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  • Writer's pictureDan Berridge

Analysis: Angel City (h). Orlando Fight Back To Snatch Another Dramatic Point.

I think one thing is clear already about this team... They don't know when they are beaten. Whilst I'm sure Seb Hines would like to be sat here with two wins from the opening two games (or even one), he'll be pleased to see his team's ability to grind out a point in difficult circumstances.

Angel City are no slouches and will likely be up there in the reckoning for NWSL play-off contention.

This probably wasn't Orlando at their finest. Chances, for both teams, were at a premium. The Pride got into some great areas, but required some better decision making at times.

This was a hard fought game, between two teams with genuine play-off aspirations. There was hardly anything between the two sides. A quick glance at the overall statistics paints that very picture (figure 1). The fact that both goals came from dead ball situations further leans into that. A draw was probably the fairest possible result.

Figure 1 shows the overall statistics for both sides.

Is there a position Kerry Abello can't play?

It's actually as preposterous as Lucasfilm trying to shove Asajj Ventress into The Bad Batch, after she has died (if you are a Star Wars fan I'd highly recommend reading Dark Disciple before next week).

Abello has no business being this good in this many positions. Left-wing? Cool. Left-back? Gotcha. Central midfield? Of course? Centre-back? Check.

Abello filled in for the absent Emily Samms as a central defender, as Celia Jiménez covered for the suspended Kylie Strom. And she did so with consummate ease. During the 90 minutes, Abello had an 88% passing accuracy, created 1 chance, 6 passes into the final third 7 recoveries, 2 blocks and 2 clearances.

She just looked like she does in every position she plays: comfortable. She's such a confident player. It's honestly ridiculous what a good job she does everywhere on the field.


I actually felt for her a little with the penalty. It's a clear foul, there are no doubts there. That mishap aside, it was a quality home debut from the Brazilian. The former OL Reign midfielder looked comfortable in possession, creating 3 chances, 2 successful dribbles, 4 passes into the final 3rd and 3 successful crosses.

She used the ball intelligently throughout the game. The example in figure 2 is just before the Ally Watt shot on 40. She shields the ball well on the left and plays a clever ball inside which then gets Orlando on the move.

I just felt like was something of a calming presence in the middle. She maintains possession well and is just as happy to put her foot on the ball and regain control of a game, as she is to get Orlando moving in transition. She has certainly made a positive start to life in the 407.

Figure 2 is a game still from the first half.

Top player


She's just incredible isn't she? The goal is a thing of beauty. The way she finds the space, her eyes never leave the ball and she just cushions it towards goal, makes the ball do all the work. It must be so tempting to just put your laces through those sorts of chances. She created 2 chances, had 4 shots and was just generally a pain in the backside for Angel City.

Player ratings

Starting XI

Moorhouse -6- Didn't have much to do.

Celia -6- Solid performance.

Abello -8- Looked a natural.

Martinez -7- Looked very capable.

McCutcheon -7- Led the younger centre backs well.

Angelina -7- Will be a quality addition.

Gautrat -7- Didn't do much wrong.

Doyle -6- Was direct but not her night.

Marta -9- Balling.

Adriana -8- Was threatening all evening.

Watt -6- Worked hard


Luana -7- Classy.

Lemos -6- Energetic.

Yates -6- Worked hard.

Allen -6- Showed flashes of potential.

Larroquette -6- Worked hard


Orlando Pride head coach Seb Hines

“I mean, it's an emotional game of course. You have the highs and lows but overall, I'm super proud of the team and the players to show that sort of resiliency to never give up. It’s difficult when everything is going against you, but you look at that group of players and they wear their hearts on their sleeves, and they give absolutely everything. I’m so proud of them to get something at the end of it because they fully deserved it.”

*All statistics courtesy of FlashScore.

Game still courtesy of Prime Video.

Media availability footage and b-roll footage courtesy of Orlando Pride.

Top player image and cover image courtesy of Orlando Pride.


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