pride starters.  That’s a lot of math! Competition is heating up as we welcome the Chicago Red Stars back to town, the first game of three within eight days on a home field advantage push. Anybody got an abacus? Let’s score!

Orlando Pride Begin 3-Game Homestand Saturday Night

Photo: OrlandoSentinel.com

Photo: OrlandoSentinel.com

Orlando Pride begins a three-game homestand on Saturday night when it welcomes the Chicago Red Stars to Orlando City Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. ET kick. The match will mark the Pride’s second straight game against the Red Stars after playing the NWSL's first-place team just two weeks ago at Toyota Park.

The Pride will be looking to bounce back from the July 22 match which saw Alanna Kennedy score Orlando’s first ever goal against Chicago in the 93rd minute of the 2-1 loss.

Saturday's match will be live streamed at go90.com or at nwslsoccer.com. Former NWSL player Jordan Angeli and Morgan Church will be on the call. Tickets to the match are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

“We know what to expect from Chicago. They’re very direct, very robust, a very physical team and very well disciplined in defense so they are tough to breakdown,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.  “They play the ball forward early, they make early forward runs and they hit you quickly in transition. Those are the areas we need to make sure we are aware of and, at the same time, make the most of the chances we’ve created.”

With seven players returning Friday from the Tournament of Nations, including U.S. Women's National Team members Alex Morgan and Ali Krieger, Australians Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy, and Brazilian players Marta, Monica and Camila, the Pride will be missing a large part of the regular starting XI. Sermanni is expected to roll out a new lineup, utilizing the depth and versatility he has built within the squad.

Aubrey Bledsoe is expected to retain her role in goal, while Ashlyn Harris grows closer to returning from a quadriceps injury suffered in late May.

“While we’re eager to get Ashlyn back, Aubrey has not only been phenomenal in goal but has made it so Ashlyn can take her time in the rehab process and make sure she get back to absolute 100 percent,” Sermanni added.  “We also look at this from a situational perspective. If this were a championship match, Ashlyn could step in but we have three games this week and a high chance of a new back four that she’s never worked with.”

The Red Stars also had a number of players make the cross country trek for the tournament, with goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defender Casey Short, midfielder Julie Ertz and forward Christen Press all competing with the U.S. WNT. Midfielder Sofia Huerta also trained with the American side but is not eligible to play for country at this point.

The visitors will also be without Head Coach Rory Dames who earned a red card suspension in the previous meeting between the two teams.

The Red Stars are one of just three teams that the Pride have yet to beat in their short history, but all contests between the two sides has been competitive and decided by just a single goal. Press has scored four of Chicago's five goals against Orlando with Taylor Comeau scoring the fifth.

Sitting just five points out of playoff position, the Pride have the opportunity to take nine points over the next week. Following Saturday’s match, the Pride also play on Aug. 8 vs. Washington Spirit and Aug. 12 vs. Sky Blue FC. All matches will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium.

 

Things Every Soccer Parent Says

You may be wondering what the difference is between soccer and any other sport. While the answer may lie in the uniforms, the rules, or the regulations, we know one thing that makes soccer stand out in the minds of everyone: the fans. Whether it’s the major league or the youth soccer club, we know soccer fans are the most passionate. The experts at Orlando women’s soccer are here to give you a know-it-all list to what every soccer parent says on and off the field.

For starters, we know nothing gets parents riled up more than watching their child run across the field. Not to mention when their kid makes the winning goal or gets a bad call from the ref. We all know the “PASS THE BALL,” parent, and we’re very familiar with the “ARE YOU KIDDING, REF?! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE,” parent. We know they’re only doing it for the kids, but we at QueensCast also know that the most yellow and red cards are thrown at the parents, not the players.

If you don’t believe soccer is a way of life, or possibly even a sport that takes over your life, you’re simply wrong. Ask any soccer parent to go on a trip this weekend, and their first response will be, “I don’t go out anymore...my kids play soccer.” Say goodbye to weekend beach trips, or the even Saturday date nights, because once your child enters the world of soccer, it’s RIP to the old ways; you have now entered soccer parent status.

The passion and the pride that soccer parents show is unlike any other sport. Although everyone has their, “are you even aiming for the goal?” moment or the, “what are you doing?! They’re wide open,” sigh of despair, there’s no denying the pride and passion that soccer moms and dads show by jumping up and down on the sidelines screaming, “THAT’S MY KID!!” at the top of their lungs. Soccer parents are the greatest motivators and their kid’s biggest fans. The experts at QueensCast truly believe behind every Orlando women’s soccer star lies their talent, and their mom and dad.