Following Sunday’s 2-0 win over Seattle Reign FC, Orlando Pride (2-2-0, 6 points) returns to action on Saturday, May 14, to host the Western New York Flash (2-2-0, 6 points) at Camping World Stadium, formerly known as the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The Pride is 2-0-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents 5-1 in those games.
The match will be streamed live on orlando-pride.com/live with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are available at orlando-pride.com.
“[The Flash] have come together to be a very strong, united team. A team that plays for each other, that works very hard for each other, and they’re very well coached and organized,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. “So they are one of those teams that you know you’re going to be in for a real game [with]. They probably don’t have the ‘star-quality’ players that other teams have but they make up for it in their work ethic and the fact that there’s a lot of players in there getting the opportunity to play in the league and making the most of it. They will be a very difficult team to play against.”
Though the two clubs have never met before, it will be a familiar opponent for many Pride players as seven on the roster have played for WNY during their club career. Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris and Becky Edwards helped lead the Flash to the 2011 WPS Championship, while Edwards, Kristen Edmonds, Jasmyne Spencer, Toni Pressley and Jamia Fields all featured for the Flash during NWSL play.
Both teams enter the meeting off wins last week. On Sunday, the Pride defeated the reigning National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Shield winners behind goals from Sarah Hagen and Lianne Sanderson, scoring the game-winner just 11 minutes in. Hagen started the scoring, heading home a perfectly-placed cross from Alex Morgan before Sanderson iced the match in the 87th minute with her team-leading second goal as Orlando earned its first-ever shutout.
Western New York is coming off a 2-1 road victory over Sky Blue FC. The Flash erased a 1-0 halftime deficit with a Jaelene Hinkle penalty kick and Samantha Mewis’ go-ahead goal in the 85th minute, which was also her team-leading second goal of the season.
With both of their wins on the season coming from the comforts of Central Florida, the Pride will look to make it three-straight home wins to add another three points to their record. Currently, both the Pride and Flash are knotted up at six points each in the middle of the table.
“It’s important for us to keep our home record intact. It’s important for us to make sure, when teams come here, they know they are going to be in for a torrid time,” Sermanni added. “If we can perform like we have been in the first four games, then we know we are going to create enough chances to win the game.”