Preview: Orlando Pride look to remain atop the NWSL standings, welcome North Carolina Courage to Exploria Stadium.


Photo by Terrance Coakley / Orlando Soccer Journal

The Orlando Pride will look to remain atop the NWSL standings when they welcome a surging North Carolina Courage side to Exploria Stadium on Sunday (6 p.m. ET on Paramount+).

“It’ll be a very difficult match. North Carolina, since we’ve beaten them, they’ve been in good form. They’re obviously a really attacking, threatening team regardless of wherever they play, but what we have to do is continue to work out the ways that we can stop their attack,” head coach Marc Skinner said earlier in the week.

“We have to be prepared to absorb a little bit of pressure and then really exploit some of the spaces they’ll leave,” he added. “The last few games with them have been a really tight affair, so I expect it to be the same thing. We have to be focused, we have to be prepared and it’s going to be a tough challenge for both teams. It’s going to be the finer margins that make the difference in this game, the ones that take their chances when they come.”

The Pride (4-1-3, 15 points) will look to bounce back after their first loss of the season last week following a 2-1 loss at Houston Dash, which ended a club-best seven-match unbeaten streak to start the 2021 season. Orlando sits two points clear at the top of the NWSL standings from North Carolina (4-2-1, 13 points).

Injury / Absence report

The Pride will be without Alex Morgan (USA) and Erin McCleod (Canada), who are with their respective national teams ahead of this month’s summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Jade Moore (left knee) and Marisa Viggiano (right foot) will also miss Sunday’s game due to injury. Meanwhile, Taylor Kornieck (left knee) and Phoebe McClernon (right foot) were listed as questionable during Sunday’s NWSL injury report release.

For more Orlando soccer news, follow the Soccer Journal on Twitter: @OSJSoccer

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