By Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES – Alex Morgan and Hope Solo, two of the biggest stars of the United States Women’s National Team that triumphed in last summer’s World Cup, will face off against each other this weekend, as Orlando Pride hosts the Seattle Reign in NWSL competition on Sunday.
With six points from three games played, Seattle are tied on points with Chicago but thanks to a better goal differential, sit third in the standings behind Washington and Portland. The Reign have had to make due without influential midfielder, Megan Rapinoe this season. The World Cup winner is recovering from knee surgery after tearing her ACL in a scrimmage back in December, and will be sidelined until later in the season. Rapinoe’s absence however, has helped open the door for Kim Little. The 23-year-old midfielder is currently Seattle’s leading scorer with two goals in three appearances.
The Pride meanwhile, have struggled to get off the mark this season. With only one win in three so far, Orlando have given up four goals and have also struggled to put away chances, with star striker, Morgan having only found the back of the net once this season. In the plus column, Orlando’s one win this season coincided with their one home game so far. With Sunday’s clash set for Camping World Stadium in Orlando, the Pride may gain a slight added edge over Seattle.
But with Seattle having only conceded two goals this season, the impetus will be on Morgan and Orlando’s other attacking players, Jasmyne Spencer and Lianne Sanderson, to find a way past a stingy Seattle defense marshaled by the formidable Solo in goal.
With the league’s first and second placed teams – Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns – set to face each other on Saturday, a win for Seattle could catapult them into second place. Orlando meanwhile, desperately need a win and will look to the leadership, experience and goal-scoring prowess of Morgan to get their season back on track.
(Photos courtesy of Brad Smith via ISI)
The NWSL “Goal of the Week” goes to Christen Press of the Chicago Red Stars. Press received a free kick just outside the penalty box and took a phenomenal touch and then placed the ball on frame to score. The Chicago Red Stars have two wins and one lose this season. Watch the “Goal of the Week” here.