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Orlando Pride lead NWSL in attendance during opening weekend

Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux keeps the ball in play while fans watch at Orlando City Stadium Saturday night. (Justin Green/ Special to Pro Soccer USA)

The Orlando Pride led the National Women’s Soccer League in attendance during opening weekend.

The Pride drew an announced crowd of 9,017 during its 1-1 draw against the Utah Royals Saturday night at Orlando City Stadium.

The Portland Thorns, who led the league in attendance last season with an announced average of 17,653 last season, opened on the road and won’t host a game until Orlando visits Portland on April 15. 

NWSL teams drew an average announced crowd of 5,659, an increase from last season’s average of 5,083 fans per game

NWSL TEAM WEEK 1 SEASON TOTAL SEASON AVERAGE
Orlando Pride 9,017 9,017 9,017
Houston Dash 5,846 5,846 5,846
North Carolina Courage 4,210 4,210 4,210
Seattle Reign FC 3,561 3,561 3,561
Chicago Red Stars 0 0 0
Portland Thorns FC 0 0 0
Sky Blue FC 0 0 0
Utah Royals FC 0 0 0
Washington Spirit 0 0 0
Totals 5,659 22,634 5,659
 

Players around the league all lingered to sign autographs with fans. They also thanked them during postgame interviews and in posts on social media.

“It was definitely exciting,” Pride defender Shelina Zadorsky said of her first home match in Orlando. “I think just playing for this city and that crowd tonight, what was it 9,000, I think? It just shows how supportive everyone is.”

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