NEWS & VIEWS
Orlando Pride will begin its quest for the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League championship on Saturday, March 24, at Orlando City Stadium. The Pride will host the league’s newest team, Utah Royals FC, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Single game tickets will be available to the general public on Friday, Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. ET. Season ticket packages are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY. Discounted rates are also available for groups of 15 or more. The remainder of the Pride’s 24-game regular season schedule, featuring 12 home games and 12 road matches, will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
The March 24 match will mark the first time the Pride begin a season in front of their home crowd, after starting the year at Portland in each of the team’s previous two seasons.
The Pride will also feature in home openers for the Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns FC. Orlando first travels to face the D.C. side on Saturday, March 31, for a 3:30 p.m. ET match at Maryland SoccerPlex, which will be featured as the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime. Orlando later heads to Providence Park to battle 2017 champion Thorns FC on Saturday, April 15 at 6 p.m. ET.
Fans will again be able to watch the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime at 3:30 p.m. ET each Saturday. All other matches will be available on go90 in the U.S. and on the NWSL app and NWSLsoccer.com for international fans.
After reaching the postseason for the first time in only its second season in the league in 2017, the Pride roster was bolstered during the offseason with the acquisition of forward Sydney Leroux, midfielders Christine Nairn and Emily van Egmond, as well as defender Shelina Zadorsky, among others. Leroux will join an already powerful attacking force, featuring the duo of Marta and Alex Morgan, while the defense will again be anchored by U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris between the pipes.
A day after earning a point in its final regular season home game, Orlando Pride’s ticket to the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League postseason has been booked. The Pride’s place in the final four of the table was secured after Seattle Reign FC fell 1-0 against FC Kansas City on Sunday night at Memorial Stadium.
With a tight leaderboard, the Pride’s semifinal opponent will be determined following the conclusion of the final week of the NWSL season. Orlando will either travel to face Portland Thorns FC on Oct. 7 or North Carolina Courage on Oct. 8. Both matches will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be aired nationally on Lifetime.
The Pride face Portland and North Carolina, both the top two teams in the league, in their final two matches of the regular season, most recently drawing Thorns FC 0-0 on Saturday afternoon at Orlando City Stadium. Orlando travels to face the league-leading Courage in its final regular season match at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 30.
The top four teams, which also includes the Chicago Red Stars, will compete for a spot in the 2017 NWSL Championship match. That game will be hosted by Orlando City Stadium at 4:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 14, marking the third consecutive year the title match will be held at a predetermined site, and could provide Orlando the opportunity to compete for the City of Orlando’s first major league title in front of a home crowd.
Tickets for the Championship can be purchased at nwslsoccer.com/championship or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
Internationals! Both home and abroad our Pride Queens came to dominate! Join QueensCast, as we fix our sights on the playoffs, we span the globe and talk new blood showing on their abilities and Superstars waiting for the big game. As season is rapidly descending on us, get ready, because we hope to be there till end! #LETSSCORE
Both the Red Stars and Pride control their own postseason fate - and each can seal a place in the semifinals with a victory in their respective games on Saturday, Sept. 23. Orlando will meet the Portland Thorns in the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime at 3:30 p.m. ET, while Chicago is scheduled to face off against the Houston Dash at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The Red Stars could also wrap up the No. 3 seed in the playoffs if the Pride lose to Portland and Chicago wins against Houston later that night thanks to the Red Stars owning the head-to-head tiebreaker against Orlando.
Seattle Reign FC will be watching both Chicago and Orlando's games on Saturday with the hope that they will be still be alive in the race for the playoffs when they take the field Sunday against FC Kansas City in a match that is set to kick off at 9 p.m. ET.
At the top of the table, the North Carolina Courage will come into Week 21 with the possibility of clinching the NWSL Shield for the best record during the regular season. The Courage can claim the first silverware of the season if Portland lose or draw against the Pride and Carolina beat Sky Blue.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 NWSL Championship, which will kickoff at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Orlando City Stadium, starting as low as $20. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase seats throughout the 25,500 capacity venue, including in the North end of Orlando City Stadium - North America's first safe-standing supporter's section. Tickets are available online at www.NWSLchampionship.com and by phone at 1-855-ORL-CITY.
See below for the playoff scenarios in Week 21.
2017 NWSL PLAYOFF PICTURE
Glossary - Pts: Points, GD: Goal Difference, GR: Games Remaining, Max: Maximum points possible
Magic Number formula*
The Magic Number for a team to clinch a playoff spot is determined by subtracting that team's current points total from the maximum number of points possible for the fifth-place team, then adding one.
Elimination Number Formula*
The Elimination Number for a team to confirm their exclusion from the playoffs is determined by subtracting that team's maximum number of possible points from the current number of points of the fourth-place team, then adding one.
* = The Magic Number or Elimination Number for each team does not reflect scenarios that require tiebreakers. Tiebreaker scenarios are required when a team's Magic Number or Elimination Number is 1.
Week 21 clinching scenarios
Chicago Red Stars will clinch a spot in 2017 NWSL Playoffs if...
... Red Stars win vs. Dash
... Reign lose or draw vs. FC Kansas City
Orlando Pride will clinch a spot in 2017 NWSL Playoffs if...
... Pride win vs. Thorns
... Reign lose or draw vs. FC Kansas City
Week 21 elimination scenarios
Seattle Reign FC will be eliminated from the 2017 NWSL Playoffs if...
... Reign lose or draw vs. FC Kansas City
... Red Stars win vs. Dash AND Pride win vs. Thorns
Week 21 NWSL Shield scenarios
North Carolina Courage will clinch the 2017 NWSL Shield if...
... Courage win vs. Sky Blue AND Thorns lose or draw vs. Pride
To Break a Tie in the Standings
If two or more teams are tied on points at the end of the regular season, the tie will be broken through the following steps:
1. Head-to-head record
2. Overall goal difference
3. Overall goals scored
4. Head-to-head road record
5. Goal difference in all road games
6. Goals scored in all road games
7. Head-to-head home record
8. Goal difference in all home games
9. Goals scored in all home games
10. Coin toss
1.Points per game against other two teams
2.Overall goal difference
3. See tiebreaker procedure for two-team scenarios
NOTE: If two teams are still tied after the third team has advanced via the tiebreaker, the tie will be broken using the two-team tiebreaker rules.
Orlando Pride looks to extend its unbeaten streak to five straight games on Saturday afternoon when they travel to face FC Kansas City at Swope Soccer Village. Both teams will be looking for their fourth straight win, which would tie the NWSL season-high set by both North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC.
A win or draw on Saturday would also leave the Pride undefeated in the month of August, which would mark the first unblemished month in the team’s short history.
Saturday’s match will be broadcast on Lifetime, with pregame starting at 3:30 p.m. ET and kickoff slated for 3:50 p.m. ET. It will be the sixth time the Pride are featured in the NWSL Game of the Week. Fans can also watch online at NWSLsoccer.com.
“We know Kansas City is coming into this match high on confidence after three straight wins, against quality opponents as well. [Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski] has kept a very stable team and they really seem to be clicking as of late,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “Like every match, we know to expect a battle on Saturday and will have to capitalize on our opportunities when we get them.”
The Pride head into Saturday’s match riding a 2-1 victory at the Boston Breakers last weekend. Orlando jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Alex Morgan’s eighth-minute goal. The forward completed the brace in the second half, putting the Pride up by two goals, after collecting a nifty chip pass from Ali Krieger on a set piece and lofting the ball over Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith. The home side got one back late in the match, scoring on a penalty kick just before the final whistle.
With two goals on Saturday, Morgan made it four straight matches with a goal and has now scored seven goals in eight appearances this season. She leads the league with a goal scored every 86.8 minutes and combines with Marta to form one of the most dangerous attacking duos in the NWSL. Marta ranks third in the league with 11 goals scored and leads the league with 46 chances created so far this season.
The Blues picked up one of their biggest wins on Sunday, knocking off the Red Stars 3-1 on the road. U.S. Women’s National Team forward Sydney Leroux scored the opening goal before Katie Bowen extended it to two goals. Julie Ertz got one back for the home side, but second-half substitute Maegan Kelly sealed things late in the match for Kansas City.
The two sides last met on July 15 when Orlando exploded for a four-goal performance, picking up a 4-1 win at Orlando City Stadium. Twenty-two minutes in, Camila played a short corner before Marta beat multiple KC defenders, floating a cross into the box that Alanna Kennedy headed home for her second goal of the season. Morgan added the team’s second goal on a penalty kick. Toni Pressley and Kristen Edmonds also scored their first goals of the season in the game, while Aubrey Bledsoe made three saves. The scoreline marked a historic performance for the Pride, posting a new high for shots in a game with 25.
After Saturday’s match, the Pride return home for their final three home matches of the regular season, first facing the Boston Breakers on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium. Orlando will then host Seattle Reign FC on Sept. 9 and Thorns FC on Sept. 23.
Tickets to the remaining three home games can be purchased at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
Only five matches to go and our Pride's on a roll! Three consecutive wins, but can we make it four? City Beautiful fans are screaming for more. MORE! MORE!
We're on the road to Kansas City. Alex's scoring is looking pretty!
Five straight games she's got it on frame, no one can deny Morgan's got killer aim. Now sit back, relax, and take a listen, as the ladies of QueensCast fill what’s been missing. Now turn it up, and close the door, while Jay and Jen yell #LETSSCORE
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.
Coming off of its most dominant victory in team history, Orlando Pride heads into Saturday’s match at Chicago looking to continue its recent stretch of road fortunes. The Club posted a 4-1 win over FC Kansas City on July 15 - the largest margin of victory at Orlando City Stadium to date - but will see a tougher test when it faces the Chicago Red Stars at Toyota Park on July 22, a venue in which the Red Stars are undefeated in this season.
Saturday’s match will mark the fifth time the Pride are featured on the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime, with kickoff slated for 3:30 p.m. ET. Fans can also watch online at NWSLsoccer.com.
“[Chicago’s strikers are] difficult. The key thing [for us] is defenders need to be on their mettle from minute 1 to minute 90. We need to make sure we always have a spare player in the back. Our defenders need to be marking, even when we are in possession of the ball. We need to be aware of what is going to happen next,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “If we turnover possession, [Chicago] are going to get the ball forward very quickly to [Christen] Press or [Sofia] Huerta and they are going to go straight to attack us either in behind or up to feet. That is going to be an issue that we are going to have to deal with in this game. Going away from home, we need to make sure that defensive discipline is there.”
With a 2-0-1 record over their last three road games, the Pride will look to extend their recent string of positive road results but will have to score their first-ever goal against the Red Stars and also break free from a pattern. In their three all-time meetings, Chicago has won each game by a 1-0 scoreline.
Last weekend, the Pride tied their record for goals scored in a 4-1 win over visiting FC Kansas City. Orlando jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead behind Alanna Kennedy’s second goal of the season and Alex Morgan’s first, a penalty kick in the 38th minute. Kansas cut the lead to one goal through Maegan Kelly, but the Pride responded with goals in the 70th and 75th minutes to comfortably take all three points. Defender Toni Pressley scored her first NWSL goal in the match, a thunderous strike from outside of the box while Kristen Edmonds capped things off with her first goal of the season.
Pressley’s goal went on to be named the NWSL Goal of the Week, while Aubrey Bledsoe’s 40th-minute stop earned Save of the Week honors. Bledsoe, who has played in seven matches this season, has already won the award three times and has racked up a 4-3-1 record.
In addition to tying the Club’s record for goals in a match, the Pride set a new benchmark for shots in a game (25) and shots on target (11). Alex Morgan also totaled seven shots over her 90 minutes, matching her single-game high and tying her own Orlando record.
The Red Stars retained second place in the standings with last week’s draw against Sky Blue FC, but were forced to settle for a point after Sam Kerr scored in the 90th minute for Sky Blue FC, ending the match at 2-2. Christen Press and Sofia Huerta scored for the Red Stars.
It will be the second straight week the Pride’s opponent is coming off a disappointing result at the hands of Sky Blue, after Kansas City dropped all three points in the match preceding the July 15 contest.
In the last meeting between Orlando and Chicago, the Pride dominated the match at Orlando City Stadium but were unable to find the back of the net. Morgan made her 2017 debut in the contest, but Chicago was awarded a penalty kick in the 68th minute. Press’ goal from the spot proved to be the difference.
After Saturday’s match, the NWSL will see a bye week for the first-ever Tournament of Nations, a round-robin tournament featuring the USA, Australia, Brazil and Japan. Seven Pride players will take part in the tournament with Morgan, Ali Krieger (USA), Kennedy, Steph Catley (Australia), Marta, Monica and Camila (Brazil) all called to represent their countries.
The Pride return to Orlando City Stadium on Aug. 5 to host the Red Stars in the second leg of the home-and-home series. The match will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.