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Utah Royals FC vs. Orlando Pride: three questions with the Mane Land

It’s the second 2019 clash between Utah Royals and the Pride. Our friends at the Mane Land gave us another look into Orlando.

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Utah Royals FC have faced Orlando Pride once before this season, on April 27th in Orlando. That match ended with URFC the 1-0 victors. Almost a full month later, Utah have picked up 4 points from 3 games and Orlando have only played 2 games, but have failed to pick up points in either. Michael Citro of the Mane Land gave us an update on what’s going on with the Pride.

Orlando Pride are in last place on a single point this season. What can they realistically do to improve their form?

This might sound dumb, but the only thing they can do is to start playing better. They seem to come out with a better grasp of Marc Skinner’s system every single game, but it hasn’t translated into much so far. The players continually say that success is right around the corner, and they generally seem to believe that (and in Skinner). My honest belief is that the players are still having to think too much and that once the movement becomes second nature, they’ll start to play faster and that will make all the difference. More accurate shooting would help things, as the Pride have struggled to get their few attempts on target in 2019.

With Morgan and Marta out with their national teams, where do the goals come from during the World Cup?

That’s a great question and I wish I had an answer. We keep expecting Rachel Hill to break out with two excellent off-seasons in Australia under her belt, but she still seems to be a much better bench player to inject energy in the second half than she has shown as a starter. Chioma Ubogagu has potential but she continually loses the ball in the attacking third or makes poor decisions (or poorly timed ones, anyway) that break down promising attacks. We may soon get our first look at Caitlin Farrell, who had a great college career and has speed. She was finishing her degree at Georgetown and has rejoined the team.

Orlando hosted Utah Royals at the end of April and were able to hold them to a single goal. What can the team do to shut down Utah’s attack?

Not having to face Pride-killer Christen Press should help some. But the defense has largely been successful against every team except North Carolina and Portland, having not conceded more than a goal against anyone else in 2019. The key for Orlando is to get good work from Dani Weatherholt in the midfield and to defend as a team.

You can read our responses at www.themaneland.com.