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Orlando Pride returned to training this morning ahead of the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League season.
The club has also announced its preseason schedule for the Club’s second season.
Orlando will begin its preseason schedule on March 18, playing Stetson University at Sylvan Lake Park. The Club then travels for its next two matches, heading to the University of South Florida on March 25 and the University of Florida on March 29.
The Pride returns to Sylvan Lake Park for its final two scrimmages, hosting perennial NCAA powerhouse Florida State University on March 29 and the U.S. U23 Women’s National Team on April 1. All matches will be closed to the public.
After the training session head Coach Tom Sermanni (pictured above) remarked “We’re looking for a more settled season this time. Today was really about observation and taking a look at some of the new players. The players all looked to be in good shape and there was a good energy even after the end of the session.”
When asked about the shape of the team and whether he felt the team overplayed with the ball last year, Sermanni said “Yes, we are looking to be more dangerous this season and to work the ball faster with better effect. Really, we want to continue where we left of at the first half of last season and build on that with an expansive brand of soccer.”
The Pride return 16 contract players from their inaugural 2016 season, including the rights to forward Alex Morgan, who is spending the first half of the season with French side Olympique Lyonnais.
The duo of USWNT goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and Aubrey Bledsoe will defend the woodwork behind Steph Catley, Monica and newly acquired defenders Ali Krieger (pictured above) and Alanna Kennedy, among others, on the backline.
2016 Golden Boot winner Kristen Edmonds (pictured above left) highlights the Pride’s midfield, while versatile forwards Jasmyne Spencer, Sarah Hagen and Christina Burkenroad roam the attacking third.
Krieger and Kennedy were two of the Pride’s biggest acquisitions, headlining an off-season haul including forward Chioma Ubogagu, 2017 NWSL College Draft picks Danica Evans and Nickolette Driesse and Brazilian defender Camila via discovery. The Pride also secured the rights to rookie Rachel Hill from Portland.
Orlando begins the 2017 NWSL regular season on April 15 at Portland Thorns FC before opening its home campaign on April 22 against the Washington Spirit at Orlando City Stadium.
Season and group tickets are currently on sale at orlando-pride.com or by calling (8555) ORL-CITY.
More photos from the first training session of the season at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com
|Sat., March 18||Stetson University
|Sylvan Lake Park||1 p.m.|
|Sat., March 25||University of South Florida
|Corbett Stadium||6 p.m.|
|Wed., March 29||University of Florida
|Donald R. Dizney Stadium||4 p.m.|
|Sat., April 1||Florida State University
|Sylvan Lake Park||1 p.m.|
|Fri., April 7||U.S. U23 Women’s National Team
|Sylvan Lake Park||2 p.m.|