• Dan Berridge

Preview: Angel City FC (h).

When? 4 p.m. PT, 7 p.m. ET and midnight BST.

Where? Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL.

How can I catch the action? Paramount+ for residents of the United States and Twitch for international supporters.


The Orlando Pride are looking to build upon their recent positive results with a game against an Angel City side whose form is patchy at best. That being said, they're still right in the play-off mix. You get the feeling Orlando really need to win this game to gain further ground on the top 6.


And this is a game they can win. Angel City obviously have quality in forward areas, particularly with former Pride members Claire Emslie and Sydney Leroux. The loss of Christen Press was obviously a huge blow to the club, although they still have plenty of ability all over the field. That being said there's no reason that Orlando should fear the LA based outfit.



Angel City's style


Freya Coombe's side have had a hard time establishing their attacking credentials so far this season; they rank bottom of the NWSL in terms of big chances created with only 7 created through 13 games (figure 1). This has translated to them averaging only 1 goal a game (11th in NWSL). The recent injury to their star player, Christen Press certainly hasn't helped matters in that regard. Press has been missing since mid-June, and in that time Angel City have only notched up 1 victory.


The team has really struggled in front of goal, particularly from open play. They've scored 8 of their 12 goals from open play, with 2 further penalty goals and 2 from set pieces (figure 2). Angel City are going to have to find a way to make things work if they're to get themselves over that play-off line.


Figure 1 shows Angel City's big chances created ranking.


Figure 2 shows Angel City's goal type matrix.


Team news


Angel City are going to be without Christen Press, Vanessa Gilles, Sarah Gorden and M. A. Vignola through injury.


As for the Pride, Marta and Parker Roberts remain out. Haley Bugeja is still acclimatising to life in central Florida, so is unlikely to start. Gunny Jónsdóttir is under Covid protocols and Megan Montefusco is suspended.




Possible starting XI


Given their injury problems right now, I don't envisage any changes. I think Tyler Lussi is in contention, but LeRoux and McCaskill looked good against the Wave, so I think they'll stick to that:




Top player


Sydney Leroux



Syd needs no introduction to Pride fans. She has yet to get off the mark in La La Land, but you know it's only a matter of time before she does. Let's just hope her wait for a first goal goes on a week longer.


Form


Angel City head into this game in what can only be described as inconsistent form. In their last 5, their record reads as won 2, lost 2 and drawn 1. They currently sit 7th with a 5-2-5 record, 2 points below the line.


The Pride, meanwhile, moved to 4 unbeaten with their recent 2-2 draw with the Kansas City Current. The Pride are 8th with a 3-5-5 record. They're 5 points below the line.




*All statistics courtesy of fotmob.com.

Top player image courtesy of Angel City Football Club.

Cover image courtesy of Orlando City SC.

Line-up graphic courtesy of chosen11.com.