Orlando Pride coach Marc Skinner was not happy after his team suffered a 3-0 loss to the North Carolina Courage, but he said the team is being rebuilt the right way and winning matches will take time.
“We’re going to face it, and we’ll face it full frontal and we’ll take it and we’ll move forward,” Skinner said, “Because nothing is built in a day. And that’s what we’re building here. The message will stay the same and it has been consistent throughout, we’ll work hard at being better at things we’re not good at.”
Part of producing success on the field is building a strong foundation, something Skinner suggested he did not inherit from previous club leadership.
The current roster was built on a collection of elite international players who are frequently called away from the Pride. The process of acquiring them led to the trading of draft picks and limited how much Orlando’s management can now do to bolster a young lineup the Pride will be featuring during the next four to eight weeks as nine Orlando players compete in the World Cup.
“It’s just very frustrating with what we were left, and I’ll leave it at that,” Skinner said. “So we have the situation we were left and you’ve got all these young kids coming into our team that are breathing the breath, they’re defining the badge because they love [it], they want to be here, they want to fight for this badge and once you have that, the quality that we have of our international players, they come in and they sprinkle on a hard working foundation. Without that, you build your castle on sand and I’m not doing that.”
Skinner said he believes in building toward long-term success, rather than short-term success, as he set out his goal and plans to stick to it.
“For the first time in this club’s history, it’s thinking about the longevity of the club rather than a, ‘Smash, bang, let’s grab something and run.’ And that’s what we’re going to,” Skinner said. “We’re going to give them a young team, we’re going to give them players that want to play for this club and they want to die for this club. And that’s my job and I’m not going anywhere ’til that’s completed.”
The Pride are still in search of their first win of the season, sitting in last place of the National Women’s Soccer League standings at (0-7-1, one point) and despite the mistakes, Skinner said he is proud of his team and the effort players put into the games.
“You can forgive them,” Skinner said. “There are girls walking off that field that have never played before in this NWSL, and they are drenched. And they are drenched in their sweat for the team. And that I can get behind. I can forgive the mistakes.”
For now, Skinner hopes to build a successful team that fans can support and is adamant about taking responsibility in doing so.
“I’ll face the hard parts and I’ll build it effectively,” he said. “It will take time and then you’ll have a real team that Orlando can get behind.”