Exploria Stadium | Orlando, Florida – Sunday, September 17 at 7:00 PM ET
Players to watch:
Orlando forward Messiah Bright, who was named the NWSL Player of the Month in August, has scored six goals at home this season, the most by any NWSL player this year. Bright’s six goals are tied for most scored by a Pride player at home in a single season, joint with former Orlando forward Alex Morgan.
At 19 years and 43 days, North Carolina midfielder Manaka Matsukubo became the youngest goalscorer in a competitive match in Courage history with a goal in the Challenge Cup Final. Producing an incredible display across the Courage’s win, Manaka is the fifth different teenager to score in NWSL competitions in 2023, which is two more than any other season in NWSL history.
Match facts: With just four regular season contests remaining, the Orlando Pride host the North Carolina Courage as the Pride look to avoid a third loss on the bounce and North Carolina seeks a first league win in five games. The Pride are in 10th place with 22 points from 18 games played, while North Carolina are in 3rdplace with 28 points from 18 games played.
Orlando have scored in each of their last seven home games in regular season play, winning five of those matches (L2). The Pride have tied their club record for most consecutive home league matches with a goal, set between May and August last season.
The Courage, meanwhile, are coming of a 2-0 win over Racing Louisville in the 2023 Challenge Cup Final, the club’s seventh title in all competitions since the team’s founding in 2017. No other club has more than four titles in NWSL competitions since North Carolina joined the league. However, the Courage must finish the season strong to be in a solid position in the NWSL Playoffs, with the club still only two points above the playoff line.
North Carolina have three shutout victories by at least three goals over Orlando since the beginning 2022 in all competitions. No other team has more than two shutout wins by three or more goals against a single opponent in that time.