A night after Orlando City announced a sellout crowd for a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, the Orlando Pride earned their first victory of the season in front of an all-time low crowd.
A mere 3,890 fans came out for the Pride’s second home match of the season. That’s nearly 400 fans fewer than the previous all-time low of 4,273, set Aug. 8, 2017.
“That’s a great question,” Pride coach Tom Sermanni said when asked about the attendance. “I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s the time of day, I don’t know if it’s other things, but that’s a really good question. We should be getting more people through the gates.
“How do we do that? Obviously, winning games helps, but I think … I don’t know the direct answer for that.”
The Pride were second in the NWSL in average home attendance in 2017, with 6,186 fans per game at Orlando City Stadium.
“Hopefully we win more games,” Sermanni said. “Hopefully you guys get out there and spread the word. I think everybody needs to spread the word about coming out and supporting the team and the importance of supporting the team.
“I think that’s something that probably all of us need to do better. Starting from me and starting from people within the club and starting from our support base, social media base, etc. Hopefully that will start increasing our crowds.”
Forward Chioma Ubogagu said the energy of the crowd that came out was great, but it was disappointing to see so few people in the stands.
“I think what could help is finding that age that loves soccer,” Ubogagu said. “I think we do a really good job with the youth and young girls who want to have role models, they look up to us. I think we’ve done a really good job attacking that audience.
“I think what could be a next step is that 24-to-30-year-old ages who maybe they want to have a beer and come to a sporting event, get a little rowdy and cheer a little bit. I think that could really help. I think if you look at Portland’s attendance, that’s a lot of that age market.”
Australians back in Orlando
Australian women’s national-team players Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy were introduced to Orlando Pride fans during halftime of Sunday’s match. The two players were with Australia’s national team in Amman, Jordan, for the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
Pride celebrate ’90s night
Orlando Pride players arrived in style for their home match Sunday against the Houston Dash. The match also served as ’90s night, and everyone dressed the part — even Cassius Dwyer, son of Pride striker Sydney Leroux and Orlando City striker Dom Dwyer.
The club also sold special ’90s-themed merchandise, including colorful shirts, socks and scarves.
Forward Sydney Leroux and son Cassius lead a group of Orlando Pride players dressed in 90s gear into Orlando City stadium ahead of their NWSL match against the Houston Dash. (Jordan Culver/Pro Soccer USA)