News and analysis about the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).
SkoPurp No. 24: Courage Rewind and Mailbagbox
The Orlando Pride have little to no margin for error in the remainder of the schedule if the team is going to achieve its goal of making the playoffs in 2023. The Pride took a big step toward that goal with a 2-1 win over the North Carolina Courage on Sunday evening. The win included the fastest goal in Pride history, a red card — for the opponents this time — and another standout performance by Adriana.
We break down an exciting victory by the Pride that pushed the club from 10th in the standings to seventh and just one point out of a playoff spot with three matches left to play. We discussed the big moments, checked on our score predictions, and made our choices for Player of the Match.
We also talked about what is mathematically possible (albeit unlikely) in how the NWSL season can end in the most chaotic way possible — a six-way tie for first place that would see the Pride claim the Supporters' Shield! OK, we did say it was unlikely. The Pride could still finish anywhere from first to last in the league, and with three games left, that's absurd.
This week's mailbagbox asked us questions about handballs and the Pride's midfield. Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form.
Without a Pride match next week, we touched on the United States Women's National Team, which has a pair of friendlies coming up in the international window against a good South Africa side.
Here’s how Episode 24 went down:
0:15 – A look back at a huge win for the Pride over the North Carolina Courage.
30:27 - We've got mail! We answer our listeners' questions and touch on the USWNT's upcoming matches against South Africa.
SkoPurp No. 23: Seb's Job, Signings, and Courage Preview
The Orlando Pride had the weekend off, so hopefully that will kill off the bad juju that had infected them the previous two matches. Pretty much every game is a must-win situation from here on out, so we certainly hope that's the case.
Without a match from this weekend to recap, we turned our attention to Seb Hines. Last year's interim coach got the full-time gig this season and although we think the season so far has been better than expected, we will wait to submit our final grades on Seb's season until the last four matches have been played. After all, this is a team that could finish in dead last or make the playoffs. It's been a crazy season.
The Pride signed two players to new deals through 2024 and then promptly loaned them to teams in Australia's A-League. We discussed defender Tori Hansen's signing and loan early in the show, as that news dropped just before we started recording. However, we were caught off guard when the same thing happened with goalkeeper Kaylie Collins, as we were just entering our final segment of the show. Nevertheless, we weighed in on both. We also touched on the Pride's game at Angel City getting rescheduled.
There was nothing for us to answer in this week's mailbagbox. Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form.
We looked ahead to the North Carolina Courage on Sunday and provided our key matchups and score predictions for a critical game. The Pride don't have a good record against the Courage or after the month of August. Hopefully those things will cancel each other out rather than become force multipliers.
Here’s how Episode 23 went down:
0:15 – A look at how Seb Hines has done in navigating his young team through the 2023 NWSL season.
18:53 - Tori Hansen is headed to Melbourne for some competitive matches, and the Pride's game at Angel City has been rescheduled.
26:29 - The mailbagbox was empty but we've still got our key matchups and score predictions for Sunday's game vs. North Carolina and Kaylie Collins is also headed for the land down under.
SkoPurp No. 22: OL Reign, Mail, and More
The Orlando Pride went to the state of Washington, where they have never won, looking to leap over OL Reign into a playoff position. When Orlando starting goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse was sent off in the third minute, we kept watching even though we knew what the likely outcome would be. Still, we hoped and, as always, it's the hope that kills you.
It's also the mistakes that kill you, and that's what happened early in the second half to give OL Reign its only goal in a hard-fought 1-0 Pride loss. Despite being a player down, the Pride players never hung their heads and tried to the end to take something from the game. While the result is a costly one in the playoff race, that spirit might help lead to a better close to the season than we're used to as Pride fans.
We broke down the match, as well as the red card play itself, and made our selections for Player of the Match.
This week's mailbagbox asked us what the Pride can do to put more people in the stands over the final couple of home games this season and we have some ideas that should be implemented immediately. Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form.
The Pride are off this weekend, so it'll hopefully allow some injuries to heal — especially Adriana's, as her absence was noticeable in Seattle. Orlando returns to the field Sept. 17 against the North Carolina Courage.
Finally, we discussed what you can do if you want to get involved with this show, if you want to cover the Pride for The Mane Land, or if maybe you just want to support our independent efforts.
Here’s how Episode 22 went down:
0:15 – The game was ruined just three minutes in but the Pride gave it their best on the road in Seattle.
20:20 - Our response to the question in our mailbagbox and a
discussion about how you can get involved with this podcast or cover the Pride for The Mane Land.
SkoPurp No. 21: San Diego Wave Rewind & OL Reign Preview
Just when we were getting used to the Orlando Pride winning regular-season games, they lost one. What can we say? We're not allowed to have nice things. You can't win them all, anyway, and the Pride played quite well in most phases of the game on Friday night. The inability to finish chances was frustrating for all involved but the failure to deal with corner kicks on the defensive end was even worse.
The Pride dropped a 2-1 home decision, falling to the San Diego Wave for the first time in the all-time series (2-1-1). Orlando did a nice job keeping Alex Morgan quiet, but switching off on those set pieces cost the team a chance to leapfrog the Wave into the playoff positions. We break down the game and make our selections for Player of the Match.
This week's mailbagbox was empty (we think...Twitter was acting up) and we did a little housekeeping. Hopefully you get through the storm OK and send in your questions for next week's show. Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form.
The road ahead for the Pride is a difficult one with five matches to play. We discussed the remaining schedule, the NWSL standings, and how the Pride could finish anywhere from about second to 12th in the league. It's been a crazy year around the NWSL, with lots of parity.
Finally, we looked ahead to the Pride's second consecutive opportunity to beat the team in front of them in order to vault into a postseason spot. Can Orlando get its first road win in the series against the Reign? If so, it would be one of the biggest wins in club history. We tell you our key matchups for the game and make our final score predictions.
Here’s how Episode 21 went down:
0:15 – The Pride struggled to finish chances and defend corner kicks. That was a bad combination.
21:55 - A walk through the standings and schedule and our key matchups and predictions for a trip to Washington to face OL Reign.
SkoPurp No. 20: Chicago Rewind, Erika Tymrak Interview & San Diego Preview
The Orlando Pride offense came to life with the return of Marta and Adriana from international duty, as well as the additions of Mariana Larroquette and Rafaelle. Sure, Rafaelle is a center back, but that didn't stop her from scoring her first goal in a Pride uniform on Sunday. Both the new Brazilian and Larroquette scored on their Pride debuts, needing only 19 and four minutes, respectively, to open their Orlando accounts. Oh, and rookie striker Messiah Bright scored a brace, with Mikayla Cluff adding a fifth goal late in the game. We break down the Pride's utter destruction of the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday, discuss the lineup changes, and make our selections for Player of the Match.
Erika Tymrak joined us this week and answered our questions, as well as one submitted by one of our founding members. Big thanks to Erika for her time. It's always nice to get the players' perspectives on the season, whether things are going well or...less than well.
This week's mailbagbox asked about our favorite goal out of the Pride's barrage of five on Sunday. We chose unanimously and we hope that we get to have more questions like this after huge scoring explosions as the season winds down. Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form.
Finally, we looked ahead to a huge meeting against the San Diego Wave on Friday. We've got our score predictions and key matchups for a game that has big playoff implications. This will be the Pride's most pressure-packed game of the season and it will be interesting to see how this young team handles it.
Here’s how Episode 20 went down:
0:15 – The Pride absolutely destroyed the Red Stars. More of that, please.
26:36 — Erika Tymrak joins us to discuss the season so far and the road ahead.
40:53 - We visit the mailbagbox and we've got predictions and key matchups for the Pride vs. San Diego on Friday.
SkoPurp No. 19: Gotham Rewind & Chicago Preview
Offense was again an issue for the Orlando Pride in the 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup. Despite scoring first — and second, only to have the second one overturned — the Pride once again allowed a stoppage-time goal and had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Gotham FC last Wednesday night. Messiah Bright got things off on the right foot for Orlando but a Haley McCutcheon goal was overturned and shoddy defending allowed the hosts to escape with a draw, which left both teams outside the knockout stages of the competition.
We break down the game and make our selections for Player of the Match.
We then turned our attention to the two new Pride players who will be debuting soon with the club. Where do they fit? How will they be used? Is Seb Hines thinking of a shape change? These are the things we're pondering.
This week's mailbagbox asked about referees and it probably was coincidental that these questions came in this week, right? Remember, you can ask us anything by hitting us up on Twitter at either @TheManeLand or @SkoPurpSoccer and using the hashtag #AskSkoPurp. Or you can visit our show page, scroll down, and fill out the handy form.
Finally, we looked ahead to the return of the regular season and how the Pride are going to cope with the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday. We've got our score predictions and key matchups.
Here’s how Episode 19 went down:
0:15 – The Pride played a good road game but allowed a tying goal in stoppage time...again.
27:36 — The mailbagbox has questions about officiating.
38:39 - The Chicago Red Stars visit Sunday and we've got predictions and key matchups.
New and needed addition
I’ve been listening to these guys for years on the Mane Land podcast. I’m happy to see that they’ve been able to grow and offer a Pride-specific show. American soccer needs more dedicated and knowledgable club-centered shows such as these. It’s particularly gratifying to have a well-researched weekly show centered upon a NWSL club as the women’s game grows (and Lord knows, as brutal as the Pride have been to watch for most of their history, doing this on a weekly basis can only be described as a labor of love).
Fantastic source for Orlando Pride News
Experienced podcasting team and great guest interviews.
I have been waiting years for these two to do an Orlando Pride specific podcast and today here we are. Michael and Dave have their finger on the pulse of everything Orlando soccer related and consistently deliver clear and accurate analysis it just might not always be concise! Their interviews are excellent and the banter between the two adds levity and a genuine feel. I look forward to their continued pursuits and expanding the reach of women’s soccer media