Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns FC Game Moves to the Game of the Week on Lifetime for Sept. 23

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The NWSL announced today that the Game of the Week on Lifetime for Saturday, Sept. 23 at 3:30 p.m. ET will now feature the Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns FC at Orlando City Stadium. In addition, the Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars game will move to 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 23 at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The Dash vs. Red Stars match, originally scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Lifetime, will now be available live on the go90 and NWSL apps and websites or, for our international fans, on NWSLsoccer.com.

QueensCast: Episode 59 - ALERT: LOST IN ORLANDO — ISO: A Winning Spirit — As Laura Takes Her Last Waive Into Shore

We’ve all been there, even with our GPS barking orders — you’re lost. It’s OK, because if QueensCast has learned anything it’s that adversity brings out the best in all of us! Now is the time that we rally together and support the women of the Orlando Pride. We’re halfway through the season and it’s time to take a snapshot of what we’ve learned. Let’s look forward to great things as Marta, Alex and Steph lace up for a bulldozer push to the playoffs!

Press’ Penalty Kick Gives Red Stars 1-0 Win in Rain-Delayed Match

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
Attendance: 5,476
Weather: Rainy

Scoring Summary

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

Misconduct Summary:
ORL - Ali Krieger (Yellow Card) 52’

Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Assistant Referee 1: Brooke Mayo
Assistant Referee 2: Natalie Simon
Fourth Official: Francesco Terranova

Orlando Pride Adds Alex Morgan to Roster

Orlando Pride has added forward Alex Morgan to the Club’s 20-person roster. In order to meet league roster size requirements, the Pride have waived forward Christina Burkenroad.

Morgan was designated as a U.S. Women’s National Team Federation Player for the Pride, but was not on the 20-player roster while she was playing for French side Olympique Lyonnais. Morgan will continue rehabbing a hamstring injury before being cleared to play. She is expected to be available in two to three weeks.

“Alex is going to add another dimension of our attacking ability. I think we already have a great deal of mobility and attack, and, somebody like Alex coming back into the team will add to that further,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “Obviously, bringing someone like Alex back gives everybody a boost - the players, the team, the Club and the supporters. So there’s a whole range of positives with Alex coming back into the fold.”

Morgan, 27, appeared in 15 matches during Orlando’s 2016 season, all of them starts, and only missed time due to international duty with the U.S. WNT. The forward finished the year with four goals and one assist, including the Week 5 and Week 17 NWSL Goal of the Week.

Burkenroad, 23, was selected with the Pride’s third pick (No. 32 overall) in the 2016 NWSL College Draft out of Cal State Fullerton. The California native made eight appearances for Orlando, totaling 261 minutes.

“We’re sad to see Christina leave the Pride. She has been a dedicated professional and a wonderful contributor to our team, the Club and the community,” Sermanni added. “Knowing her playing time would likely have been limited with Alex’s return, we believed it would be in her best interest to provide her the opportunity to explore other options for her career. We wish Christina every success and look forward to seeing her continuing to grow both on and off the field.”

Coming off a 4-2 victory, the Pride return to Orlando City Stadium on Saturday afternoon, closing a back-to-back series against the Houston Dash at 3:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

Coach Tom Sermanni: Thoughts on the Game and Season

“I could probably answer both of those in one. Firstly, I’d just like to thank all the local journalists, print, radio and TV people for the great support that we’ve had this season through thick and thin. I know when it’s tough times it’s tough for everybody so I appreciated coming in here and getting your continued support. Thanks and hopefully we’ll do better for you next year.

As I said I can probably answer those questions two in one. I think tonight’s game probably summed up some of my thoughts for the season. I felt at halftime in the first half in particular we controlled the game, dominated the game, we were in control of the game, we looked comfortable, had really good passages of soccer, probably didn’t create enough for the amount of possession we had. In the spells where we either switch off or we lose a little bit of momentum we can see goals and tonight was a typical game and that’s been probably the story for particularly the second half of the season when basically the game tonight, the game against Sky Blue, the last home game and others, Portland here, that we’ve managed to actually lose the game from a position of winning. I think if anything that has made the season a little bit frustrating from my perspective.

The effort and commitment from the players has been outstanding in every game we’ve played. They’ve never thrown the towel in, they’ve never given up. If we can just turn these close defeats into some victories, then I think we can have a successful season next year.”

3 Tips for Your New Soccer Player

Now that school is back in full swing, your child may have recently joined a soccer team, whether it be at school, in a recreational league, or in a competitive league. But, what if they’ve never played soccer before? A lot of other kids are in that same boat, but you can do research and take part in preparation so your child doesn’t look like an amateur when he or she steps onto the soccer field. You may think that understanding the tactics is the most important part of the game, but it’s really the commitment to soccer and understanding the basics that will allow your child to flourish in this new sport. Here are some tips to help your new soccer player start on a high note.

Increase Your Speed of Play.

Speed of play, or playing quickly, is an important fundamental that most professional soccer players have down pat. It’s one of the biggest separators between amateur and professional soccer players. Quick decision making and fewer touches can bring your game to a new level.

Work Harder Off the Ball.

If you want to be an effective playmaker, then you must be willing to work hard off of the ball. You definitely want your movement off of the ball to be as strong as your movement on the ball. You’ll want to strategically move, even when you don’t have the ball, around the field.

Play Forward When Possible.

Many soccer players are hesitant to pass the ball forward or to dribble the ball in a forward direction because they don’t want to lose possession. But, in order to get big rewards, you must be able to make big risks. Don’t force the ball forward if you don’t need to or if there are no options.

For the latest on soccer and the Orlando Pride, make sure to continue to follow QueensCast. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast, and get to know our hosts!

Orlando Pride Defender Kristen Edmonds Voted NWSL Player of the Week!

Orlando Pride defender Kristen Edmonds was voted the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Player of the Week by the NWSL Media Association for Week 12 of the 2016 NWSL season.

Edmonds, 29, tallied both goals to help the Pride earn a 2-1 victory over the Boston Breakers at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. It was the team’s fifth win at home this season.

The Metuchen, N.J. native made her first goal of the game in the 90th minute when she netted a free kick from just outside the box into the far post past Boston goalkeeper Jami Kranich. (Watch – Goal)  

The Rutgers product scored again in the 93rd minute when she settled a pass from Orlando midfielder Leah Fortune and chipped the ball over the head of Kranich into the back of the net. (Watch – Goal)

Edmonds played all 90 minutes in the game and finished with five shots on goal.

It is the first time Edmonds has been honored as the NWSL Player of the Week, and is also the first time a member of the Pride has won the award.

The Orlando Pride return to action Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET against the Chicago Red Stars at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Tickets to that match, and all remaining Pride home matches, can be purchased at orlando-pride.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.

The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of press that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.

Orlando Pride Signs Goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage

Orlando Pride announced today that it has signed reigning Westfield W-League Goalkeeper of the Year, Kaitlyn Savage. Savage will join the Pride ahead of Sunday’s match against the Boston Breakers, pending the receipt of her International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“I am delighted to have Kaitlyn joining us for the remainder of the season. We are fortunate to be able to bring in such an experienced and elite goalkeeper at this stage of the season,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.  “Her successful professional playing background in Iceland and Australia will be invaluable under our surest circumstances.”

“I’m very excited to be joining the Orlando Pride,” Savage said. “It is an honor for me to be a part of an incredible organization with such quality players and coaches, and I cannot wait to do all that I can to help the Club succeed.”

Savage, 25, comes to Orlando from Glenfield Rovers FC of New Zealand’s Premier League, where she featured for the Auckland-based club both this season and last season.

In September, Savage joined Australian side Adelaide United of the Westfield W-League, where she would go on to be named 2015-16 Goalkeeper of the Year in her first season with the Lady Reds. The Washington State native also played in the W-League three years prior, joining Perth Glory for her first professional season. She also played with Pàr/KA FC of Iceland in 2013.

The 5-10 goalkeeper played collegiately at Florida International University, where she was named the Sunbelt Conference Freshman of the Year in 2009 and was a three-time All-Conference selection. Savage posted a 0.89 goals against average in her final season, which currently ranks second all-time in FIU history, while her nine shutouts in 2011 remains a single-season record.

Savage also ranks first in FIU history in shutouts (21) and third in saves (311).

With Savage joining the Pride, goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe has been placed on the season-ending disabled list.

The Pride return to Camping World Stadium on Sunday, July 10 to host the Breakers at 5 p.m. ET.

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

Kaitlyn Savage
Jersey Number: 25
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 5-10
Born: October 27, 1990 in San Diego, Calif.
Hometown: Gig Harbor, Wash.
Citizenship: USA
College: Florida International University
Acquired: Signed via discovery on July 6, 2016