Preview: Orlando Pride Looks for Back-To-Back Wins Sunday in Portland
ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Pride (2-8-2, 8 points) travels to face Portland Thorns FC (5-2-4, 19 points) on Sunday, July 14. Kickoff for the match is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET at the newly renovated Providence Park.
Sunday's match will be nationally broadcast on ESPNEWS, the first of a new league-wide deal to televise 14 NWSL matches through the remainder of the 2019 season on the ESPN family of networks, which was announced earlier this month.
"Portland is more of a cauldron of a place to go and travel. I think you've got to be really good to get a result there so we have to be consistent in the messages that we have. We know what Portland are going to throw at us," Head Coach Marc Skinner said. "I think we can get through them and I think we can score goals, but we've got to take the same confidence in. We've got to go in there knowing we can score goals and quiet the crowd because it's going to be a wonderful experience. I'm really looking forward to it, to be honest. It's a great way to show the team that there's something to fight against here and that'll be a really good thing for us."
The Pride head into Sunday following their first home win of the 2019 season in a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Washington Spirit this past Saturday. The Spirit's Bayley Feist opened the scoring in the seventh minute, but the Pride responded with two finishes, one from Chioma Ubogagu then Rachel Hill, in the 21st and 26th minutes respectively. The Spirit answered in the 30th minute with a finish from Cheyna Matthews to level the two sides once more.
Following the halftime break, Marta came out to score two goals in the second half in the 48th and 78th minutes to record her first brace of the season. Her finish in the 78th minute would prove to be the game-winner, as the Spirit were able to gain one goal back late in stoppage time off the foot of Jordan DiBiasi, but the rally for the visitors came up short, giving the Pride all three points in front of their home crowd for the first time in 2019.
Marta and Ubogagu now share the team lead with three goals each this season, with the two combining for five goals in the Pride's last two games. Joanna Boyles leads the Pride with two assists, recording her second of the year on Ubogagu's opening goal last weekend. Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer sits at second in NWSL in saves with 41 this season.
Portland enter Sunday's match following a 1-0 loss to Reign FC last week. Celia Jiménez Delgado scored the eventual game-winner for the Reign in the 55th minute to give the visitors all three points on the night.
Midge Purce leads the Thorns in goals this season with five, followed by Caitlin Foord and Christine Sinclair each with three. Meghan Klingenberg leads Portland with three assists.
Sunday's match will mark the last meeting between the two sides in the 2019 regular season, with the Pride looking to avenge two earlier losses, both at the then-named Orlando City Stadium.
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