The first 20 minutes of the Orlando Pride vs FC Kansas City started out as an even, cagey affair. With Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan getting the two best chances from a through ball and a header served from a corner. Not long after minute 20, Pride defender Alanna Kennedy rifled a header into the net from a short corner routine putting Pride up 1-0. For the next 15 minutes of game time the ball was almost exclusively in the Pride’s attacking third. After two players getting tangled up in the box, the referee called a penalty. Alex Morgan stepped up and placed the ball in the back of the net to put Pride up 2-0.
Not long after, Pride’s light-footed, Brazilian right back Camila Pereira weaved her way through opposing players eventually nutmegging KC’s left back, Rebecca Moore before whipping a cross in the Kansas City’s box. The final 10 minutes of the half consisted of the Pride keeping the pressure on FC Kansas City by pinning them in Kansas City’s defensive third.
Halftime could not have come sooner for the visiting side, due to them being overrun towards the end of the first half.
The first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half was the opposite of how the first half ended; FC Kansas City was forcing the Orlando Pride to defend much more than they were comfortable doing. The pride weathered the storm that Kansas City was throwing at them thanks to two blocks by Camila and one by the British-born forward Chioma Ubogagu within those first 15 minutes of the half.
In the 56th minute, Morgan was subject to a hard foul that caused her to stay down for several minutes. This gave her team the chance to recover and plan how to change the flow of the game to their favor. Turns out that is exactly what the Pride needed because once play resumed, Orlando was immediately back on the front foot. What seemed like seconds after Morgan getting back on her feet she had a chance whipped in from the left wing that she tried to poke with her toe, but Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart was in prime position to scoop the ball up into her grasp.
In the 62nd minute Kansas City brought on forward Maegan Kelly for midfielder Erika Tymrak, and within 2 minutes Kelly tucked the ball in the back of the net against the run of play to cut Orlando’s lead in half. This one goal lead did not last long though because in the 70th minute Orlando defender Toni Pressley hit the ball perfectly and scored a screamer from 30 yards out into the bottom right corner of the goal. In the 75th Barnhart took a bad touch on a back pass that Pride midfielder Kristen Edmonds[AB4] peeled off her feet and tucked in the bottom corner to make the game 4-1.
The Pride would go the remainder of the game controlling it until the final whistle blew. After that result, Orlando Pride jumps to 4th place where they are tied with Portland Thorns FC. FC Kansas City stayed in 8th place after that loss.
The next game that the Orlando Pride will play in is Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 PM against Chicago Red Stars in Chicago. The next home game is Saturday, August 5 at 7:30 PM.
Orlando Pride starting XI was: [G] Aubrey Bledsoe, [D] Camila, Ali Krieger, Toni Pressley, Stephanie Catley, [M] Alanna Kennedy, Dani Weatherholt, Chioma Ubogagu, Marta, Rachel Hill, [F] Alex Morgan.
FC Kansas City starting XI was: [G] Nicole Barnhart, [D] Rebecca Moros, Yael Averbuch, Becky Sauerbrunn, Brittany Taylor, [M] Brittany Ratcliffe, Christina Gibbons, Desiree Scott, Katie Bowen, [F] Sydney Leroux, Erika Tymrak.
Fact: This equals the highest scoring game the Orlando Pride have had the entire 2017 season.