Riding three straight shutout victories, Orlando Pride travels to face reigning National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Champion FC Kansas City on Saturday, May 28, for an 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
Saturday’s match can be watched live at orlando-pride.com/live or can be followed on Twitter through the Pride’s official account, @ORLPride.
“We’re missing a few players this weekend but we go out with the same attitude, the same game plan and try to keep playing the way we’ve been playing,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “We’re very fortunate that we’ve got a strong squad and I’m confident in any new players that are coming into the team.”
The Pride have had a strong start to their inaugural season, currently sitting in fourth place in the league standings after three consecutive clean sheet victories. The Club most recently earned its first road win of the season after Kristen Edmonds scored in the 81st minute on a Goal of the Week nominated shot from outside the box.
Ashlyn Harris and the defense extended its shutout streak to 295 minute, having last been scored on in the 65th minute of a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Red Stars on May 1. After making a big stop on Stephanie Ochs in the 78th minute of last week’s match, Harris won her fourth NWSL Save of the Week award this season, having also won in weeks two, three and four.
The reigning champion, FC Kansas City, has had a tougher start to its season, however, as the team is still searching for its first win and sits in 10th place in the league. Last week, the Blues could not overcome a 19th minute goal by Whitney Engen and fell 1-0 to the Boston Breakers.
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Both clubs will be without their U.S. Women’s National Team allocations on Saturday night, with Orlando’s Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris as well as Kansas City’s Becky Sauerbrunn and Heather O’Reilly called up for the USWNT’s next two games against Japan.
Due to Harris’ absence, goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe is expected to get her first start of the season for the Pride. Bledsoe, 24, was selected with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2015 NWSL Expansion Draft after one season with Sky Blue FC.
With his two U.S. allocations away, Sermanni has called up amateur players Allie Wisner and Megan Dorsey for Saturday’s match. Wisner is a graduate of the University of Utah and previously trained with Seattle Reign FC and FC Kansas City after playing with Belgian side Anderlecht. Dorsey is a native of Melbourne, Fla., and a former standout with the University of North Florida.
The Pride will also be dealing with injuries for the first time this season, as defender Cami Levin remains out after an appendectomy and fellow backliner Laura Alleway has already been ruled out due to a groin strain. In addition, midfielder Kristen Edmonds is questionable for the match after suffering a hip flexor strain in the waning moments of last week’s match in Houston.
“This is the first week where we’ve actually had to face a little bit of an injury problem,” Sermanni added. “I think that will be good for us in some ways because it means we’re giving other players opportunities. We’ve been able to put out a different team and, in some ways, that’s a positive.”
After Saturday’s match, the Pride will have a two-week break between games, starting the second half of the four-game road trip at Western New York on June 11. The Pride returns to Camping World Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on June 23 to host the Houston Dash for the second time this season.
Jersey Number: 11
Born: October 12, 1990
Hometown: Bozeman, Mont.
College: University of Utah
Jersey Number: 22
Born: January 16, 1992
Hometown: Melbourne, Fla.
College: University of North Florida