Orlando City, Pride test rosters with preseason scrimmages

Julia Poe, Orlando Sentinel
·2 min read

Orlando City picked up the second draw of the preseason with a 2-2 finish against the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Wingers Benji Michel and Andrés Perea netted the two goals for the Lions.

Coach Oscar Pareja tested out several different rotations and lineups against the Chicago Fire. Midfielder Andrés Perea dropped to the right centerback position alongside defender Rodrigo Schlegel for 15 minutes of the match with Kyle Smith and Michael Halliday in the outside back positions.

Smith continued to fill the left back position in the lieu of starter Jo 1/4 u00e3o Moutinho, who is recovering from hip surgery. The natural right back is expected to keep that position for the start of the 2021 season.

Captain Nani sat out of the game as he continues to recover from an unspecified injury. Coach Oscar Pareja said the injury has sidelined the winger for at least the last week.

New forward signing Silvester van der Water was not available for the match as he completes his onboarding process before joining his teammates in training.

The Lions are now 3-1-1 in preseason scrimmages. The team will play USL Championship side Miami FC April 6 and Minnesota United April 9 before kicking off the regular season with a home opener against Atlanta April 17.

Orlando Pride drop 2-1 to FSU

The Orlando Pride fell in a 2-1 loss to Florida State in their final preseason scrimmage ahead of the 2021 season on Saturday.

Florida State finished the 2021 regular season as the undefeated No. 1 team in the NCAA.

Star striker Sydney Leroux didn’t play in the scrimmage. Leroux has been in and out of training throughout the last week while taking care of her children, who have both been sick. A club official said the striker doesn’t have any other outside injury concerns.

Florida State scored in the opening third minute of the match to take an early lead. Rookie Taylor Kornieck netted a goal in the 45th minute off a free kick, curling the ball around the wall and into the far post to level the score.

Florida State pulled back a final goal in the 75th minute off a free kick opportunity to cement a win.

Although captain Ali Krieger often plays centerback for the Pride, she moved to her natural right back position against Florida State, while Konya Plummer and Phoebe McClernon played centerback. This formation allowed outside back Courtney Petersen to push higher up the left flank, involving herself heavily in the attack.

The Pride will kick off the 2021 Challenge Cup next Saturday on the road against Louisville. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. with a live broadcast on Paramount+.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Julia Poe at jpoe@orlandosentinel.com.