San Diego Wave FC (7-6-3, 24 points) will travel across the country to Florida this week to face the Orlando Pride (7-8-1, 22 points) on Friday, August 25, at 4:00 p.m. PT, at Exploria Stadium. The match will be broadcasted locally on FOX 5 and streamed nationally on Paramount+.
In the Wave’s previous match, San Diego ended their winless streak against NJ/NY Gotham with a 2-1 win at Snapdragon Stadium. Forward Makenzy Doniak opened the scoring in the 17th minute, recording her third goal of the season with a perfectly timed run and shot on goal after a cross from 18-year-old Jaedyn Shaw. Nearing the end of the match, forward Amirah Ali was subbed on in the 84th minute and nearly one minute later, 15-year-old Melanie Barcenas slotted a pass through to Ali who took her first touch of the game around Gotham’s keeper and finished her run with a shot to the back of the net. Gotham pulled one back in stoppage time, but San Diego earned their first win since June 4.
Orlando is coming off a 5-0 win against the Chicago Red Stars, a club-record match for most goals scored in a single game since May 2018. Rafaelle Souza was the first to find the back of the net in the 15th minute, in her first NWSL game since 2014 while Messiah Bright scored a brace for the Pride, and Adriana Leal da Silva recorded two assists of her own. The most recent meeting between the two teams was at Snapdragon Stadium on April 29, where the Wave fell to the Pride 3-1. Forward Jaedyn Shaw struck first for the Wave in the 12th minute, but San Diego was unable to preserve the lead.
The last time the Wave played at the Pride’s Exploria Stadium was when the team clinched their playoff spot in their inaugural first season, making San Diego the first expansion team to advance to the NWSL playoffs. In that matchup on Sept. 25, midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard scored the opening goal of the match for the Pride. Dougherty Howard then signed with San Diego in the offseason as a free agent and Friday’s match will be the first time she plays at Exploria Stadium since joining the Wave.