With one game of the NWSL season in the books, the Orlando Pride travel on the road to take on the North Carolina Courage in Cary, North Carolina on Saturday night at 7 p.m. (Broadcast: Paramount+).
“They are a very, very difficult opponent. It’s going to be a tough challenge,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said on Thursday. “We need to do more than we did last time, however, we’ve got to add more of a threat going forward and the clinical kind of chances we want to create. I think we know how to do that and it’s just us having that consistency playing together that will create more opportunities for us to score and win the game.”
Following their 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit, in which Alex Morgan scored the late equalizer, the Pride will look to improve on their performance defensively and look to enhance their offense, which saw them create chances, but only manage one goal.
“We know where to explore North Carolina, we’ve got to be good at doing that,” Skinner said, “I think that’s where we’ll test ourselves and I think we’re all for that test. I think what I’m asking our players now is, as we’re getting a little bit more consistency and understanding each other, it’s now can we develop those habits quicker, can we be more expressive, can we be more arrogant with the ball.”
For North Carolina, their last match finished as a 0-0 draw with OL Reign last weekend. Players like Debinha and Lynn Williams will potentially be bolstered by the return of Sam Mewis from Manchester City. Mewis, who Skinner called “one of the best players in the world,” came back stateside on Monday and has been training with the team since.
Injury concerns are less of an issue than last week for the Pride. Jade Moore remains out with an injured knee, but Ali Riley and Erika Tymrak, are both available for selection in their upcoming match.
Both these teams faced off in the Challenge Cup on May 1st, with the sides playing to a 0-0 draw.
Orlando’s next match following Saturday will be back home to face the Portland Thorns on Wednesday, May 26th. Kickoff for that match at Exploria Stadium will be at 7 p.m.
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