Orlando Pride fall to Portland Thorns in 2019 NWSL Season Opener

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando News,Orlando Pride,Orlando Sport,Sport |

Orlando Pride fell 2-0 to Portland Thorns on Sunday afternoon in their 2019 NWSL season opening fixture at Orlando City Stadium.

In a ceremony before the game, Alex Morgan and Marta were presented with trophies for reaching 100 international goals and being voted FIFA women’s world player of the year respectively but this was as good as it would get for the Pride all afternoon.

In truth, this was something of an eye opener for the Pride as the Thorns could and should have won by more than the two goal margin. The Pride struggled to cause any threat to the visitors during the first half as Portland rattled up 15 shots on goal in a lop sided 45 minutes.

It looked like it might be one of those days for Portland as they went close on so many occasions but were either denied by the brilliant Ashyln Harris in the Orlando goal or by shots that were fractionally wide of the target.

Finally, the goal did come and it came as Orlando failed to clear the ball and it fell to Tobyn Heath who set up Caitlin Foord in the dying seconds of the first half. It was two nil five minutes into the second half as Foord returned the favor and Heath got on the end of her cross and diverted it past the despairing Harris.

The goal seemed to wake the Pride up and they tried to fight back. Alex Morgan was unfortunate to strike the woodwork twice in quick succession around the 60 minute mark and Kristen Edmonds should have done better in stoppage time as she widely flailed as the ball ten yards from goal.

Not the start Pride Head Coach Mark Skinner (pictured above) envisaged as after the game he remarked: “It wasn’t good enough from us. I think all the things that we looked at doing in preseason we didn’t affect first half. We just didn’t do them. So, we had some words at halftime, we were better second half, but still not good enough. That’s nothing against the players, that’s nothing personal, that’s not me telling the players they aren’t good enough. That’s me saying as a team, as a collective, we were not good enough in that game. Hence the reason why we lost.” 

Orlando will next play North Carolina Courage on Wednesday in Cary, NC.

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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