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Orlando eliminated from NWSL playoffs in front of record Louisville crowd


The Orlando Pride are out of playoff contention after falling to Racing Louisville 3-1 on Saturday night.

Playing before a record home crowd of 8,488, Louisville came back from an early 1-0 deficit to clinch three points in the NWSL standings, dashing the Pride’s postseason dreams.

Ebony Salmon led the charge for Louisville, scoring a stunning equalizer before the half. The beneficiary of a well-placed pass from Yuki Nagasato at the top of the box, Salmon let off a screamer into the upper 90 to open Louisville’s account.

Orlando came into Saturday’s contest needing a draw or win to stay in playoff contention. The 3-1 defeat, instead, marked the club’s fourth straight loss to cut a once-promising season short.

The Pride started the regular season with a seven-game unbeaten streak, buoying the team to the top of the NWSL standings. Orlando then endured an unexpected mid-season coaching shake-up, with Marc Skinner leaving his position as head coach for the manager job at FAWSL’s Manchester United. Becky Burleigh has been at the helm for the Pride since Skinner’s July exit.

“It’s obviously a tough one to swallow given the implications of the match,” Burleigh said following the loss. “Clearly we started off great, and just couldn’t maintain the momentum.”

The Pride will finish out their season with a home match against the Chicago Red Stars on October 29.