Jamia Fields impresses in first start for Orlando Pride

After playing a part in Jasmyne Spencer’s game-winning goal during Thursday’s Orlando Pride 1-0 victory over the Houston Dash, Jamia Fields received praised on her performance.

It was the first time this season Fields’ name was in the starting lineup, and she didn’t fail to disappoint. Playing the entire 90 minutes as a right winger, her attacking flair was well-received by her teammates and coach Tom Sermanni.  

“The fact that she went out there and matched it for 90 minutes says a lot about her fitness, how’s she trained every day and her toughness, so I was really delighted that she got the opportunity and thought she did well,” said Sermanni on Fields’ performance.

“We felt it was the kind of game tonight where we needed fresh legs and somebody with that energy, pace and physicality, and I think she gave us all of that.”

And the former Western New York Flash player did exactly that. From providing an attacking edge from the wings to dropping back to spark a counter attack, to settling a ball crossed from Alex Morgan before connecting with Sarah Hagen to find Spencer for the goal.

Fields, who came off the bench three times this season prior to the game, found out she was starting on Wednesday. It was her former teammate at the Flash, the goalscorer Spencer, who provided some words of encouragement.

“We have a very competitive team, so she hasn’t necessarily found minutes, but I told her yesterday when I found out she was starting that ‘this is your chance, just ball out. Do what you’ve done this whole time and really go for it’ and I think she showed,” said Spencer said. “She had a great 90 minutes and she helped set up that goal, so I’m really proud of her.”

With Fields employing an impressive first start, it does open up some options for Sermanni once the team loses most of its international players later this summer for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Until then, Fields will have to continue on the current track that placed her in the lineup in the first place.

“She hasn’t had much game time at all,” said Sermanni. “She had no starts for the team at 10 games in and she’s continued to show up to training every day, stayed focused, and worked really hard. Particularly over the last couple weeks, we started to see her form improve both in training and when she’s come on in games.”

(Photo courtesy of ISI Photos)

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