Five members of the Orlando Pride made their NWSL debuts this past weekend in Carrie Lawrence, Courtney Petersen, Jordyn Listro, Deneisha Blackwood and Chelsee Washington. Lawrence and Petersen had an impressive debut, each starting on the backline to contribute to the clean sheet for the Pride, while Listro earned the start and went for 87 minutes before being subbed out for Washington. Blackwood entered the match in the 64th minute for forward Abby Elinsky to log her first professional minutes.
Keep it Clean
The Pride registered a clean sheet in their first outing of 2020 after posting a shutout just once throughout the 2019 season. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris registered four saves in the contest, including a Save of the Week worthy effort in the 53rd minute with a kick save to deny North Carolina midfielder Debinha. The shutout served as the 12th for Harris across all competitions since joining the Pride ahead of the 2016 season.
Back on the Pitch
Sydney Leroux and Toni Pressley each made their first starts in quite some time on Saturday at North Carolina after both missing a significant portion of the 2019 season. Leroux last started a match for the Pride on Sept. 8, 2018, sidelined for the majority of last year after carrying and giving birth to her second child, Roux. Before Saturday, Pressley last appeared in Marc Skinner’s starting XI on July 20, 2019 before undergoing treatment for breast cancer that sidelined her for the majority of the remainder of the 2019 season.
Last Time at BBVA
In their last visit to BBVA Stadium, the Pride battled to a 2-2 draw with Saturday’s opposition in a match that saw former Pride midfielder Joanna Boyles notch her lone goal for Orlando before she was forced to retire this past offseason, her free kick buried into the back of the net past Jane Campbell. Boyles would go on to register an assist on the game-tying goal in the 71st minute, when former Pride forward Danica Evans scored her second career goal to force the two sides to split the points from the match.
Building the Future
This week, the Pride announced that Head Coach Marc Skinner and Assistant Coach Carl Green have had their contract options exercised with the Club through the 2021 NWSL regular season. Both Skinner and Green came to the Pride ahead of the 2019 season from FA WSL side Birmingham City, with Skinner holding a UEFA “A” License and Green a UEFA “B” License.
- Orlando Pride defender Toni Pressley spent the 2015 NWSL season with the Dash, appearing in 15 matches.
- Orlando Pride forward Abby Elinsky and Houston Dash forward Bridgette Andrzejewski were teammates at the University of North Carolina from 2016-17. Dash goalkeeper Lindsey Harris was teammates with both in 2016.
- Houston Dash forward Jamia Fields spent the 2016 & 2017 NWSL seasons with the Pride, registering 28 appearances and two assists through two seasons. Fields was also teammates with Pride defender Toni Pressley at Florida State University in 2011.
- Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux and Houston midfielder Maegan Kelly and forward Shea Groom were teammates at FC Kansas City in 2017.
- Midfielder Savanah Uveges and Dash midfielder Haley Hanson were college teammates at the University of Nebraska from 2014-17.
- Defender Courtney Petersen and Houston forward Veronica Latsko were teammates at the University of Virginia from 2015-17.
- Houston midfielder Christine Nairn spent the 2018 NWSL season with the Pride, playing in 20 games and registering four assists to tie Marta for the team lead.
- Houston defender Megan Oyster and Pride forward Sydney Leroux were college teammates at UCLA in 2011.