The Orlando Pride is a professional women's soccer team based in Orlando, Florida. The team joined the National Women's Soccer League, the top level of women's soccer in the US, for the 2016 season.[1][2] It became the tenth team to be added to the league. It is affiliated with the MLS team Orlando City SC and play their home games at Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando.

Orlando Pride
FoundedOctober 20, 2015; 8 years ago (2015-10-20)
StadiumExploria Stadium
Orlando, Florida
Majority ownersZygi, Leonard, and Mark Wilf
ChairmanMark Wilf
Head coachSeb Hines
LeagueNational Women's Soccer League
20237th of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season
A NWSL record crowd of 23,403 at the Florida Citrus Bowl on April 23, 2016, of the franchise's first Home Game

History edit

Following the 2015 NWSL season, it was rumored that the Orlando City SC ownership group would be adding an expansion team to the women's professional league.[3] On October 20, 2015, a press conference was held at Lake Eola Park where Phil Rawlins unveiled the team name, logo, and colors.[4] Former national team head coach of Australia and the U.S. Tom Sermanni was announced as the team's first head coach.[5]

On October 26, 2015, the Pride announced that they had made the first player acquisitions in team history; signing forward Alex Morgan and Kaylyn Kyle from Portland Thorns FC in exchange for the Pride's No. 1 picks in the 2015 NWSL Expansion Draft and the 2016 NWSL College Draft as well as an international roster spot for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and also acquired Sarah Hagen in a separate trade with FC Kansas City along with Kansas City's second-round 2016 draft pick in exchange for the Pride's 2017 second-round draft pick.[6] They finished the season in 9th.

In 2017 the Pride qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history as they finished the regular season in 3rd place with a record of 11–7–6. They went to Portland Thorns FC for the semi-final but lost 4–1. The season was also notable for the signing of five time FIFA World Player of the Year and Brazil international Marta who finished the season as the league's second highest scorer with 13 goals.

Following a disappointing 2018 season where the Pride missed the playoffs by finishing in 7th place, head coach Tom Sermanni and the Orlando Pride mutually parted ways after three seasons. Sermanni had a regular season record of 25–29–14 during his spell in Orlando, going 0–1–0 in the playoffs.[7]

In January 2019, Marc Skinner stepped down from his role at FA WSL side Birmingham City to become the Pride's second ever head coach.

In May 2019, plans were unveiled to build a dedicated training facility at Sylvan Lake Park, the first-ever training facility in the NWSL that is tailored to and used exclusively by a women's team. The Pride plan to finish out the 2019 season at their current facility located at Seminole Soccer Complex before moving to the new state-of-the art training ground prior to the start of the 2020 season.[8]

On May 12, 2021, Orlando City majority owner Flávio Augusto da Silva announced he was in advanced negotiations with Zygi and Mark Wilf, owners of the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, for the sale of the club including the Orlando Pride and other related soccer assets. The combined value of the deal was estimated at $400–450 million.[9]

Team name, crest and colors edit

The name Orlando Pride was announced on October 20, 2015, by founder and president Phil Rawlins. He noted that the name "captures how we all feel about the City of Orlando, as well as firmly tying into the Lions family."[4] The team colors are purple and light blue. The logo features an illustration of the Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain at Lake Eola Park.[10][11]

Uniform evolution edit





Stadium edit

The team currently plays at Exploria Stadium

The team plays its home games at Exploria Stadium, in Orlando, Florida, which opened for the 2017 NWSL season. The stadium has a 25,500 capacity including a safe standing section. Prior to this the team played the 2016 season at Camping World Stadium.

On April 23, 2016, the Pride set a new NWSL attendance record, achieving a crowd of 23,403 during the Pride's inaugural home game, a 3–1 victory over the Houston Dash at Camping World Stadium.[12] The record stood for over three years before Portland Thorns attracted a post-World Cup attendance of 25,218 in the newly expanded Providence Park in August 2019.[13]

Players edit

Orlando Pride in May 2018

Roster edit

As of December 1, 2023[14]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Player Nation
2 DF Haley McCutcheon   United States
3 DF Kylie Strom   United States
4 DF Rafaelle Souza   Brazil
5 DF Megan Montefusco   United States
6 DF Emily Madril   United States
7 FW Mariana Larroquette   Argentina
9 FW Adriana   Brazil
10 FW Marta (captain[15])   Brazil
11 FW Ally Watt   United States
12 DF Carrie Lawrence   United States
13 DF Celia   Spain
14 MF Viviana Villacorta   United States
15 MF Erika Tymrak   United States
20 FW Julie Doyle   United States
21 GK Anna Moorhouse   England
23 FW Messiah Bright   United States
25 DF Kerry Abello   United States
28 FW Summer Yates   United States
29 FW Amanda Allen   Canada
31 GK Carly Nelson   United States
32 DF Brianna Martinez   United States
GK Sofia Manner   Finland

Out on loan edit

No. Pos. Player Nation
22 DF Tori Hansen (on loan at Melbourne Victory until May 2024)   United States
24 GK Kaylie Collins (on loan at Western Sydney Wanderers until May 2024)   United States

Staff edit

As of March 3, 2023[16][17]
Chair   Mark Wilf
Vice-chair   Zygi Wilf
Vice-chair   Leonard Wilf
General manager   Haley Carter
Head coach   Seb Hines
Assistant coach   Giles Barnes
Assistant coach   Yolanda Thomas
Goalkeeper coach   Paul Crichton
Director of medical & performance   Cory Price
Strength and conditioning coach   Christi Edson

Records edit

Year-by-year edit

Seasonal statistics for the Orlando Pride
Season NWSL regular season Position Playoffs Challenge
Top scorer[A] Avg. attendance
P W D L GF GA Pts Player Goals
2016 20 6 1 13 20 30 19 9th DNQ NH   Kristen Edmonds 6 8,785
2017 24 11 7 6 45 31 40 3rd SF   Marta 13 6,186
2018 24 8 6 10 30 36 30 7th DNQ   Sydney Leroux 6 4,837
2019 24 4 4 16 24 53 16 9th DNQ   Marta 6 5,565
2020 NWSL season not contested DNP   Marisa Viggiano 2[B] N/A
2021 24 7 7 10 27 32 28 8th DNQ Group stage   Sydney Leroux 9 4,227
2022 22 5 7 10 22 45 22 10th DNQ Group stage   Darian Jenkins
  Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir
4 4,385
2023 22 10 1 11 27 28 31 7th DNQ Group stage   Messiah Bright 7 5,504
  1. ^
    Goals scored in all competitions
  2. ^
    Goals scored in Fall Series

Head coaches edit

As of October 15, 2023
  • Only competitive matches are counted. Includes NWSL regular season, playoff and Challenge Cup matches.
All-time Orlando Pride coaching stats
Name Nationality From To P W D L GF GA Win%[nb 1]
Tom Sermanni   Scotland October 20, 2015 September 14, 2018 69 25 14 30 96 102 036.23
Marc Skinner   England January 14, 2019 July 23, 2021 43 9 12 22 46 77 020.93
Carl Green (interim)   England July 23, 2021 July 24, 2021 1 0 0 1 0 2 000.00
Becky Burleigh (interim)   United States July 25, 2021 October 30, 2021 12 3 3 6 13 17 025.00
Amanda Cromwell   United States December 7, 2021 October 10, 2022[nb 2] 13 2 4 7 13 28 015.38
Seb Hines   England June 7, 2022[nb 3] present 43 13 8 22 45 71 030.23
Total 181 52 41 88 213 297 028.73
  1. ^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places
  2. ^ Suspended from June 7, 2022[18]
  3. ^ Interim from June 7, 2022 until November 11, 2022

Broadcasting edit

In 2016, games were broadcast locally on the Bright House Sports Network.[19] In April of the same year, a livestream of a Pride match simulcast on the Facebook page of Alex Morgan had a live audience of 489,999 during the first half.[20] It was the first professional sports broadcast on the social networking website.[21]

For the 2017 season, Orlando Pride games were streamed exclusively by Go90 for American audiences and via the NWSL website for international viewers.[22] As part of a three-year agreement with A&E Networks, Lifetime broadcasts one NWSL Game of the Week on Saturday afternoons.[23][24] The Pride were featured in the nationally televised Game of the Week on seven occasions.[25] The deal was mutually terminated a year early at the end of the 2018 season.[26]

In 2019, NWSL regular season matches were streamed on Yahoo! Sports for the domestic audience while international fans continued to have access to games for free via the NWSL app and at[27] However, on July 4, 2019, NWSL announced it had signed a deal through the second half of the 2019 season with ESPN on the back of the USWNT's World Cup victory. The new deal meant ESPN would televise 11 regular season matches including two Pride games (July 14 and September 11) as well as every playoff game.[28] The sudden switch and lack of information surrounding the international broadcasts led to widespread confusion as ESPN's subscription service ESPN Player took control in Europe, Africa and parts of Asia while Canada's rights were acquired by TSN.[29]

For the 2020 season, the NWSL announced a three-year broadcast deal with CBS Sports and streaming service Twitch. In total, 87 NWSL matches will be shown across the main CBS network, CBS Sports Network, and CBS All Access live-streaming service with 14 of those games televised while Twitch will offer free coverage of 24 selected matches during the 2020 NWSL regular season. Twitch will also serve as the NWSL's exclusive international media rights partner outside the United States in 2020 with all 108 regular-season matches, the playoffs, and Championship available to global viewers.[30][31]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Tenorio, Paul (October 20, 2015). "Orlando City set to announce National Women's Soccer League franchise". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  2. ^ Murray, Caitlin (September 14, 2015). "MLS's Orlando City set to expand into NWSL for 2016". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "Report: Orlando City SC to announce NWSL expansion". Sports Illustrated. September 14, 2015. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Orlando Pride women's soccer team to join NWSL in 2016". Bay News 9. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  5. ^ Wahl, Grant (October 20, 2015). "Former USWNT manager Sermanni to coach new Orlando team in NWSL". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "Orlando Pride Acquires Alex Morgan, Kaylyn Kyle and Sarah Hagen". Orlando Pride. October 26, 2015. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  7. ^ "Orlando Pride and Head Coach Tom Sermanni Mutually Part Ways". September 14, 2018. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Pride to Receive NWSL's First-Ever Customized, Exclusive Training Facility". Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  9. ^ Poe, Julia (May 12, 2021). "Orlando City owner Flávio Augusto da Silva sells club, stadium to Minnesota Vikings owners". via Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on May 12, 2021. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  10. ^ Etzler, Allen (October 20, 2015). "Orlando City Officially Awarded NWSL Expansion Team, Names Club Orlando Pride". The Mane Land. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  11. ^ Rothschild, Ty (October 20, 2015). "Behind The Scenes: Creating The Orlando Pride Logo". Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  12. ^ "Orlando Pride rolls to 3–1 win before record crowd in home debut". Orlando Retrieved April 23, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Match between the Courage and the Thorns draws record crowd". Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  14. ^ "Orlando Pride". Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  15. ^ "2022 Orlando Pride Captain Announcement". Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  16. ^ "Orlando Pride Staff". Orlando Pride. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  17. ^ "Board of Directors". Orlando City SC.
  18. ^ "National Women's Soccer League Announces Results of Orlando Pride Investigation".
  19. ^ "Bright House will broadcast four upcoming Orlando Pride soccer matches". Orlando Weekly. June 23, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  20. ^ "Alex Morgan Broadcast Her Team's Last Game Via Facebook Live". Sport Techie. April 26, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  21. ^ Kantrowitz, Alex (April 27, 2016). "Facebook Quietly Live-Streamed Its First Professional Sports Broadcast Over The Weekend". Buzzfeed. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  22. ^ "NWSL, go90 announce exclusive streaming partnership". Black and Red United (SBNation). Vox Media. April 13, 2017. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  23. ^ "Lifetime To Air National Women's Soccer League Games As A+E Networks Kicks in For Equity Stake". February 2, 2017. Archived from the original on February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  24. ^ "A+E Networks, National Women's Soccer League Ink Major Deal". Variety. February 2, 2017. Archived from the original on February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  25. ^ Forrester, Nick (March 30, 2017). "NWSL announces 2017 broadcast schedule on Lifetime". Excelle Sports. Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  26. ^ "NWSL ends partnership with A+E Networks". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  27. ^ Megdal, Howard. "NWSL Announces End To Partnership With A&E; Here's What It Means". Forbes. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  28. ^ "NWSL announces TV deal with ESPN for post-World Cup matches". Soccer Wire. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  29. ^ Musarurwa, Kudzi (August 23, 2019). "NWSL risks losing its global audience". All For XI. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  30. ^ "NWSL announces landmark multi-year media agreements with CBS Sports featuring games on CBS, CBS Sports Network, & CBS All-Access and Twitch". Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  31. ^ "NWSL agrees three-year broadcast deal with CBS Sports and Twitch". SportBusiness. March 11, 2020. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.

External links edit