Match Preview: Angel City vs Orlando Pride | 10.2.2309.29.23
This Monday, October 2, at 7:00 p.m., Angel City is at home against the Orlando Pride. The match will be broadcast in the US on CBS Sports Network and stream internationally at NWSLSoccer.com. Radio broadcasts in English and Spanish will be available on iHeart and KWKW 1330 AM, respectively.
Tickets are available here.
For more information on broadcasts, click here.
This will be Angel City's second meeting this season with Orlando. Their first was a 2–1 win on the road in April—the team's first victory of the season—which saw a first-half goal by forward Claire Emslie answered early in the second half by Pride forward Messiah Bright. Angel City forward Katie Johnson scored a last-gasp header in the 10th minute of stoppage time to earn her team three points.
Orlando are currently in seventh place with an 8–10–1 record (W–L–D). Their last match was a 2–1 win at home against North Carolina that saw goals by forwards Ally Watt and Adriana and a consolation goal by midfielder Manaka Matsukubo.
Angel City are in eighth place with a 6–6–7 record—tied with Orlando on points but trailing them in goal differential by one. Their last game was a 2–2 draw on the road in Chicago that saw the two teams trade goals twice; defender Ali Riley and forward Jun Endo found the back of the net for ACFC, with forwards Ava Cook and Cheyna Matthews getting on the board for the Red Stars.
The draw brought LA's regular-season undefeated streak to eight games.
Bright, the rookie who scored when Angel City visited Orlando, remains a player to watch. The former TCU Horned Frog is Orlando's top goalscorer, with six in the regular season. Adriana, who scored against the Courage in the club's last game, is behind Bright by one goal, as well as being the team's assist leader with four on the season.
The Pride have beefed up their roster over the summer, most notably with the addition of two South American players, Mariana Larroquette and Rafaelle. Both signed with the club ahead of the World Cup, which they both competed in before joining the central Florida team.
Rafaelle joins Marta, Adriana, and Thais Reiss as the fourth Brazilian on the Pride roster. This is the second stint in the NWSL for the 32-year-old defender, who played for the Houston Dash in their inaugural season in 2014. A former Ole Miss player, she most recently played for Arsenal, where she spent one season, scoring three goals in 22 appearances. Since her arrival in August, Rafaelle has become a key component of the Orlando defense, starting at left center back in all four matches.
The Argentine Larroquette, meanwhile, is both the most-capped player and the top goalscorer in her country's history. She also has one previous season in the league, having played for the Current in 2021 and scoring two goals in 15 appearances. She has yet to start for Orlando, but has already made an impact, having scored once in the 70 minutes she's played.
Monday Night Football
Somewhat unusually, this will be the second Angel City game in 2023 to take place on a Monday. The match was originally scheduled for Thursday, September 21, a few days after the start of the September FIFA break.
With just three games to go in the season and the two teams neck and neck in the playoff race, playing during that break would have meant a significantly reduced roster for ACFC, which had seven players—Scarlett Camberos, Claire Emslie, Jun Endo, Amandine Henry, Ali Riley, Alyssa Thompson, and MA Vignola—called into camp for their national teams. The clubs mutually agreed to move the game to a date when all players would be available.