The Pride got on the board first when Sydney Leroux found the back of the net, beating the keeper and scoring for the eighth time this season to tie for the league lead. Leroux played a role in all three goals scored by the Pride in the match, sending a ball into the box that eventually found the feet of Marta to double the home side’s advantage, and earning the assist on the insurance goal scored by Alex Morgan late in the second half. The match marked Morgan’s return to the pitch for the first time since representing the U.S. at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Saturday also saw the professional debut of midfielder Parker Roberts, who inked a contract with the Pride on Aug. 26 following a successful collegiate career at the University of Florida.
Orlando Pride Interim Head Coach Becky Burleigh:
“A great way to get into a little time off for us. I thought some of the goals were really great efforts. To have Alex [Morgan] score in her return, that’s amazing. Syd[ney Leroux] really, really battled on the goal that she scored. To give Parker [Roberts] her debut and just to have a full team effort again, I think this team continues to show their resilience. We gave up a goal, but didn’t panic and were able to continue to apply the pressure and get a third.”
30’ Sydney Leroux – ORL 1, LOU 0
Orlando got on the board first when Sydney Leroux danced around the 18-yard box before cutting the ball back and striking it with her right foot, beating the goalkeeper.
34’ Marta – ORL 2, LOU 0
Orlando doubled the lead after a Sydney Leroux pass took a deflection off a Louisville player and found Marta in front of the goal. Marta took the left-footed shot, slotting it past the goalkeeper.
51’ Cece Kizer (Yuki Nagasato) – ORL 2, LOU 1
Louisville opened the second half scoring when Yuki Nagasato found Cece Kizer in the box for a quick shot from inside the area.
65’ Alex Morgan (Sydney Leroux) – ORL 3, LOU 1
Orlando netted its third goal off a ball from Sydney Leroux to teammate Alex Morgan, who took the left-footed shot, finding the bottom right corner of the net just minutes into her return to the field.
- Sydney Leroux recorded her second assist and scored her eighth goal of the season, tying her for the league lead in finishes in 2021. Leroux was also involved on Marta’s 34th minute finish, crossing in the ball that eventually deflected off a Louisville defender.
- Alex Morgan scored her fifth goal of the season in what served as her first match for the Pride since June 26 at Houston.
- Marta’s left-footed strike was her third goal of the season and first since August 22 against the Spirit.
- Erin McLeod recorded her first start for the Pride since returning from Japan as an Olympic Gold Medalist. The appearance marked the Canadian goalkeeper’s 51st in the NWSL and fourth as a member of the Pride.
- Orlando Pride scored the Club’s 150th goal across all NWSL competitions with Leroux’s first half strike.
- Parker Roberts made her professional debut on the night, entering the match in second half stoppage time for Marta.
- Orlando bagged three goals, the most the team has scored in a match at Exploria Stadium this season.
ORL – Sydney Leroux 30’
ORL – Marta 34’
LOU – Cece Kizer (Yuki Nagasato) 51’
ORL – Alex Morgan (Sydney Leroux) 65’
Orlando Pride – GK Erin McLeod; D Phoebe McClernon (Alex Morgan 61’), Ali Krieger ©, Amy Turner, Ali Riley; M Gunny Jónsdóttir, Taylor Kornieck (Marisa Viggiano 78’), Meggie Dougherty Howard (Courtney Petersen 61’); F Sydney Leroux, Jodie Taylor (Erika Tymrak 78’), Marta (Parker Roberts 90+2’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Brittany Wilson; D Ally Haran, Toni Pressley, Kylie Strom
Racing Louisville – GK Michelle Betos; D Emily Fox, Gemma Bonner, Kaleigh Riehl, Nealy Martin (Erin Simon 64’); M Savannah McCaskill, Freja Olofsson, Lauren Milliet, Cece Kizer (Cheyna Matthews 73’); F Nadia Nadim (Yuki Nagasato 17’), Jorian Baucom (Ebony Salmon 64’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Katie Lund; D Brooke Hendrix, Sinclair Miramontez; M Taylor Otto; F Katie McClure
Details of the Game:
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Date: September 11, 2021
Stats Summary: ORL / LOU
Possession: 50.1% / 49.9%
Shots: 6 / 12
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 10 / 8
Offside: 1 / 1
REF: Elton Garcia
AR1: Tyler Wyrostek
AR2: Tiffini Turpin
4TH: Adam Brzozowiec
Heineken Star of the Match: Sydney Leroux