When? Wednesday March 30, 4 p.m. PT, 7 p.m. ET and midnight GMT (31/3).
Where? Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL.
How can I catch the action? The game is being broadcast on Paramount+ for residents of the United States, and on Twitch for international supporters.
There's an age old adage in soccer; the best way to get over a defeat is by winning your next game. Fortunately, for the Orlando Pride, they have an opportunity to do just that very quickly. And it's a mouth watering prospect too. The return of club legends Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger to the club, so early in the season, makes an already intriguing encounter all the more enticing.
So, without further ado, let's get stuck straight into this one.
We all know what a good footballing side Gotham are.... But they've yet to get going so far this season. They were rather drastically out shot by Washington last time out, 29-8. They still tried to play their possession game; 427 passes in total, but just weren't able to play through Washington's press. The Spirit pressed them high and held 55% of the possession themselves, registering 518 passes. Washington were winning the ball all over the park (figure 1), and Gotham just couldn't cope with it.
Figure 1 shows Washington's interception/recovery positioning matrix Vs Gotham, whole 90.
It was a similar story in their game against the Courage (figure 2). The Courage pressed them high and forced errors. Now, as good as Ali Krieger is, most Pride fans know, she's not the best at playing the ball out when under pressure. It feels like, if the Pride can press high, they might get some joy. Gotham will likely try and play through Orlando, with the likes of Kristie Mewis, before hitting the runs of Midge Purce into the channels. Caprice Dydasco and Imani Dorsey provide further width from the full-back positions. If the Pride can stop the build up at source, they might just cause Gotham 1 or 2 problems.
Figure 2 shows North Carolina's interception/recovery positioning matrix Vs Gotham, whole 90.
As things stand, Gotham will be without Sabrina Flores through injury, and Allie Long continues to be an excused absentee.
Orlando Pride, meanwhile, continue to be without Caitlin Cosme (D45) as well as ABI Kim, Julie Doyle and Vivianna Villacorta through injury.
This section will be updated as new information becomes available.
For the pre-match views of Amanda Cromwell and Sydney LeRoux click here.
Possible starting XI
Gotham fielded a pretty strong team last time out, though with the short turnaround between games, I wouldn't be surprised to see some rotation. Even if wholesale changes aren't made:
One of the top full-backs in the NWSL, Dydasco is just as much an offensive threat as she is defending her own goal. Dydasco provides 4 goals and 5 assists during the 2021 season. She gets forward at will, and is capable of wreaking havoc in opposing penalty areas with her crossing and passing; 21 successful crosses and 56 key passes last season. Quality player.
Gotham headed into this season a much fancied outfit. Even I had them ear marked as a dark horse in my piece for Sporting Her. They've not gotten off to the start I expected them to, however. With an 0-1-1 record, following 2-0 defeat in North Carolina and a 1-1 draw with the Washington Spirit, Gotham currently sit bottom of Group A.
The Pride, meanwhile, are 3rd in the 4 team group by virtue of goal difference. The Pride are 0-1-1 having drawn 0-0 with the Spirit, and being beaten 1-0 in Cary, NC.
*All statistics courtesy of nwslsoccer.com
Top player image courtesy of NJ/NY Gotham FC.
Cover image courtesy of Orlando Pride.
Media availability footage courtesy of Orlando Pride.