Pride draw No. 9 seed, face up­hill climb in Utah

Orlando Sentinel - - Sports Tuesday - By Ju­lia Poe

The Orlando Pride re­ceived ar­guably the worst draw in the NWSL Chal­lenge Cup, fac­ing the top three fin­ish­ers from the 2019 sea­son.

Orlando will kick off against the Chicago Red Stars on June 27. It also will be the open­ing match of the en­tire tour­na­ment be­ing staged in Utah.

The match — along with the cham­pi­onship — will be broad­cast live on CBS. All other matches will be streamed on CBS All-Ac­cess.

Af­ter fac­ing the Red Stars, the Pride will then play the Port­land Thorns on July 1 and reign­ing champ North Carolina Courage on

July 5. The pre­lim­i­nary round will end with a match against Sky Blue FC on July 9.

The bot­tom fin­isher from the pre­lim­i­nary round will be elim­i­nated from the tour­na­ment while the re­main­ing eight teams will ad­vance to a sin­gle-elim­i­na­tion stage.

The team seeds were se­lected via a com­puter-as­sisted draw­ing and un­veiled Mon­day.

The league an­nounced last week it was pro­ceed­ing with stag­ing the tour­na­ment, iso­lat­ing teams in one lo­ca­tion to limit po­ten­tial ex­po­sure to the coro­n­avirus. Par­tic­i­pa­tion is vol­un­tary for all play­ers due to safety con­cerns.

MARK THOR/ORLANDO PRIDE

Orlando Pride de­fender Ali Krieger and her team­mates drew the No. 9 seed in the league’s tour­na­ment in Utah. The Pride’s first match will be June 27 against the Chicago Red Stars.

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