Orlando Pride Host Portland Thorns FC in Pivotal Matchup

 Photo credit: NWSL

Photo credit: NWSL

In its final push for the playoffs, third-place Orlando Pride hosts fourth-place Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, Aug. 11. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium. With only four regular-season games remaining, the Pride will look to take one step closer to clinching their second consecutive playoff appearance.
 
The match will be available for streaming on NWSLsoccer.com. Tickets for Saturday’s match can be purchased at orlando-pride.com/queenscast.
 
“We need to make sure that we go out there and simplistically play to the very best of our ability, that everybody comes up ready to do their job, that everybody turns up ready to do whatever they need to do,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “It comes down to the quality and the determination of our players. We’ve got strong players in every aspect of the field; defensively we’re full of international players, midfield is the same and up front is the same. Basically it’s going out there and matching Portland and putting in the same kind of effort that we put in when we beat Portland over there 2-1 early in the season. That’s the kind of effort that we need to put in this weekend.”
 
Saturday’s match will be the last of a three-game homestand that so far has seen Orlando pick up two draws, most recently a 2-2 result against Sky Blue FC. Forward Marta scored her fourth of the season in the 51st minute. After conceding two goals, midfielder Dani Weatherholt netted the equalizer in the 73rd minute, her second goal of the season. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made four saves on the night to eclipse 60 saves this season.

With Marta’s goal against Sky Blue, the Pride became the only team in the league to have five players with more than three goals each. Rachel Hill, Marta, Alex Morgan and Chioma Ubogagu have four goals each and Sydney Leroux has six. Christine Nairn leads the Pride with four assists.
 
Portland enters the match after falling 2-1 to the 2018 NWSL Shield-winning North Carolina Courage. Midfielder Lindsey Horan scored the lone goal for the Thorns, assisted by Tobin Heath, in the 49th minute.
 
Horan’s 10 goals lead the Thorns and are tied for the most in the league, while forward Christine Sinclair leads the league with six assists.
 
The last time these two teams met, the Pride defeated Portland 2-1 behind goals from Morgan and Nairn on May 12. Nairn’s goal won NWSL Goal of the Week as voted by fans. The match marked Orlando’s first ever win at Providence Park and the Pride’s first ever victory over Portland. Since then the Thorns have returned Australian forwards Hayley Raso and Caitlin Foord.
 
Prior to the start of Saturday’s match, fans will be able to enter Orlando City Stadium early to watch a special screening of Alex & Me, a feature film starring Pride forward Alex Morgan, beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET. Fans with a ticket already can enter at no additional charge, while ticket packages that include the movie are still available. Further details can be found here.