Pride Aim for Perfect Season Series Against Houston on Saturday

Photo: Orlando Sentinel

Photo: Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Pride will close out its season series with the Houston Dash on Saturday night, traveling to face the Dash for an 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff at BBVA Compass Stadium. The match will mark the fourth and final meeting of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season for the two expansion sides, with both clubs looking to close the season strong and claim a postseason spot.

Saturday’s game will be streamed at orlando-pride.com/live or can be followed on Twitter through the Pride’s official account, @ORLPride.

“We’ve been fortunate so far in our results against Houston. We’ve played three games and won [all] three. But, on paper, they are actually one of the best sides in the league and some of the soccer they play is really good. They’ve got a good blend of skillful, pacey young players mixed in with really quality, experienced players. And, of course, they’ve got Carli Lloyd back so she’s another X-factor that we’re coming up against,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.

“We’ve trained well this week and are in good spirits. We finished the game strongly last weekend so hopefully we can go and get a winning result on Saturday.”

The Pride and Dash are familiar opponents, having played three times already this season, with the Pride victorious in all of those matches. Orlando first defeated Houston 3-1 on April 23 in front of a record-setting 23,403 fans, before shutting out the Dash 1-0 in consecutive meetings on May 20 and June 23.

Both of those wins were done in dramatic fashion, with Kristen Edmonds scoring in the 81st minute on May 20 in Houston and Jasmyne Spencer winning the June 23 game in second-half stoppage time in front of the home crowd.

Sitting nine points out of playoff position, the Pride will look to take three points from the Dash, but may also need help from around the league as the season winds down.

After a 26-day break for the Rio Olympics, the Pride returned to the pitch on Aug. 26, falling 2-1 to the top-seeded Washington Spirit. The visiting Spirit scored the match’s first two goals, but the Pride controlled the majority of the second half, ultimately ending Kelsey Wys’ bid for a shutout in the 71st minute on a goal from Sarah Hagen.

Houston, meanwhile, has played three matches since the end of the Olympic break. The club most recently traveled to the East Coast on Wednesday night, defeating the Boston Breakers 3-1 at Harvard Stadium. Kealia Ohai scored the Dash’s opening pair of goals before Carli Lloyd put in the third tally in her first match since Rio.

Despite playing the Dash three times, the Pride have only faced Lloyd, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, a total of 12 minutes as she sustained a knee injury early in the April 23 match that ruled her out most of the NWSL season.

After Saturday’s match in Houston, the Pride will play their final road match on Sept. 7 at Sky Blue FC. Orlando then closes the regular-season with two games at Camping World Stadium, hosting Sky Blue FC on Sept. 10 and defending Champion FC Kansas City on Sept. 24.

Tickets to all Pride home matches can be purchased at orlando-pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.