Orlando Pride Re-Signs Australian International Alanna Kennedy


Orlando Pride signs Australian international Alanna Kennedy to a new contract. Per team and league policies, terms of the contract were not announced.

“After playing such an important role in our success last year, we’re absolutely delighted to bring Alanna back for the upcoming season,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “Alanna is the type of player who can change a game and whose versatility will, again, be extremely valuable for our squad. We wish her the best of luck in her upcoming matches with Australia and can’t wait to have her back with us in Orlando.”

Kennedy, 23, appeared in all 25 matches in her first season with the Pride, becoming a staple in the midfield and leading the team to the NWSL Playoffs in 2017. Selected to the NWSL Team of the Month in September and an NWSL Goal of the Week winner, Kennedy contributed to the offense significantly, scoring five goals, including Orlando’s lone goal in the NWSL semifinal.

Prior to becoming a member of the Pride, Kennedy spent her first NWSL season with the former Western New York Flash, appearing in 15 matches and leading the team to the 2016 NWSL Championship title.

In addition to her two seasons in the United States, Kennedy has spent a significant amount of time playing in her home country of Australia for several teams in the W-League. Her accomplishments include being named Sydney FC Player of the Year in 2016, appearing in the Premiership and Grand Final as a member of the Perth Glory in 2014 and winning the W-League Championship in 2013 with Sydney FC. Most recently, Kennedy helped lead Melbourne City FC to the 2017-18 W-League Championship, the team’s third straight title win.

As a member of the Australia national team, Kennedy played in both the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, reaching the quarterfinals in both tournaments. Kennedy earned her first national team call-up for the Matildas under Sermanni in 2012. Since then, Kennedy has remained a regular member of the team and is currently competing with the team in the 2018 Algarve Cup in Portugal. In the 2017 Tournament of Nations, which Australia won, Kennedy helped the Matildas beat No. 1 U.S.A. and then-ranked No. 6 Japan and No. 8 Brazil.

Kennedy, as well as teammate Emily van Egmond, will join the Pride following the conclusion of Australia’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying, which runs April 6-20 in Jordan.

Soccer Terms Cheat Sheet

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Suddenly, the ref calls a foul.

The stadium collectively roars. To your right, a woman bellows at the ref, and to your left, a man dejectedly holds his head in his hands. The couple behind you clearly cheers for different teams, as shown by the husband’s bravery in donning the opposing team’s jersey, and they’re arguing loudly over the call.

Meanwhile, you’re bewildered. You didn’t react quickly enough and are suddenly very conscious of your facial expression. Worried that someone will accuse you of cheering for the other team, you hurry to join the angry shouts, but trying to imitate those around you leaves you feeling lost.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. But with this guide from the Orlando women’s soccer experts at QueensCast, you’ll be on your way to being a soccer guru in no time.

  • Striker: These are the main offensive players and the ones expected to attack and score goals. They follow through all shots.

  • Goalkeeper: Commonly referred to as a keeper, this is the only player allowed to use their hands when the ball is in play. They use their entire body to prevent the ball from passing the goal line.

  • The box: This rectangular penalty area extends 18 yards from each side of the goal. While the keeper can move outside of this box if they want, they can only defend using their hands from within this box.

  • Defender: These players play directly in front of the goalkeeper, and their primary responsibility is to stop the other team from scoring goals.

  • Midfielder: If you look on the field, you can identify these players as the ones between the offense and defense, and they play both roles. Midfielders must play quickly, exercise superior ball control, and have the endurance to run long distances.

  • Offside: In a nutshell, this penalty is designed to prevent attackers from hovering too close to the goal, well behind the closest defender. Being offside in itself is not a foul, but being offside and involved in an active play is.

  • Handball: If a player other than the goalie deliberately handles or blocks the ball using their hand or arm.

  • Direct Free Kick vs Indirect Kick: There are two types of free kicks. The ref places the ball at the spot where the foul was called and the rest of the team assembles 10 yards away from the ball; they can choose whether or not to make a ‘wall’ between the kicker and goal. A direct free kick results from a personal foul and the player can shoot directly into the goal and score, whereas an indirect free kick results from an offside offense and the ball must be touched by another player to score.

  • Penalty Kick: The defending team commits a foul or is called for a handball inside the defensive team’s 18 yard box. The ball is placed on the designated spot in the box, and one player from the offensive team gets one free shot at the goal against the goalie. No other players interact with the play until after the ball initially is kicked.

  • Penalty Card: This is used by the match referees as a means of warning, reprimanding or penalizing a player, coach or team official. The referee will hold the card above his or her head while looking or pointing towards the player that has committed the offense. The color of the card used by the official indicates the type or seriousness of the offense and the level of punishment that is to be applied. A yellow card indicates a strong warning has been documented by the referee. A second yellow card in the same match, committed by the same official or player, will be upgraded to a red card and ejected from the match. When a red card is issued by the referee there is an immediate ejection of the player committing the foul and that team will be reduced by one player for the remainder of the match.

Looking for more info or have any questions? Keep this page open for quick reference at the next game, and check out our blogs from Orlando women’s soccer experts to help you sound like a pro.

Orlando Pride Update Their Preseason Roster


Entering the third week of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) preseason, Orlando Pride has announced its current preseason roster. Departed from Week 1 camp are Marta and Monica, who are currently with Brazil for a national team camp. In addition, Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni has brought in seven new trialists, all who have recently participated in the team’s first two preseason matches.

Marta and Monica, as well as Poliana, Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, Shelina Zadorsky and Nádia Gomes will return to the Pride next week following international duty.

The Pride will play their final preseason friendly on Thursday, March 8, traveling to face the University of South Florida at 7 p.m. ET.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (FED-USA; NYR), Kat Elliott (NRI), Haley Kopmeyer
DEFENDERS (7): Monica Hickmann Alves, Poliana Barbosa Medeiros (NYR), Ali Krieger, Camila Martin Pereira, Carson Pickett, Toni Pressley, Shelina Zadorsky (FED-CAN; NYR)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kayla Adamek (NRI), Bridget Callahan (NRI), Christine Creighton (NRI), Kristen Edmonds, Alanna Kennedy (NYR), Julia Moore (NRI), Christine Nairn, Emily van Egmond (NYR), Dani Weatherholt
FORWARDS (10): Trudi Carter (NRI), Danica Evans, Morgan Ferrara (NRI), Nádia Gomes (CDP), Jessica Hamrick (NRI), Rachel Hill, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan (FED-USA, NYR), Chioma Ubogagu, Marta Vieira da Silva

FED - 2018 Federation Player
CDP - 2018 NWSL College Draft pick
NRI - Non-Roster Invitee
NYR - Not Yet Reported to Camp

Orlando Pride Bounce Back with Second Preseason Game Against UCF


Orlando Pride picked up its first win of the NWSL preseason on Saturday afternoon, defeating the University of Central Florida 3-0 at UCF Track and Soccer Complex. Sydney Leroux opened the match with two first-half goals before Christine Nairn capped off the scoring in the second half. The match was the second of three preseason games the Pride will play before their March 24 season opener against Utah Royals FC.

“I was pleased. I thought we showed a lot more cohesion today, moved the ball well, kept possession well, created chances and scored goals,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.  “So, again, still very early in the preseason but I was pleased with what I saw.”

The two Orlando-based sides played a shortened match on Saturday with two, 25-minute halves. Leroux got the Pride on the board first in the 14th minute, capitalizing on a pass from Dani Weatherholt. Weatherholt sacrificed her body between two Knight defenders, finding Leroux on a right-sided run to go in unmarked on the goalkeeper.

Seven minutes later, Leroux put in her third goal of the preseason after Christine Nairn faked a shot, instead sending the forward down the left side of the box for an easy tap-in around the ‘keeper.

Nairn got one for herself shortly into the second half, powering a left-footed set piece in the 33rd minute.

The Pride will finish preseason play on March 8, traveling to face the University of South Florida at 7 p.m. ET

Tickets for the 2018 Pride season are currently on sale at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

Match Report
Match: University of Central Florida vs. Orlando Pride
Date: March 3, 2018
Venue: UCF Track & Soccer Complex
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Attendance: Closed-Door
Weather: Clear

Scoring Summary

Team               1          2          F

UCF               0          0          0

Orlando          2          1          3

ORL – Sydney Leroux (Dani Weatherholt) 14’
ORL – Sydney Leroux (Christine Nairn) 21’
ORL – Christine Nairn 33’

Orlando Lineup: Haley Kopmeyer; Bridget Callahan* (Kayla Adamek* 45’), Ali Krieger, Toni Pressley, Carson Pickett; Dani Weatherholt, Danica Evans (Jessica Hamrick* 45’), Christine Nairn; Trudi Carter* (Julia Moore* 45’), Sydney Leroux, Chioma Ubogagu

Substitutes Not Used: None

*Non-Roster Invitee