The Orlando Pride looks to remain undefeated at home, but welcome the Western New York Flash on Saturday at Camping World Stadium at 7:30 p.m. in a game which in which head coach Tom Sermanni said will bring its share of challenges.
“They’ve come together to become a very strong united team,” Sermanni told reporters after a training session on Friday. “They’re a team that plays for each other, works hard for each other. [They’re] very well coached and organized. They’re one of these team where you know you’re going to be into a real game, in a sense, [because] they don’t have the star-quality players other teams have, but they make up for it.”
The Pride (2-2-0, 6 points) defeated Hope Solo and the Seattle Reign 2-0 last week and have a chance to extend its home streak to three games on Saturday before embarking on a four-game road trip.
Midfielder Kristen Edmonds, who has been a staple in the Pride lineup since the start of the season, will face off against her former team on Saturday. Edmonds played for the Flash from 2014 to 2015.
Edmonds is just one of seven former Flash players now suited up in purple. And while the idea of a reunion may sound sweet for Edmonds, she told reporters on Friday that Western New York is a completely different team compared to the team she played for last season.
“Playing at home and keeping our home record undefeated is something that we want to do,” said Edmonds, who shifted the focus on winning at home rather than looking at Saturday’s game as a reunion with a former team.
Winning at home will be vital for the Pride once the possibility of the playoffs start surfacing later in the season.
Sermanni hinted at employing a similar lineup to last week’s game against Seattle.
The back line made up of Josée Bélanger, Laura Alleway, Monica Hickmann Alves and Stephanie Catley will more than likely remain in place with Ashlyn Harris as the starting goalkeeper.
Alex Morgan will remain as the starting striker. The mystery, however, is whether Lianne Sanderson will come into the game as a substitute or start, according to Sermanni.
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