Orlando Pride returned to Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night and were held scoreless by the second-seeded Chicago Red Stars, falling 1-0 after a Christen Press penalty kick. The match, which was originally slated to kickoff at 5 p.m. ET saw an hour delay due to inclement weather, eventually getting underway at 6 p.m. ET.
“[I’m] a little bit disappointed, a little bit frustrated. We knew it was going to be a tight game when we talked at halftime. I think we had enough possession to win the game. Whether we created enough with that possession, I’m not too sure,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “[I] can’t fault the effort of the players, we had enough chances to win the game, had enough possession to win the game but one moment of indecision or discipline, whatever you want to call it, ended up costing us the game. I would like to say it hasn’t happened often this season, but unfortunately it has.”
For the second-straight match, the Pride’s opponent was awarded a penalty kick, this time after a late tackle in the box on Casey Short. U.S. Women’s National Team forward Press stepped to the spot, sending goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe to the right and the kick to the left to put the visitors up 1-0 in the 68th minute.
Moments before the penalty, Jasmyne Spencer came inches away from her second goal of the season, turning quick on a shot outside of the box that was denied by the upper corner of the goalpost.
Pushing for the equalizer late, the Pride had a flurry of chances after Camila took a stoppage time corner kick. The second-half substitute drove the ball to the far post and Bledsoe - who pushed up to load the penalty area - put the ball on net only to have Chicago midfielder Danielle Colaprico clear it off the line. The ball scattered around the box before defender Ali Krieger had a go, blasting her left-footed volley off of the crossbar.
Coming off the bench for the first time this season, Camila provided an injection of energy to the Pride lineup after her introduction in the 56th minute. With 15 minutes left to play, the Brazilian intercepted a long ball from Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and used a burst of speed to claim space, but her shot from the top of the box whistles just wide to the left. Despite playing just 34 minutes, Camila led the Pride offense with four total shots.
Forward Alex Morgan made her first appearance of the 2017 season for the Pride, entering the match in the 65th minute and bringing the home crowd to their feet. Morgan nearly setup Alanna Kennedy’s second goal of the season, heading on a cross to the mouth of the goal but the center back’s aerial win against Naeher sailed over the bar.
The 1-0 scoreline has been a common theme throughout the two teams’ history, as the Red Stars have taken all three meetings by the same result. Saturday’s match also marked the first doubleheader in Orlando City Stadium history, as Orlando City B faced FC Cincinnati in United Soccer League play immediately following the Pride match.
The Pride will return to national television next weekend as Orlando travels to the Washington Spirit for Krieger’s first match against her former team. The match will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Lifetime.
Orlando hosts its next home match on July 15, welcoming two-time NWSL champion FC Kansas City for a 5 p.m. ET kick. Tickets are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars
Date: July 1, 2017
Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Goals 1 2 F
Orlando (4-5-3) 0 0 0
Chicago (7-3-2) 0 1 1
CHI - Christen Press (PK) 68’
Orlando Pride: Aubrey Bledsoe; Kristen Edmonds, Ali Krieger ©, Toni Pressley, Steph Catley; Maddy Evans (Camila 56’), Monica, Alanna Kennedy; Rachel Hill (Alex Morgan 65’), Marta, Jasmyne Spencer (Chioma Ubogagu 79’)
Substitutes Not Used: Caroline Stanley; Nickolette Driesse, Dani Weatherholt; Jamia Fields, Chioma Ubogagu
Chicago: Alyssa Naeher; Sarah Gorden (Casey Short 66’), Sam Johnson, Katie Naughton, Taylor Comeau; Danielle Colaprico, Alyssa Mautz (Arin Gilliland 89’), Vanessa DiBernardo (Morgan Proffitt 86’), Julie Ertz; Sofia Huerta, Christen Press ©
Substitutes Not Used: Michelle Dalton; Jen Hoy, Lauren Kaskie; Stephanie McCaffrey
Stats Summary: ORL / CHI
Possession: 62.0% / 38.0%
Shots: 20 / 15
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 9 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 7
Offside: 0 / 6
ORL - Ali Krieger (Yellow Card) 52’
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Assistant Referee 1: Brooke Mayo
Assistant Referee 2: Natalie Simon
Fourth Official: Francesco Terranova