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Match Preview: Angel City vs Orlando Pride | 6.30.2024


Sunday, June 30, at 4:30 p.m., Angel City is back at home against the Orlando Pride. The match will be broadcast regionally on Bally Sports SoCal, nationwide on Paramount+, and internationally on NWSL+. English- and Spanish-language radio broadcasts will be available on iHeart and 1330 Tu Liga Radio, respectively. Tickets to the match, which will be ACFC's Pride celebration, are available here.


Angel City’s last game was a 0–1 loss on the road to Bay FC. Bay midfielder Tess Boade’s 33rd-minute goal was the difference maker in that match.

Orlando’s last match was a 6–0 home win over the Utah Royals. Midfielder Summer Yates and forward Ally Wat had one goal each, while forwards Barbra Banda and Marta each notched a brace. No NWSL team has ever won a game by more than six goals, a feat that had been accomplished four times before last weekend.

The undefeated Pride sit in second place in the league—tied on points with Kansas City—with a 9–0–5 (W–L–D) record. 

Angel City are in 10th place with a 4–7–3 record.

ACFC has a 1–2–1 all-time record against the Pride; their most recent result against the Central Florida club was a 0–1 loss on the road last October.

Scouting Report

As their record suggests, Orlando are having the best season in team history. Head Coach Seb Hines, who has helmed the squad since the 2022–2023 offseason, has lifted the team from last year’s mid-table finish and narrow playoffs miss to an undefeated run at what is just past the halfway point in the 2024 season. 

That turnaround has largely been thanks to the addition of the league’s co-leading scorer, and one of the most electric players in recent memory: Zambian forward Barbra Banda.

Banda first attracted global attention at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where—despite her country’s disappointing group-stage exit—she became the first woman to ever score back-to-back hat tricks at an Olympics, in a 3–10 loss to the Netherlands and a 4–4 draw with China. In total, the 23-year-old has 53 goals in 60 caps, an astounding rate of production for a player from a country currently ranked 64th in the world.

On the club side, Banda has been similarly prolific: for her last club, Shanghai Shangli, the striker made just 13 appearances in three seasons, but notched 18 goals in those games. For Orlando, she’s currently sitting on 10 goals in 10 games.

Not only has Banda scored most of Orlando’s goals, she’s also recorded four assists, including two to Brazilian legend Marta—who has already scored as many goals at the halfway point in the season as she did in total in all but one of the last four seasons.

The Kids Are (More than) All Right

Each of last week’s three games saw a different rookie win Player of the Match—defender Madison Curry, midfielder Kennedy Fuller, and defender Gisele Thompson—against Houston, Louisville, and Bay FC, respectively.

While all three have been key contributors—with Fuller scoring her first professional goal against Racing and Thompson continuing to link up reliably with older sister Alyssa—let’s focus on Curry, who has quietly been having an excellent rookie season.

Curry, the lowest ACFC draft pick of 2024, was also the only one of the club’s three selections to earn a contract. She made her first start under difficult circumstances, stepping up in Week 3 in Kansas City to replace a teammate who was scratched late due to illness.

Since then, the SoCal native and recent Princeton graduate has appeared every game (starting all but one), most at her preferred position of outside back, but a few at center back following an injury to fellow defender Sarah Gorden.

In those 12 appearances, Curry has racked up 41 tackles and 23 interceptions, the sixth and seventh best in the league in those categories. She’s accomplished that in 914 minutes, fewer by almost a full game than any of the players ahead of her in either category. When she plays at outside back, she’s also contributing going forward, with five chances created on the season.

Upcoming Milestones

  • Forward Sydney Leroux is currently at 149 regular-season appearances; she will hit 150 if she plays against Orlando.
  • Midfielder Rocky Rodríguez has 9,991 career regular-season minutes, meaning she could reach 10,000 if she plays on Sunday.

Know Before You Go

Don't miss the pregame Fan Fest starting at 12:30, which will feature the Secret Circus, Sparkle Squad hair sparkles and gems, and DJ Sterling Victorian. The festivities will continue inside the stadium with in-game co-host Provvidenza. The first 10,000 fans entering the stadium will receive an ACFC Pride bandana.