SANFORD, Fla — Things haven’t been going well for Sky Blue FC this season.
A winless start to the 2018 campaign has the New Jersey side sitting at the bottom of the NWSL table, but Orlando coach Tom Sermanni thinks Sky Blue still poses a threat when it faces the Pride at Orlando City Stadium Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
“They’ve been struggling results wise, but if you look at their last five games, they tied their last game the previous four, they lost by a goal and in each of those games, the game could’ve gone either way,” Sermanni said of Sky Blue FC Tuesday.
“It’s one of those situations they’re in at the moment where things just aren’t going right for them, but they’re still a team that a very dangerous, very well organized and a team on the cusp of getting a win, so it’s a very dangerous game for us this weekend.”
Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and forward Alex Morgan are expected back from their U.S. women’s national team duties today.
Camila, who missed eight months of action after undergoing knee surgery in October, will be available for selection for the first time this season. Rachel Hill, who was recovering from a groin injury, is fully fit and will be available this weekend.
Marta, however, is still day-to-day after suffering a left calf strain and did not train on Tuesday. Sermanni said the Brazilian is not “far away” from being match fit ahead of this weekend’s game.
The Pride return home after earning 11 points during five road matches last month.
Orlando midfielder Kristen Edmonds said that’s proven to be crucial for the Pride, who are sitting in third place in the NWSL table with 16 points and a 4-3-4 record.
“Going on the road and getting any points is great and coming away with a couple 3-pointers is even better,” Edmonds said. “It’s always tough to play away, especially that we have such a home field advantage here in Orlando. We’re happy to come away with points on the road and to do so well.”
Edmonds’ role with the Pride has evolved over the years.
She led the Pride in scoring with six goals during the team’s inaugural season in 2016.
In 2017, Edmonds played mostly at right back.
This year, she’s primarily lining up as a winger.
Edmonds embraces the variety of roles she plays for her team.
“I love being able to play different positions,” said Edmonds. “I think that’s my biggest strengths — that I can play almost any where on the field. Being able to play everywhere else, I’m a fan of the game, [but] I’m a student of the game as well — not just a player. Having all those qualities, I think it’s something that I bring to the table that’s different than other players.”
Sermanni is pleased Edmonds can help the Pride in a variety of ways.
“I think I’ve seen her role develop over the last three years in a sense she came here as a fullback, but she is .., your classic utility player,” Sermanni said. “She’s a player who can play eventually every position on the field apart from maybe goalkeeper and center back. She can play aeffectively everywhere and those players are really invaluable in this squad.”