Orlando Pride braces for tough test against Washington Spirit | OSJ Match Preview


Photo Courtesy of Orlando Pride

Sitting atop the NWSL standings and starting the season on a four-game unbeaten streak, the Orlando Pride (3-0-1, 10 points) will look to continue to build on their excellent early-season form when they take on the second place team, the Washington Spirit (2-1-1, 7 points) on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET at Audi Field.

The match will stream live on Paramount+.

For Pride head coach Marc Skinner, though, he expects a challenging bout against a Spirit side that’s looking to continue their good start to the season.

“[Washington are] a great team with good, forward-thinking organization. It will be a very difficult game and we’re going to their home opener so it will be a real tough one,” Skinner said on Friday. “We expect it to be tough but we also expect to have the opportunity to go and continue [being] who we are, continue to develop what we’ve been doing, and continue to progress and challenge ourselves against a very good opponent in their backyard.”

The Spirit narrowly beat OL Reign 1-0 last week to climb up to second place in the standings just four-games into the season.

But for the Pride, going back on the road after a two-game homestand is just another opportunity to continue collecting points and ascending atop the league standings.

“We’ve been away, we’ve had difficult games and now we need to go and have another one,” added Skinner. “I don’t think there’s any easy games in this league so we’ve just got to do what we do, continue to progress and try to work hard at it.”

The Pride will enter Sunday’s match riding a three-game winning streak in the midst of a current four-match unbeaten run, previously defeating Kansas City 1-0 a week prior at Exploria Stadium courtesy of Alex Morgan’s lone goal.

Morgan, who was named NWSL player of the month for May on Thursday, currently leads the team in scoring with four goals in four games this season.

Injury Report

Skinner told reporters during Friday’s media call that most of the squad is healthy going into Sunday’s game at Audi Field.

Jade Moore, however, remains unavailable with a left knee injury, having missed all four league matches thus far this season.

Forward Sydney Leroux, who has scored two of the Pride’s six goals so far this season, is questionable with a left thigh injury she picked up shortly after last week’s match against Kansas City, according to Skinner.

Goalkeeper Erin McLeod will also be unavailable due to international duty with the Canadian national team.

Pride signs backup

On Friday, the Pride announced they signed goalkeeper Kaylie Collins as a National Team Replacement player, filling in while McLeod is with Canada.

Collins, 23, was selected by the Pride as the 34th overall pick from the University of Southern California in the 2021 NWSL Draft.

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