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  • Writer's pictureDan Berridge

Analysis: Racing Louisville (a). Spirited Pride Battle Back From Two Down To Claim A Draw.

One thing is for certain... Supporting the Orlando Pride is never dull.

I have to admit, I feared the worst at 2-0 down. I've seen this movie before. Many, many times. The Pride have largely lurched from one disaster to another over the last few years. The many malaises under Tom Sermanni, Marc Skinner... Amanda Cromwell (shudders).

When you support the Pride, you're pre- dispositioned to expect the worst in such scenarios. This team, at least at this early stage, seem like they're made of sterner stuff than basically all of their predecessors.

There was plenty for Seb Hines to pleased with in Kentucky. Not least the character the players showed to come back from 2 goals down, a player less. For large spells of the game, the Pride were dominating possession and zipping the ball around well, whilst penning Louisville in with a high line and considered possession.

I thought, overall, it was a very positive start to the season for the Pride. The old adage is, win your home games, pick up what you can on the road. Given the ridiculous nature of Kylie Strom's red card, it would have been quite easy for the Pride to wallow in their own self pity. But there was none of that.

I think it's a great point on the road.

Pride in possession

The Orlando Pride took care of the ball very well in this game. The numbers might not totally back that up, but you have to remember they had their backs to the wall for long periods when they were a player lighter. It's natural to drop deeper when that happens, so it was a little harder to maintain possession.

Prior to that, I thought they were excellent. Luana and Morgan Gautrat have all the makings of a really solid double pivot. Marta, Angelina, Julie Doyle and Adriana interchanged really nicely. I just felt they needed to be a little more penetrative in the final third. But that will come in time.

The Pride players all looked comfortable in possession, happy to receive the ball with their backs to goal or when under pressure. They looked accomplished, like they believed in what they were setting out to achieve.

And that can't be measured in numbers.

The importance of Kerry Abello

Abello was all over the place. The earth is 71% covered by water, the other 29% is covered by Kerry Abello. She was left-back, defensive midfielder, left-winger... She's continuing to mature into a top player, which is obvious to anyone who knows even the slightest thing about football. Look at the stats in figures 1 & 2... She was phenomenal.

She's becoming a leader for the side, which is all the more impressive considering her relatively young age in soccer terms. I think this could be a big season for the American.

Figure 1 shows some in-game statistics for Abello.

Figure 2 shows some in-game statistics for Abello.

Playing a high line

Playing a high defensive line is an art. You're always susceptible to balls in behind; case and point their first goal (figure 3). You have to be perfect in possession and also have quick players at the back. When it's done effectively, it's a really effective way to play as it allows you to pen your opponent in ala Barcelona.

We just need to be a little sharper... Anna Moorhouse is going to have a sweeper role to play this season. She did this a lot with her positioning, so I don't think she does a whole lot wrong with the first goal. It's a very good through ball and an even better finish. Once the Pride fully gets used to this way of playing, it's going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Figure 3 is a game still from the first half.

Top player

Kerry Abello

Abello was the Pride's best player. She further underlined her importance to the team. You can play her in a number of positions and she'll look completely comfortable. I don't think she gets the praise she deserves at times.

Player ratings

Starting XI

Moorhouse -6- Should save the second.

Abello -8- Good performance.

Samms -7- Mature performance.

Strom -7- Never a second yellow.

McCutcheon -7- Dependable as ever.

Gautrat -7- Looked very accomplished.

Luana -7- Very comfortable.

Angelina -7- Lively.

Doyle -7- Very direct.

Marta -7- Is Marta.

Adriana -6- Drifted in and out of the game but looked dangerous.


Allen -7- Assist for Yates.

Yates -8- Game tying goal.

Lemos -6- Looked steady.

Jimenez -6- Helped to shore things up.

Martinez -7- Looked good.


Orlando Pride head coach Seb Hines

"Hard fought point, we showed a lot of character toward the end [of the game]. It’s never easy to go two goals down in a game, especially in this league. I can’t fault the players, especially their attitude toward the end. You’re looking at players stepping up in that environment, which is tough to not only get the goal but then to see the game out. [It was] a really important point for us moving forward.”

*All statistics courtesy of

Top player and cover image courtesy of Orlando Pride.

Media availability footage courtesy of Orlando Pride.

B-Roll footage courtesy of Orlando Pride.


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