Orlando Pride looking to push through for second ever playoff appearance
The Orlando Pride has been a fairly ambitious clubs in the National Women's Soccer League since coming into the league 2016. The club has brought in international superstars like Alex Morgan and Marta, but the team has struggled to produce real results on the field.
The Pride has made the playoffs once in its seven year history. It's better than Orlando City's start to life, but it's still been a frustrating ride for a club brimming with potential.
There's been a multitude of issues leading to the lack of on field success for Orlando. The team's had six different head coaches (including two interims) in seven seasons of play. That level of turmoil on the touchline --- and the lack of quality of those coaches --- has played a massive role in Orlando's inability to elevate to contender status.
This year that could be different.
Former Orlando City center back Seb Hines became the permanent head coach after a promising spell as an interim last season. He's a fresh face and young coach who can bring new energy and ideas to the first team roster.
And the roster he has to work with is ready to compete for playoff spots right away.
Orlando is a young roster brimming with potential. The team has eleven players in training camp from the last three drafts. Midfielder Viviana Villacorta --- the No. 9 pick in the 2021 draft --- and striker Emily Madril --- the No. 3 pick in this year's draft --- headline the new young core.
Even with all the young pieces looking to take the next step, there are enough veteran leaders to keep the team competitive in the present. Marta is back for another run and fellow Brazilian international Adriana.
The roster is ready for a playoff push. The NWSL is a talented league and playoff spots are hard to come by, but after seven years of frustration it's time to push through and earn the second playoff appearance in team history.