Marta, Krieger honored
Brazilian star and defender headline a group of four Orlando Pride players who earned National Women's Soccer League postseason honors.
Marta and Krieger were named to the NWSL Best XI announced Thursday by the league.
“This is a well-deserved recognition for both Marta and Ali,” Pride coach
said. “Both players have been incredible leaders and catalysts for our team, both on and off the pitch, and I’m delighted they are receiving this honor for their tremendous week-in and week-out performances this season." Orlando Pride forward and defender earned second-team honors.
The awards were voted on by club officials, players, fans and media who consistently cover NWSL.
Marta has made a major impact on the Pride since joining the club in March. The five-time FIFA World Player of the Year’s ball skills helped her finish among Pride players and second in the league with 13 goals and six assists.
Marta and Morgan clicked, helping fuel the first playoff run in franchise history. They combined to create five goals during the Pride’s nine-game unbeaten run to finish the regular season. Marta also mentored 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder helping the third-year pro become a valuable playmaker for the Pride and the Brazil national team.
Marta was named to the NWSL Team of the Month each month from June through September, earning September NWSL Player of the Month.
Krieger, who signed with the Pride in November after previously playing for the Washington Spirit, was the only Pride player to appear in all 2,250 minutes in the regular and postseason. The U.S. women’s nationalteam defender brought key leadership to the Pride back line. Krieger played a major role in the transformation of the Pride defense.
Krieger also added two assists and has reached the NWSL playoffs each of her last four years in the league, helping the Pride to their first postseason appearance in 2017.
Morgan, 28, joined the Pride in June after opening the season with French side Olympique Lyonnais. The U.S. women’s nationalteam forward finished second on the team with nine goals, five of them gamewinners. She was named the NWSL’s August Player of the Month.
A finalist for 2017 Defender of the Year, Catley continued her dominance on the left side during her second season with the Pride.
The 23-year-old Australian led the Pride in total touches (1,667), but she showed her attacking versatility down the flanks, leading the Pride with 75 crosses and finishing second with 27 chances created. The defender recorded two assists.
The North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns will host training sessions open to the public today at Orlando City Stadium ahead of their NWSL championship showdown Saturday.
The Courage will train at 10 a.m. and the Thorns will train at 2 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public, but fans were asked to RSVP at http://nwsl.us/2g9XYQf.
Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. the Courage’s morning session and at 1:30 p.m. for the Thorns’ afternoon training.
Fans attending both sessions will be asked to clear the venue between practices but will be able to reenter and only need to RSVP once. Fans should enter through Gate A. Limited parking is available around the stadium.
The teams will face off at 4:30 p.m. Saturday for the NWSL title. The match will be broadcast live on Lifetime.