Alex Morgan Announces She Will Play for Orlando Pride in 2018

Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com

Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com

Fans were delighted when Alex Morgan returned to the Orlando Pride, a few short months ago, after spending the first half of 2017 with Lyon where she won a Champions League title. Orlando Pride fans are now overjoyed as Morgan announces that she will be returning to play for the Orlando Pride in 2018 and terminated her contract with Lyon.

“I agreed with Lyon to terminate our contract and continue with Orlando Pride moving forward,” Morgan said in a video shared by the Pride on social media. “I feel like the present of this club and the future of this club is just going above and beyond and it’s going to do incredible things. I’m really happy here. This is my home. As happy as I was this year playing with two clubs, I will be with Orlando Pride moving forward. “

Morgan said that when she signed with Lyon, she signed for six months in 2017, with a mutual option for her to return to Lyon in 2018. But that ultimately she decided to stay in Orlando next season.

“It was an amazing season,” she said of her time with Lyon. “I felt like I did what I went there to do. I felt fulfilled with that season that I went there for. Coming back here, I knew the amazing club that supported me through that process. Both of the clubs were very understanding throughout the whole process.”

There's no denying Morgan is a fan favorite, but now after her recent performance, even naysayers on jumping on the Alex bandwagon. She was named the NWSL Player of the Month for August, after 7 goals and 2 assists during those 31 days.

Orlando Pride Defeats Boston 4-2; Wins 5th Straight

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Orlando Pride continued to roll on Saturday night, downing the Boston Breakers 4-2 in a rain-soaked match at Orlando City Stadium. The victory pushed the Pride’s current win streak to five consecutive games, with the team unbeaten over its last six matches.

The victory also ensured the Pride remain in playoff position through Week 19, regardless of results in the remaining matches this weekend. The Pride currently sit in third place, three points ahead of the Chicago Red Stars who face top-seeded North Carolina Courage on Sunday evening.

"I thought the first 30 minutes we were superb. I thought that's probably the best 30 minutes that we've had this season. We were slick, movement was great, we were creating chances. We really dominated the game,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.  “But we need to be probably a little bit better when we’re not going through those spells and we’re playing really well. I think we were playing really well. We played some fantastic football."

The Pride entered the halftime break with a two-goal lead thanks to a first-half brace from rookie Rachel Hill. Hill got on the board eight minutes in, capitalizing on a rebound from an Alex Morgan shot. Chioma Ubogagu played a hard cross in that Morgan powered on net, but was denied by Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith. Hill, however, jumped on the rebound for her second goal of the season.

The UConn product doubled the lead in the 15th minute, getting on the end of a Steph Catley cross and sending the ball under a shifting Smith.

The Breakers got one back four minutes into the second half, with Amanda Frisbie finding midfielder Rosie White in the box to make it 2-1.

However, the one-goal deficit didn’t last long. Brazilian forward Marta gave the Pride some insurance in the 67th minute, finishing off a crisp combination play from Morgan and Ubogagu. After Morgan played a quick pass to Ubogagu on the left side, the forward found Marta open with a pinpoint pass and she wasted no time, slotting it past Smith with her left foot. It was Marta’s first goal since Aug. 12, when she helped lead the Pride to a 5-0 win over Sky Blue FC.

Ubogagu capped the Pride’s night off with the team’s fourth goal, and her fourth of the season, with a perfectly placed left-footed shot in the 77th minute. Ubogagu created her own fortune, intercepting an outlet pass from Allysha Chapman and driving down the field before turning her defender around for the shooting lane. Ubogagu nailed the shot off of the inside of the far post, breaking across the goal line on the redirection.

The Breakers scored their final goal late in the match, with Julie King heading in Adriana Leon’s corner kick in the 88th minute.

With Marta’s goal and Morgan’s assist, the duo has played a role in 12 of the Pride’s last 15 goals. With four goals on the night, Orlando also increased its season scoring total to a league-leading 41, more than double the team’s 20 goals during its inaugural 2016 campaign.

The Pride play their final two home matches of the regular season in their next two games, first welcoming Seattle Reign FC at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 9. Orlando closes out the home schedule on Sept. 23, hosting Portland Thorns FC at 3:30 p.m. ET in the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime.

Tickets for both matches are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Boston Breakers
Date: Sept. 2, 2017
Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 5,413
Weather: Rainy
 

Scoring Summary

Goals                             1          2          F

Orlando (10-6-5)          2          2          4

Boston (3-11-7)             0          2          2

ORL - Rachel Hill 8’
ORL - Rachel Hill (Alex Morgan) 16’
BOS - Rosie White (Amanda Frisbie) 49’
ORL - Marta (Chioma Ubogagu) 67’
ORL - Chioma Ubogagu 77’
BOS - Julie King (Adriana Leon) 88’

Lineups:
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris ©; Camila, Monica, Ali Krieger, Steph Catley; Dani Weatherholt (Nickolette Driesse 86’), Alanna Kennedy; Rachel Hill, Marta (Jamia Fields 82’), Chioma Ubogagu (Danica Evans 84’);  Alex Morgan

Substitutes Not Used: Aubrey Bledsoe; Toni Pressley; Jo Blankenship

Boston Breakers: Abby Smith; Margaret Purce, Megan Oyster, Julie King ©, Allysha Chapman, Brooke Elby (Rose Lavelle 72’), Amanda Frisbie (Ifeoma Onumonu 55’); Angela Salem, Rosie White; Adriana Leon, Katie Stengel (Natasha Dowie 55’)

Substitutes Not Used: Sammi Jo Prudhomme; Tiffany Weimer; Hayley Dowd


Stats Summary: ORL / BOS
Possession: 53.8% / 46.2%
Shots: 12 / 7
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 6
Offside: 5 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
BOS - Brooke Elby (Yellow Card) 63’

Officials:
Referee: Kevin Broadley
Assistant Referee 1: Shane Kennard
Assistant Referee 2: Jeffrey Skinker
Fourth Official: Janessa Gunn

 

QueensCast: Episode 67 - Four in a Row Now with a Jordan and Jo! Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jig — Here We All GO!

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And our ladies are bringing home the stories of close calls and air balls. As we make the turn and put our sights directly on the playoffs! But just like always, there’s a lot of work still to be done and a lot of games that need to be won!

In our backyard we get the deets on a battle that needed armor and swords with UCF and UNC! You want Central Florida soccer news and you want it FAST, let’s all yell #LetsScore and blast the QueensCast!

Orlando Pride Sign Midfielders Jo Blankenship and Jordan O’Brien

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Orlando Pride has signed midfielders Jocelyn “Jo” Blankenship and Jordan O’Brien, pending the receipt of her International Transfer Certificate (ITC), ahead of the 2017 Roster Freeze on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Both players have been added to the team after joining the Pride as training players mid-way through the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season.

“We’re really happy to reward Jo and Jordan after they’ve both been training in our environment for the past two seasons. They both have great attitudes and have been great additions to the team at training,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.  “They are both very technical, talented players and I’m really delighted to be able to put them on contract and join us in our playoff push.”

Blankenship comes to the Pride after spending the 2016 preseason with NWSL side Boston Breakers before moving to Orlando in July to train with the expansion side.

Prior to joining the Pride, Blankenship played for SoCal FC, a semi-pro team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). The California native led her home state team to the 2015 WPSL Championship match, falling to the Chicago Red Stars Reserves.

Blankenship is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, where she led the Lions to their first-ever NCAA Tournament win, a 1-0 defeat of Cal in 2014. Over her four-year career (2012-15), Blankenship totaled 14 goals and 22 assists with her 50 career points ranking second all-time in LMU history. Her career assist total remains a school record.

Blankenship finished her career with LMU as a four-time All-West Coast Conference honoree, three-time WCC All-Academic honoree and two-time NSCAA All-West Region honoree.

O’Brien also joined the Pride as a training player in 2016, coming to Central Florida after stints with KR Reykjavik in Iceland and QBIK of Sweden.

A 2014 graduate of Tulsa University, O’Brien ended her career with eight goals and 19 assists, which tied the school record for first all-time. The California native was selected as an All-Conference USA honoree three times and was also tabbed as the Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2010.

Blankenship, O’Brien and the Pride put their four-game winning streak on the line on Saturday night, hosting the Boston Breakers at 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium. The match will kickoff a three-game homestand, the Pride’s final regular season matches in Central Florida, as the team makes a push for its first-ever playoff berth. Orlando currently holds the fourth and final playoff spot.

Tickets for the match are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

Jocelyn “Jo” Blankenship
Position: Midfield
Height: 5’ 5”
Born: Clovis, Calif. on June 10, 1994
Hometown: Eastvale, Calif.
College: Loyola Marymount
Citizenship: USA
Acquired: via Discovery on August 29, 2017

Jordan O’Brien
Position: Midfield
Height: 5’ 7”
Born: Anaheim, Calif. on October 11, 1992
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
College: Tulsa
Citizenship: USA
Acquired: via Discovery on August 29, 2017

How Do I Help My Child Improve At Soccer?

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Parents always ask one question: “How can I help my child improve their skills?” When it comes to soccer, there a few guidelines we must go over. It’s important to realize the difference between hard work and skills. Sometimes, they coincide and work perfectly together and sometimes, that’s not the case. Simply because your child is not the best on the field, it does not mean they lack the skills. Maybe they’re lacking motivation, support, or the correct mindset. The Orlando women’s soccer experts are here to tell you how you can help your child become the star of the team, or at least enjoy their time playing the best sport in the world: soccer.

Motivation

If your child seems lackadaisical on the soccer field, maybe it’s time you take into consideration the impact that you may be having off the field. It’s imperative for kids to feel motivated and to have pride in their ability to play the game. Practicing for an hour, two days a week with their team is not going to help them reach their goal in the long run. Try spending time on the weekends or after school practicing in your backyard or at the local park. Whether you play goalie while they practice their kicks, or they practice goalie while you try to reach the net, practicing with your child will help foster that motivation and that bond that every child wants from their parents.

Support

Along with motivation, every kid needs to feel supported by their parents. Soccer may not be your favorite interest, but it’s beneficial for your child to feel that you enjoy their sport just as much as they do. Ask yourself: “Am I reinforcing the idea of soccer?” “Am I showing my soccer player just how much I love soccer?” If the answer if no, it may be beneficial to invest some time in becoming a soccer fanatic! Spend the weekend going to Orlando Pride or Orlando City games with your child! Watch soccer on the TV when you can’t make it out to a game. Supporting your child’s love for the game is easy; it takes only a small amount of effort to see your child quickly become the star you’ve always wanted them to be!

Mindset

There is a distinct difference in your child having the skills to be a great soccer player and lacking the correct mindset to become one. Encouraging your child to love the sport, to work hard, and to never give up will give your child the perseverance they need to rock the field. Reward your child for every goal they make, every awesome play they follow, or for putting in the extra time to practice, learn, and love the sport. These little rewards will add up in your child’s mind and will keep them in the mindset that it’s not all about winning or being the best, but that it’s all about trying your best and having a passion for soccer.

Overall, investing in your child is what will help them improve their skills in the game of soccer. Reinforce practice, hard work, and the genuine love of the game if you want to witness your child take the field by storm. The Orlando women’s soccer experts are here to give you tips and tricks to raising the perfect soccer star and the most dedicated soccer fans. Read our blog to learn more!