After losing to the Chicago Red Stars last Sunday, OL Reign was keen to demonstrate that it was just a misstep, two weeks after their authoritative success against Kansas City at Cheney Stadium. (2-0). For their 11th match of the season, the players of Sam Laity moved on the lawn of the Orlando Pride without four internationals (the Brazilian Angelina, the Canadian Quinn as well as the Americans Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe), currently in Tokyo for the Olympic Games,
Orphans of Alex Morgan and Marta, their star attackers respectively mobilized with Team USA and Brazil, the Floridians could nevertheless count on the English Jodie Taylor, passed by OL Reign between 2018 and 2020 and loaned to the Olympic Lyonnais last season. On the bench side, the hosts of the weekend have experienced turbulent last days due to the resignation of their coach Marc Skinner, temporarily replaced by his assistant Seb Hines.
Application and seriousness in the first act
For their second consecutive meeting far from home, the teammates of Eugénie Le Sommer showed a conquering face from the first moments, like a particularly enterprising Jessica Fishlock. Proof of their effectiveness in pressing, they obtained an indirect free kick following an insecure back pass taken in the hand by opposing goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. But the latter made up for it in the best possible way by deflecting the attempt of Maroszán (7th). The deliverance came three minutes later by the inevitable Jessica Fishlock, perfectly served by Tziarra King, who won her face to face after a marvel of oriented control to score her second goal of the season (10th).
The oiled collective of the American franchise of OL was visible on both sides of the field. Ali Krieger brought danger to Sarah Bouhaddi’s cage with his crosses on the line but the ex-Parisian Alana Cooke was watching. A siege ensued on Florida goals but Fishlock then Le Sommer stumbled upon a brilliant Harris (20e). The incessant pressing of the players of Sam Laity pushed to the fault their hosts of the evening, which, deprived of balls, gave more the impression of being the visitors. The biggest opportunity for the Pride players came a few seconds before half-time after a risky exit by Sarah Bouhaddi but Petersen, however alone against the empty goal, could not frame his shot.
— OL Reign (@OLReign) July 24, 2021
The bill could have been heavier
Determined not to reproduce recent starts in the second half that were not always inspired, the OL Reign players came out of the locker room with the firm intention of making a break. If Eugenie Le Sommer lost her face to face in front of Harris at 48e minute, Tziarra King delivered hers thanks to a missile launched at the entrance to the surface and came to lodge in the small net of Harris, 2-0 (51e).
At the hour of play, following a superb collective movement in triangle, Eugenie Le Sommer was mown by Amy Turner at the time of adjusting her strike in front of Harris. The referee then logically designated the penalty spot. In verve so far, Jessica Fishlock found the gloves of Ashlyn Harris and missed an opportunity to seal the victory. Decreased by a knee alert that occurred earlier, she gave way to Shirley Cruz at the same time as Tziarra King gave up hers to Bethany Balcer, the serial scorer of the moment on the Reign side (63e).
This OL Reign can stand up to everyone
It was then that a false rhythm gradually dominated the debates. The Floridians could not close the gap despite several interesting forays into the opposing half. Sam Laity then chose to make a defensive change by replacing Eugénie Le Sommer, still silent in the NWSL but author of a high-level performance, by Celia (85e). Solid in the last moments and up a notch in aggression, the players of the American franchise of OL bent but did not break. At stake: a fourth victory this season, the second away, and a third clean sheet in 11 games played. This OL Reign, characterized by his irresistible desire to move forward and his intention to get the ball out cleanly, can stand up to the big names in the league.
Leader just over a month ago, the Orlando Pride falls to 6th place (16 pts) while the formation of Tacoma regains color by rising to the 8th place (13 pts), ahead of Racing Louisville (11 pts, 9 matches played), three lengths from his evening opponent. Next meeting next Sunday at home against Louisville, direct competitor.
Composition of teams
Harris, Krieger, McClernon (Thomas, 63’), Turner, Strom (Kim, 79’), Jonsdottir, Petersen, Viggiano (Tymrak, 87’), Kornieck (Plummer, 87’), Taylor (Dougherty, 63’), Leroux
Bouhaddi, Hammond, Cook, Hiatt, Barnes, Fishlock (Cruz, 63 ‘), Weatherholt, Marozsán (McNabb, 86’), Huerta (Lopez, 92 ‘), Le Sommer (Celia, 86’), King (Balcer, 63 ‘)