After a thrilling comeback victory on Sunday evening, Orlando Pride (6-6-0, 18 points) returns to Camping World Stadium on Saturday night to face the Chicago Red Stars with a chance to take sole possession of the final playoff spot. The two sides are currently tied for fourth in the league table with 18 points, however the Red Stars (5-4-3, 18 points) hold the head-to-head tiebreak over the Pride.
Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff can be watched live locally on Bright House Sports Network (Ch. 47/Ch. 1147HD). The game will also be streamed at orlando-pride.com/live or can be followed on Twitter through the Pride’s official account, @ORLPride.
“[Chicago is] a very difficult team; they don’t have any standout weaknesses,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “They’ve got two fullbacks that are very dynamic and good at going forward. They’ve got a couple of strikers that are dangerous and they’ve got good physical qualities in midfield, mixed up with good skills. They’re the kind of team that’s going to be difficult to play against and a kind of team that we’ll have to be right on top of our game to beat.”
Until Sunday, the Pride held a 0-4-0 record when conceding the first goal of the match. However, Edmonds and Co. were able to mount a stunning comeback, scoring two goals in the final three minutes to beat the visiting Boston Breakers 2-1. Edmonds recorded her first career brace en route to being named Week 12 NWSL Player of the Week and earning Goal of the Week honors.
After drawing a foul just outside the box, the New Jersey native curled a perfect ball around Boston’s wall to level things. Then, minutes later, second-half substitute Leah Fortune sent a perfect one-timed volley ahead to the front line, springing Edmonds and Jasmyne Spencer behind the defense. Edmonds got to the ball first and put a cheeky chip over the goalkeeper before taking a hard hit.
Chicago enters the match following a 2-0 loss to the Washington Spirit, after the home club scored on both sides of the half for the three points. Saturday’s match will be the fourth and final game of a long road trip for the Red Stars, who have been away from Toyota Park since June 18.
In Orlando’s previous meeting with Chicago, the Red Stars saw a 1-0 victory at Toyota Park after Christen Press capitalized on a free kick from Danielle Colaprico for the lone goal of the match. The Pride continued pressing but were unable to find the equalizer in just their third match of the inaugural season.
Both Clubs will, again, be without most of their international players due to Olympic call-ups. The Pride will be missing six players, while the Red Stars see three players gone - U.S. Women’s National Team members Press, defender Julie Johnston and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
The Pride will again call-up four amateur players for the match. Forwards Allie Wisner and Sierra Lelii, midfielder Kim Reynolds and goalkeeper Megan Dorsey will all be available for selection on Saturday night.
Orlando will next head out for two-consecutive road matches, first traveling to face Seattle Reign FC on July 23 before a rematch with Boston on July 31. After an extended break for the Rio Olympics, the Pride return to Camping World Stadium on August 26 to host Ashlyn Harris’ former club, the Washington Spirit at 7:30 p.m. ET.