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Alex Morgan has ‘2-hour chat’ with new Orlando Pride coach Marc Skinner

USA's Alex Morgan heads the ball during a women's friendly football match between France and USA at Oceane stadium in Le Havre, on January 19, 2019. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

TAMPA, Fla. — While Alex Morgan focused on preparing with the United States women’s national team for an important final match of the SheBelieves Cup in Tampa, the Orlando Pride opened preseason training less than two hours away. 

Morgan had to miss the Monday session — the U.S. is gearing up for this summer’s World Cup in France — but she still kept in touch with her new National Women’s Soccer League coach, Marc Skinner.

“Yea, I had a chance to meet with him, luckily, about a week ago,” Morgan said during interviews ahead of U.S. training at Raymond James Stadium. “And what I initially thought to be a 30-minute conversation turned into a two-hour chat over coffee, and I was just really surprised by his eagerness to get started, already having clips to show me.

“So, it was pretty exciting to see a coach just so eager to dive in and really coach, and I’m looking for that in my club team. So, I think he’s going to be the perfect fit. I think it’s going to be a limited amount of time we have with him before the World Cup, but I’m really looking forward to getting back to Orlando.”

The Pride hired Skinner from English Women’s Super League side Birmingham City Women FC after a disappointing third NWSL season in 2018 that ended with the club parting ways with inaugural coach Tom Sermanni.

In addition to Morgan, U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, Brazil’s Marta and England’s Chioma Ubogagu missed Pride training for the SheBelieves Cup. The final matches of the tournament are Tuesday, when England plays Japan at 5:30 p.m. ET and the U.S. takes on Brazil at 8.

“I’m pretty excited to be playing in Florida, having this be my home for the last four years,” Morgan said. “I’m really excited to get into preseason with my club team, Orlando, after this.”

(Courtesy of U.S. Soccer/Wazee Digital) 

 

Harris’ thoughts weren’t far from home, either, before the U.S. training session Monday. 

“It feels good to be back home in nice weather, and I’m excited to see some familiar faces,” said Harris, who could start in goal with Alyssa Naeher out with an injury. “I know a lot of fans are coming from Orlando, so I’m really excited to represent my country in front of special people, especially my family will be here. There’s about 20 of ’em coming, so really looking forward to that.”

Playing against Pride teammates from opposing countries is exciting, according to Morgan and Harris. 

“Playing with a couple of those girls and then facing them tomorrow is always an interesting thing, but at the same time, it’s always exciting to watch Marta whether she’s on your team or an opponent’s team,” Morgan said.

“Oh I love playing against Marta,” Harris said. “I get the joy and pleasure of playing with her every day. She’s crafty, you never know what to expect. She’ll throw anything out there at any given moment. 

“I can’t wait to see them and play against them, and then in two days, we’ll be teammates again.”

Here’s the full schedule and results for the SheBelieves Cup. Pro Soccer USA will post the live stream of the England vs. Japan match and FS1 will broadcast the U.S. vs. Brazil game. 

(Courtesy of U.S. Soccer/Wazee Digital) 

 

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