Orlando, FL – The Orlando Pride fell 2-0 to Portland Thorns FC in its 2019 National Women’s Soccer League season opener at Orlando City Stadium. Opening their seventh season in the NWSL on the road, the Thorns received a pair of goals in a four-minute span to secure the win on Sunday. Caitlin Foord and Tobin Heath each finished the game with a goal and an assist. Foord’s goal was the first of her NWSL career.
For Orlando. For Pride. #BiggerThanSoccer pic.twitter.com/zsLZCQTFVC
— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) April 14, 2019
“It wasn’t good enough from us. I think that all of the things we looked at doing in preseason, we didn’t effect first half. We just didn’t do them, so we had some words at halftime. We had a better second half; still not good enough. That’s nothing against players, that’s nothing personal, that’s nothing me telling that the players aren’t good enough. That’s me saying as a team, as a collective, we were not good enough in that game and it’s the reason we lost. It’s just as simple as that.” Orlando Head Coach Marc Skinner after the game.
The Pride have dropped three of their four season openers, going 0-3-1 on opening day, with all three of those losses coming to the Thorns. Sunday’s match marked the eighth regular-season meeting all-time between the clubs. Thorns FC lead the all-time series at 6-1-1, including a record of 3-0-1 on the road against the Pride. Portland has recorded three shutouts in four road matches against Orlando.
“Of course it’s frustrating, it could have been five or six nothing in the first half,” said Ashlyn Harris. “We were lucky to go into the locker room with only one goal [conceded]. I don’t want to beat a dead horse but what can I say? Am I pissed? Yeah, I’m pissed. But I have to be the best version of myself every day for this team.
The Week 1⃣ #NWSL Save of the Week goes to @Ashlyn_Harris of the @ORLPride 🙅♀️ pic.twitter.com/ScG4KHzAov
— NWSL (@NWSL) April 16, 2019
“I believe in myself that I’m the best [expletive] player out there every single day. and I can’t give that to other people. That is something that they have to wake up and feel every [expletive] day. I can’t give that. I’ll run through a brick wall for this team and every single one of you out there know that. I can’t give that to everyone else; that’s a choice. I hope that we continue to grow and dig deep.”
The Pride were looking for a big turnaround season after finishing in seventh place last year. Orlando ended the 2018 campaign with a -7 goal difference, winning just eight of their 24 matches.
POR – Caitlin Foord (Tobin Heath) 45’
POR – Tobin Heath (Caitlin Foord) 49’
It's her world, we're just living in it.@TobinHeath takes home Goal of the Week! #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/FpFSiH5aTU
— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) April 16, 2019
- Sunday’s match marked the eighth regular-season meeting all-time between Portland and Orlando. Thorns FC lead the all-time series at 6-1-1, including a record of 3-0-1 on the road against the Pride. Portland has recorded three shutouts in four road matches against Orlando.
- Midfielder Bridget Callahan made her first career NWSL start on the evening. Callahan, a University of Central Florida graduate, made one appearance for the Pride in 2018.
The Pride face a quick turnaround, hitting the road to face the defending NWSL Champion North Carolina Courage on Wednesday, April 17. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Credit: John Chapman
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