Orlando Pride coach Marc Skinner knows everyone including himself needs to be held accountable following Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Utah Royals at Orlando City Stadium.
The Pride remains winless to start the 2019 NWSL campaign, and after suffering their third loss of the season, Skinner is keen on holding a level of accountability within the entire group.
“We can’t concede things like that and hope to build the foundations that we need to go forward so we have to affect that,” said Skinner following Saturday’s game. “And I’ve just talked in the huddle at the end about accountability. The players must be accountable for that because no coach in the world can stop that goal going in.”
“It needs to be stopped at the source by the players,” he added. “Second half we looked much better but we were just out of the game by that. We give teams too many leads and that’s what we need to fix.”
Skinner was referring to Christen Press’ 19th-minute goal when she took an uncontested shot from outside the boxing, bouncing past goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer for the eventual game-winner for the Royals.
The Pride will miss a good chunk of their international stars when they leave for their national teams ahead of this summer’s World Cup in France, but Skinner also said those players who will see increased minutes will be held to the same standard.
“No excuses, guys. It’s a no-excuse culture,” said Skinner. “We have to create that. That’s the hard part first. Everybody wants to hide behind ‘It’s not my fault, it’s their fault…’ No, no, no. Everybody is accountable. That’s the word that will ring out of this press conference: accountability. I am accountable.”
“The players must be accountable and I’ll clarify once again, it’s not about not liking the players personally, it’s about accountability in the soccer match to do things you must do to win the game.”
Alex Morgan, who played her last game with the Pride before joining the U.S. national camp before the World Cup, agreed the Pride’s current struggles are part of a process that’s going to take a lot longer than expected.
“I think it’s pretty difficult,” said Morgan. “I think the teams that have had the same coach over the last couple of years it is probably a little bit easier. We also just have a larger amount of players in general, like a lot of internationals on our team, we’ve traded for a lot of international spots.”
“I’m pretty sure teams like Chicago have you know one or two international spots so I think that’s gonna be difficult for us,” she added. “And just with the style Marc wants to implement it’s gonna length that process a little more, it’s not gonna be a two to three-month process, it’s more of a four to six-month thing.”
Harris suffers injury, Kopmeyer called in
Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris was scratched off the Pride game day roster prior to kickoff Saturday.
According to Skinner, the U.S. national team goalkeeper may have suffered a left knee injury during warmups but did not disclose the severity of it.
Haley Kopmeyer instead was inserted into the starting lineup for the injured Harris.
An official spokeswoman for the Pride said Harris was still being evaluated.
How the Pride lined up
Orlando Pride XI: Haley Kopmeyer; Ali Krieger (c), Shelina Zadorsky, Alanna Kennedy, Carson Pickett; Dani Weatherholt, Emily van Egmond, Marta, Chioma Ubogagu, Rachel Hill, Alex Morgan.
Orlando Pride Bench: Joanna Boyles, Bridget Callahan, Morgan Reid, Camila, Marisa Viggiano, Kristen Edmonds.
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