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Orlando Pride Climb to Second Place With Victory Over Washington Spirit

The Orlando Pride have climbed to second place in the NWSL after a 1-0 victory over the Washington Spirit, led by Alanna Kennedy's goal.
Orlando Pride Climb to Second Place

BOYDS, MARYLAND (June 23, 2018) — A road trip up to the nation’s capital didn’t bother the Orlando Pride.

Instead, the away match fueled Alanna Kennedy and company to a victory. Kennedy was the lone scorer in the 1-0 victory over the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex in front of 4,005 fans. Kennedy scored her goal in the 11th minute.

Orlando Pride Climb to Second Place in NWSL With 1-0 Win Over Washington Spirit

The victory has moved Orlando up to second place, passing the Seattle Reign. Orlando has 22 points. It’s a long way off from the North Carolina Courage — who sit with 33 points — but it’s another step up.

After the match, Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said he was “pleased with a lot of things” Orlando did.

“I thought the first half performance was one of our better performances we’ve had away from home. We probably just didn’t finish things off as well as I thought we could have and the second half we had to really battle,” Sermanni said. “The Spirit came back really strongly in the second half, really fought hard to get back in the game and made life difficult for us.”

One of those players that made the match difficult for Orlando was Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe. Even though she only made one save, Bledsoe made other plays and denied two corner kick chances for Washington.

However, Sermanni said that the Pride players “dug in and worked really hard to get the win.”

“All in all delighted to get a win here for the first time,” he said.

Three Takeaways

  1. The Krieger comeback is imminent: Ali Krieger won’t have to wait much longer for her return. Against the Spirit, her former club, Krieger was listed as questionable since her MCL injury sidelined her. Despite being questionable, the veteran defender was not part of Sermanni’s game day 18-player pool. Krieger should be good to go soon for Orlando.
  2. Where is Yanara Aedo?: Still waiting for her first minutes of the NWSL season, Yanara Aedo was nowhere to be found. The forward from Chile was not part of Jim Gabarra’s 18-player pool for the game. Also, Aedo is nowhere to be found on the injury or international duty list. If Gabarra isn’t going to use her, she should go to a team that could. Houston or Chicago would be a great landing spot for the young talent.
  3. Speaking of injury list: Rose Lavelle has found her way back to Washington’s bench. The midfielder returned from international duty with the U.S. Women’s National Team with a left hamstring injury. Gabarra must be regretting handing the Cincinnati native over to Jill Ellis.

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