Orlando Pride returns to Orlando City Stadium on Tuesday night, playing its second game in a three-match homestand at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Pride host the Washington Spirit for the third and final meeting between the two sides this season, having previously played to draws in both matches against the Maryland-based team.
“Again, the problem that most teams present us is that they keep very disciplined defensively and they look to hit us on transition and I’m sure [Washington will] come with that game plan on Tuesday night,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “There are a couple key things [for us to win]. We need to try and finish off the chances we create, particularly when we are on top of games and playing well so we give ourselves a little bit of a gap if we can. And the second thing is that we need to, for 90 minutes, put a consistent defensive effort together.”
The Pride welcome the Spirit to Central Florida having played just 72 hours prior in a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday night. Forward Alex Morgan scored her second goal of the season in the 24th minute, her first in the run of play this season, to put the Pride up 1–0 at halftime. The visitors, however, responded in the 53rd minute when Sofia Huerta sent a curling shot in from the top of the penalty area.
The Spirit are coming off perhaps their most impressive victory of the season a 4-1 win over Sky Blue FC on the Friday night. After Sky Blue went up 1-0 just two minutes in, Washington scored four unanswered goals to decisively take all three points. Forward Arielle Ship led the Spirit with one goal and two assists.
Tuesday's match will be a rematch of the Pride’s first-ever game at Orlando City Stadium when Danica Evans’ late game heroics drew things level for a 1-1 draw on April 22. The two clubs met again on July 8 at Maryland SoccerPlex, playing to a 2-2 tie after Marta and Washington’s Mallory Pugh recorded two goals apiece.
After Tuesday, the Pride wrap up a week that features three matches, welcoming Sky Blue FC to Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.