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NEWS & VIEWS
The United States Women’s National Team will face China PR in a summer friendly match on Thursday, June 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium (7 p.m. MT on FS1, presented by Cutter Insect Repellent).
The USWNT visit to Rio Tinto Stadium will mark the first appearance for the prestigious international side on the Wasatch Front since the mid-November establishment of Utah Royals FC, the newest National Women’s Soccer League club, which kicks off its inaugural campaign Saturday evening in Orlando. Both the Utah Royals FC and Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake call Rio Tinto Stadium home, where the MLS club has established a dominant home-field advantage over the last nine-plus seasons.
Certain levels of Utah Royals FC season ticket holders will receive the June 7 USWNT match against China as part of the NWSL club’s 2018 inaugural season ticket package, while others will receive preferred pricing and access to various seating location and additional tickets prior to general public sale. The Rio Tinto Stadium box office will contact affected parties in the near future.
The USWNT have played four international friendlies at Rio Tinto Stadium since the venue’s October 9, 2008 opening, posting a perfect 4-0-0 record in Sandy (on top of a dominant 5-0 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium against Ireland in 2003, prior to Real Salt Lake’s existence). Utah has provided the USWNT with memorable moments from its matches against Switzerland, Canada and twice against Mexico in the last eight years; with the arrival of the NWSL and the advent of RSL's world-class training facility in Herriman, U.S. Soccer is sure to become even more frequent visitors to Utah.
“Obviously, there’s a great history between the countries and we always enjoy the matches against China,” said U.S. head coach Jill Ellis. “They bring a level of technical skill and tactical savvy that challenges us, which is what we need as we continue to prepare for World Cup qualifying in the fall.”
Tickets for the match in Utah – starting at just $22 – go on sale to the public on Tuesday, April 17, at 10 a.m. MT through www.ussoccer.com, by phone at 844-REAL-TIX (844-732-5849; available Monday-Friday 10a-6p MT) and at the Rio Tinto Stadium ticket office (open Mon.-Fri. 10a-6p).
Groups of 20 or more can order directly at ussoccer.com.
Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available for the USWNT Utah visit exclusively through www.ussoccer.com.
Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the U.S. Soccer Development Fund can receive individual customer support and concierge services for their ticketing needs. Click here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Orlando Pride wrapped up its preseason play on Thursday night, downing the University of South Florida 5-1 at Corbett Stadium. Three Bulls have joined the Orlando squad preseason roster. The Pride’s next match will kickoff the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League season, when the Pride host Utah Royals FC at 7:30 p.m. on March 24.
The Pride had five different scorers in the match.
“I’m really, really delighted with the result. I thought we showed a lot of cohesion, a lot of good movement, a lot of good passing, created a lot of chances and we looked really comfortable today,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “So, I think it was a good step forward from the last game.”
Sydney Leroux made it four goals in three matches just four minutes into the match, sending in a tight angle shot from the left side. Christine Nairn got the play started, chipping a ball up to Carson Pickett on her way to the left byline, setting up a cross to Leroux.
Orlando doubled its lead in the 19th minute after Kristen Edmonds, playing in her first match this preseason, fed Danica Evans on the doorstep. Dani Weatherholt made it a three-goal lead just before the halftime whistle, cleaning up the rebound on a late corner.
Nairn picked up an assist in the 58th minute, dropping a ball in for Chioma Ubogagu for her first goal of the preseason.
The Bulls got on the board in the 72nd minute, but the celebration didn’t last long as Nairn responded from the ensuing kickoff, scoring on a long distance blast directly off of the restart.
Individual and season tickets are currently on sale at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
Match: University of South Florida vs. Orlando Pride
Date: March 8, 2018
Venue: Corbett Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: Low 50s, Breezy
Team 1 2 F
USF 0 1 1
Orlando 3 2 5
ORL – Sydney Leroux (Carson Pickett) 4’
ORL - Danica Evans (Kristen Edmonds) 19’
ORL - Dani Weatherholt 45+1’
ORL - Chioma Ubogagu (Christine Nairn) 58’
USF - Kelli Burney 72’
ORL - Christine Nairn 73’
Orlando Lineup: GK Haley Kopmeyer; D Kristen Edmonds (Trudi Carter* 32’), Ali Krieger, Toni Pressley, Carson Pickett; M Dani Weatherholt (Ansley Frazier* 82’), Christine Nairn (Julia Moore* 82’), Bridget Callahan (Ellie Moreno* 82’); F Chioma Ubogagu (Christine Creighton*), Danica Evans (Kayla Adamek*), Sydney Leroux (Morgan Ferrera*)
Substitutes Not Used: None
Orlando Pride picked up its first win of the NWSL preseason on Saturday afternoon, defeating the University of Central Florida 3-0 at UCF Track and Soccer Complex. Sydney Leroux opened the match with two first-half goals before Christine Nairn capped off the scoring in the second half. The match was the second of three preseason games the Pride will play before their March 24 season opener against Utah Royals FC.
“I was pleased. I thought we showed a lot more cohesion today, moved the ball well, kept possession well, created chances and scored goals,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “So, again, still very early in the preseason but I was pleased with what I saw.”
The two Orlando-based sides played a shortened match on Saturday with two, 25-minute halves. Leroux got the Pride on the board first in the 14th minute, capitalizing on a pass from Dani Weatherholt. Weatherholt sacrificed her body between two Knight defenders, finding Leroux on a right-sided run to go in unmarked on the goalkeeper.
Seven minutes later, Leroux put in her third goal of the preseason after Christine Nairn faked a shot, instead sending the forward down the left side of the box for an easy tap-in around the ‘keeper.
Nairn got one for herself shortly into the second half, powering a left-footed set piece in the 33rd minute.
The Pride will finish preseason play on March 8, traveling to face the University of South Florida at 7 p.m. ET
Tickets for the 2018 Pride season are currently on sale at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
Match: University of Central Florida vs. Orlando Pride
Date: March 3, 2018
Venue: UCF Track & Soccer Complex
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Team 1 2 F
UCF 0 0 0
Orlando 2 1 3
ORL – Sydney Leroux (Dani Weatherholt) 14’
ORL – Sydney Leroux (Christine Nairn) 21’
ORL – Christine Nairn 33’
Orlando Lineup: Haley Kopmeyer; Bridget Callahan* (Kayla Adamek* 45’), Ali Krieger, Toni Pressley, Carson Pickett; Dani Weatherholt, Danica Evans (Jessica Hamrick* 45’), Christine Nairn; Trudi Carter* (Julia Moore* 45’), Sydney Leroux, Chioma Ubogagu
Substitutes Not Used: None
Our muscles cramp from lying in wait. The season in view; and so much is to be done. We long to line The Wall with our voice. As for now, we get a taste of the battles to come as the “She Believes Cup” kicks off 2018! — KICK THE BALL AS LOUD AS YOU CAN! #LETSSCORE
Orlando Pride began preseason play on Wednesday night, traveling to face Florida State University at Seminole Soccer Complex in Tallahassee. Forward Sydney Leroux and trialist Trudi Carter scored for the Pride, who fell 3-2 to the Seminoles.
The Pride, who currently have nine players on international duty, started the match with 10 rostered players, with preseason invitee Bridget Callahan the only trialist in the starting XI. Halfway through the match, Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni replaced eight of his starters with trialists. The team played the remainder of the match with the same personnel setup, rotating two rostered players on the field and Haley Kopmeyer consistent between the pipes.
“I was happy with the game, it was always going to be difficult. Having nine players away on international duty has really decimated the squad a little bit,” Sermanni said. “We put a team out tonight with players playing all sorts of positions, players that haven’t played with each other and players that just got to meet each other before the game. So, considering all of those things, I was really happy with the effort and how the team went and pleased that we gave Florida State competition.”
Playing three, 30-minute periods, the Pride got on the board first eight minutes into the first stanza. Forward Sydney Leroux found the back of the net with a right-footed shot, creating a solo opportunity at the top of the 18-yard box.
The Seminoles pulled things even early in the second period after a handball call in the box, leading to a penalty kick goal from Deyna Castellanos. The home team took the lead in the 49th minute, after Kaycie Tillman intercepted a pass from the Orlando backline and finished on a breakaway.
Carter, out of the University of South Florida, brought the game to 2-2 in the 80th minute, adding Orlando’s second goal of the evening with a blast from 25-yards out.
Castellanos made it a brace late in the game, scoring in the 89th minute.
The Pride will play their second preseason game in just three days, facing in-town side University of Central Florida on Saturday in a closed-door match.
Orlando begins the 2018 NWSL regular season on March 24, hosting Utah Royals FC at Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are currently available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
Match: Florida State University vs. Orlando Pride
Date: February 28, 2018
Venue: Seminole Soccer Complex
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
ORL – Sydney Leroux 8’
FSU – Deyna Castellanos (PK) 33’
FSU – Kaycie Tillman 49’
ORL – Trudi Carter 80’
FSU – Deyna Castellanos 89'
Orlando Lineup: Haley Kopmeyer; Bridget Callahan* (Claire Oates* 31’), Ali Krieger (Toni Pressley 61’, Carson Pickett 76’), Toni Pressley (Sarah Inserra*), Carson Pickett (Kayla Adamek*); Dani Weatherholt (Bridget Callahan* 48’, Chioma Ubogagu 76’), Danica Evans (Dani Weatherholt 61’), Christine Nairn (Jessica Hamrick*); Rachel Hill (Hikaru Murakami* 48’), Sydney Leroux (Trudi Carter*), Chioma Ubogagu (Julia Moore*)
Substitutes Not Used: Taylor Fox* (Orlando Pride DA); Ansley Frazier* (Orlando Pride DA), Ellie Moreno* (Orlando Pride DA)
The Pride will host their first training session of the year on Monday, Feb. 19, nine days before their first preseason game. The day prior, the Pride will report to Orlando Health, the Club’s jersey sponsor and official medical team, for preseason medical evaluations.
Orlando will play three preseason matches, the first on Feb. 28 against Florida State University, followed by a March 3 match at University of Central Florida and a March 8 game at University of South Florida.
The Pride have faced FSU and USF in each of its previous preseasons, while 2018 will mark the first time the Pride play fellow Orlando-based side UCF.
The matches at FSU and USF will be open to the public, while the March 3 match at UCF will be closed to the public. The friendly at FSU will have free admission, while tickets to the March 8 game at USF can be purchased here.
The NWSL will open the 2018 regular season the weekend of March 24/25. The complete 2018 NWSL schedule will be announced at a later date.
Orlando Pride continued to build toward its April 15 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season opener with its fourth match of the preseason, defeating visiting Florida State University 3-0 at Sylvan Lake Park.
Pride defender and former ‘Nole Toni Pressley led the way with two assists, while Jasmyne Spencer, draft pick Danica Evans and Chioma Ubogagu all tallied in the scoring column.
“I was pleased by the performance today. [FSU] put us under a bit of pressure and gave us a slightly different challenge than the games we’ve had so far,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “I think we saw improvement today in our general match fitness. A little bit of improvement today on our ball movement, which was better than it’s been, and we put players in there for longer today than we had been. We’re starting to see players getting close to that match fitness level that we require.”
Spencer opened the scoring in the 35th minute, collecting a cross from Pressley in the box then beating the FSU goalkeeper to make it 1-0. Evans, who was drafted with the Pride’s first pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, scored just over 10 minutes later, heading in a cross from Kristen Edmonds.
Forward Chioma Ubogagu, who was acquired by the Pride in a trade with the Houston Dash during the offseason, completed the scoring with a second half goal. Pressley played a well-paced ball through the ‘Noles defense, allowing Ubogagu to run on and calmly place it around the goalkeeper.
The Pride will wrap up preseason play next week, welcoming the U.S. U23 Women’s National Team on Friday, April 1 in a closed-door match.
After starting the season in Portland on the 15th, the Pride host their first match at Orlando City Stadium at 4 p.m. on April 22. The match will be nationally broadcast on Lifetime as the NWSL Game of the Week.
Tickets for the historic opener are available at orlando-pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
ORL – Spencer (Pressley) 35’
ORL – D. Evans (Edmonds) 45+1’
ORL – Ubogagu (Pressley) 71’
Orlando: Bledsoe (Kopale 80’); Camila (Fields 63’), Alleway (Levin 73’), Kennedy (Weatherholt 63’), Pressley; Driesse (M. Evans 46’), Edmonds, Monica (O’Brien 73’); Ubogagu (Burkenroad 73’), D. Evans (Hagen 63’), Spencer (Rodrigues 73’)
Orlando Pride was fueled by three first half goals, as the team defeated host University of Florida 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon. It was the Pride’s third win in as many games this preseason, previously beating Stetson University and the University of South Florida in earlier matches.
“I was pleased with the showing from the squad today, especially since it was our first look at real Florida heat,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said after the match. “It was a good test for our new players and a reminder for our returners that this is what we need to be used to this season. Our possession and ball movement was positive this afternoon. Now it’s a quick recovery before our next game this Saturday.”
Christina Burkenroad, entering her sophomore season with the Pride, got the scoring started just five minutes in when she pounced on a rebound inside the six-yard box. Chioma Ubogagu took the initial shot, which was tipped off the bar by the Florida goalkeeper, but fell to the feet of Burkenroad.
Ubogagu followed with a goal of her own just seven minutes later, carrying possession through the Gators’ final third then firing a low shot into the net.
2016 Golden Boot winner Kristen Edmonds finished things off from the penalty spot in the 41st minute after Sarah Hagen drew the foul.
The Pride will see a quick turnaround for its next game, hosting Florida State University at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday. The match is closed to the public. Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Jackie Maynard (email@example.com) with Orlando Pride Communications before attending.
The Pride open the 2017 season on the road, traveling to face Portland Thorns FC on April 15. Orlando then hosts its first match at Orlando City Stadium a week later, welcoming the Washington Spirit on April 22. Tickets to all Pride home matches can be purchased at orlando-pride.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
ORL – Burkenroad 5’
ORL – Ubogagu 12’
ORL – Edmonds (PK) 41’
Orlando First Half: Harris; Fields, Krieger, Kennedy, Camila; Monica, Weatherholt, Edmonds; Ubogagu, Burkenroad (Hagen 23’), Spencer (D. Evans 31’)
Second: Bledsoe; O’Brien, Alleway, Pressley, Monica (Rodrigues 61’); M. Evans, Weatherholt (Burkenroad 64’), Driesse; D. Evans, Hagen, Spencer