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  • Dan Berridge

Preview: OL Reign (h).

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

When? August 26, 4 p.m. PT, 7 p.m. and midnight BST.

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 Twitch for international supporters.


This is where it starts to get tricky Pride fans... There's a pretty daunting run of games ahead, with a re-match against Portland following this game against Lyon's reserves, I mean OL Reign. Apologies.


This will be another tough test for this team, but it's one they're more than capable of passing; as they have shown on several occasions in recent weeks. Seb Hines' team have the wind in their sails. I fancy the Pride to come out on top in this one.



OL Reign's style


OL Reign have one of the most stacked squads in global soccer, never mind the NWSL. As a result, you have to feel a little underwhelmed with the fact they only sit 4th in the standings. It feels like this roster should be stomping clear at the top of the table, but here we are.


That being said, they're still very much a dangerous team. They're very attack minded; they rank first in the NWSL for shots on target per match, big chances created per match and big chances missed per match (figure 1). Quinn* acts as the anchor in midfield, which allows the likes of Jess Fishlock, Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle to attack at will, safe in the knowledge that they have a safety net behind them.


The thing that's held them back this season, is their finishing; they rank 7th for goals scored per match, which ties in well with the 'big chances missed' statistic I referenced earlier.


They're quite a direct team, that don't put a tremendous amount of stock in possession (50.8% average on the season so far). But with the players they have in forward areas, a more direct style makes sense.


Here's hoping they leave their shooting boots at home again, though.


Edit 26/8 Quinn has picked up a knock and subsequently they will miss this game.


Figure 1 shows their statistics for shots on target per match, big chances created per match and big chances missed per match on the season so far.


Figure 2 shows their goals per match ranking.


Team news


OL Reign are in the fortunate position of only having one player missing. Although that fact is obviously decidedly less fortunate for said player. Angelina is on the season ending injury list.


As for the Pride, Marta remains out. Darian Jenkins is also out of this game, whilst Toni Pressley and Chelsee Washington missed training on Thursday. Abi Kim has been waived. Parker Roberts has been back training.


Edit 8/26 Caitlin Cosme, Kaylie Collins are added to the injury report. Both will miss the game. Chelsee Washington is injured, whilst Toni Pressley is under Covid protocol, hence her absence from training. Whilst for OL Reign Tobin Heath is out.


This section will be updated as new information becomes available.




Possible starting XI


I have a feeling OL Reign will remain unchanged from their win over Gotham. And it's easy to see why they might. It was a fearsome looking line-up:




Top player


Rose Lavelle



One of the most technically gifted players the United States has ever produced, Lavelle has perhaps not hit the heights many thought she would after her stellar 2019 World Cup. A frustrating loan spell at Manchester City followed, after her departure from the Washington Spirit. Lavelle returned to the NWSL in 2021, looking to recapture her form. She has shone for OL Reign so far this season, scoring 3 times and assisting once. Lavelle has created 18 chances for her teammates, in just 11 appearances this season. Orlando are going to have to be alert to her considerable threat.


Form


OL Reign have been a bit hit and miss lately, winning 2 and losing 2 of their last 5 games. They currently sit 5th with a 6-6-4 record, 3 points ahead of Orlando.


The Pride, meanwhile, are one of the form teams in the league right now, having gone unbeaten in 7. They currently sit 8th on a 5-6-5 record, 2 points below the play-off line.



*All statistics courtesy of fotmob.com.

Top player image courtesy of Angel City FC.

Cover image courtesy of Orlando Pride.

Line-up graphic courtesy of chosen11.com.

Media availability footage courtesy of Orlando Pride.



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