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Orlando Pride loses to Gotham 1-0 in home opener

Orlando Pride loses to Gotham 1-0 in home opener
Orlando, Florida, USA, April 14, 2021, Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux #2 fight to keep the ball during the match at Exploria Stadium (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 14, 2021) – Orlando Pride (0-1-1, 1 point) fell 1-0 to Gotham FC NJ/NY (1-0-0, 3 points) on Wednesday at Exploria Stadium. It had been over 550 days since the Pride played on their home field in front of fans. The game was their second match in NWSL Challenge Cup play, drawing 1-1 at Racing Louisville FC over the weekend.

Both teams joined in a display of unity during the national anthem but knelling arm in arm with both teams together in one line.

Orlando Pride loses to Gotham 1-0 in home opener
Orlando, Florida, USA, April 14, 2021, Gotham FC,Orlando Pride players and referees kneel during the US National Anthem at Exploria Stadium (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

The Pride had their opportunities (17 shots on goal, Sydney Leroux, lead with 7, some of which were just inches off), they allowed Paige Monaghan to get set up for a cross for a score in the 79th minute when she slotted home the game’s only goal.

Ashlyn Harris provided some early fireworks in the 11th minute by blocking a penalty kick from Nahomi Kawasumi. “it’s my job to do my research.” said Harris. “I studied film and knew her tendencies, and went with that.”

Orlando Pride loses to Gotham 1-0 in home opener
Orlando, Florida, USA, April 14, 2021, Orlando Pride Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris #24 makes a save from a penalty kick at Exploria Stadium (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

The Pride will next face the Washington Spirit on Wednesday at home, but with the two toughest opponents in the group coming up, things look pretty bleak for the Pride in this competition.

The changes to the roster has also proven to be a challenge, and it will take the team some time to gel and get it’s proper timing, and timing isn’t something that’s available in the Challenge cup.

The Pride were without newly acquired midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard, who was very active in game one, but not available this week due to injury.

Look out for the Pride again on Wednesday

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