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Meet the 2018 Orlando Pride



The 2018 NWSL season is about to begin and Tom Sermanni’s Orlando Pride welcome back the majority of last year’s playoff team that finished third overall in the regular season. With several quality additions over the winter, the Pride seem poised to make another postseason run in 2018 and perhaps challenge for some hardware in the club’s third season.

There were only two major losses in the off-season, with the trades of left back Steph Catley and forward Jasmyne Spencer to Seattle, but the Pride got good value in return and simultaneously filled the position Catley vacated by acquiring Carson Pickett in the deal. Orlando also added a few other key players who are expected to make an impact in 2018.

Let’s meet this year’s Pride team.

2 Sydney Leroux, Forward

The biggest name of the off-season acquisitions, Leroux was acquired from Utah on Feb. 2 in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick. No longer an allocated player by the U.S. Soccer Federation (i.e. the USSF no longer covers her league salary), Leroux had to sign a deal with the club prior to the season, which she did.

Sydney wasted no time getting up to speed with her new team, scoring a goal in each of the Pride’s preseason matches and led the team in scoring. At the Pride Media Day she said she feels like the old Syd is back and that’s tremendous news for Orlando fans. Nearly all of her teammates we spoke to this preseason mentioned how her physical play and tenacity inspired them to play harder and tougher. If that is the case, this could be a special year for the Pride. The former FC Kansas City and Western New York Flash forward has lots of international experience, with 77 USWNT caps, and a history of playing with Alex Morgan. Her style of play should create more space for players like Morgan and Marta.

3 Toni Pressley, Defender

Pressley enters her third season with the Pride after being selected eighth in the 2015 NWSL Expansion Draft from the Houston Dash. She started 11 times in 14 appearances during the Pride’s inaugural season but transformed herself physically through a new approach to diet and fitness and entered 2017 looking like a completely different player. Pressley appeared in 18 games (13 starts) last season and smashed in her first goal with Orlando, a screamer that earned her NWSL Goal of the Week honors.

Sermanni was able to utilize Pressley in order to change shape to three in the back late in games to go for the win and it will be interesting to see if that continues. It will be tougher to earn minutes on this year’s Pride team than ever before, so Pressley will need to work on her passing percentage and eliminate the errors in the box that led to two second-half penalties which cost Orlando points last season.

4 Shelina Zadorsky, Defender

Another of Orlando’s off-season acquisitions, Zadorsky was acquired from the Washington Spirit on Jan. 23 in exchange for backup goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and the Pride’s natural first-round pick in 2019. The 25-year-old Canadian international was brought in to bolster a defense that shipped 31 goals in 24 games last year. The Pride’s attacking style puts the defense under pressure at times and the acquisition of Zadorsky should help shore things up. She started two of her 30+ games with the Canadian Women’s National Team in the recent Algarve Cup and her side recorded shutouts in both, which she said at Media Day will give her confidence and serve as a springboard as she heads into her first season with Orlando. Shelina is allocated to Orlando by the Canadian Soccer Association.

5 Emily van Egmond, Midfielder

One of two Australian internationals on the squad, van Egmond will not actually join the Pride until late April due to World Cup qualifying in the Women’s Asian Cup. The attacking midfielder was signed on Valentine’s Day. Van Egmond is blossoming into one of the world’s top play-making midfielders despite being just 24 years old. Her presence will either allow Marta to play on the forward line or complement the Brazilian star if Sermanni wants more bodies in the midfield. She brings to the Pride more than 75 games of international experience on some of the biggest stages, as well as previous professional experience in Australia, Europe, and the United States (Western New York Flash, Seattle Reign, Chicago Red Stars). Emily will require one of the Pride’s five international slots.

6 Chioma Ubogagu, Forward

Chi enters her second season with the Pride after her rights were acquired from the Houston Dash in January of 2017 for a third-round pick in the 2018 draft. She was out of contract after the 2017 season and re-signed in mid-January. Ubogagu appeared in 19 matches with the Pride last season (16 starts), scoring four goals and adding three assists. Chi filled a lot of gaps last year. Nine of her starts came on the forward line, six were in the midfield and one was on defense — a position she also switched to a few times during games depending on substitution patterns. She played well enough to earn a call-up to the USWNT at left back, although she did not get a cap. With more attacking pieces in place for Sermanni this year, look for Ubogagu to serve as the club’s Swiss Army knife, doing a number of different jobs.

7 Christine Nairn, Midfielder

The Pride picked up Nairn from the Seattle Reign on Jan. 29, along with defender Carson Pickett, in exchange for Catley. Nairn brings a veteran presence to the Orlando midfield, as the 27-year-old has played more than 100 NWSL games with the Reign and the Washington Spirit, scoring 18 combined goals for those clubs. Nairn is an underrated player who does a lot of little things well and has a big leg, as she displayed twice in the preseason, scoring on a free kick against UCF and chipping the goalkeeper from the center circle against South Florida. She’ll provide a veteran presence to Orlando’s midfield.

8 Danica Evans, Forward

Evans enters her second season with the Pride after being drafted 22nd overall out of Colorado in 2017. Evans was used sparingly during her rookie year, appearing in 11 matches (one start) but only playing 195 total minutes. She scored one goal, but it was a big one, tying the match late against the Washington Spirit in Orlando’s home opener. Danica earned NWSL Goal of the Week for her calm finish. Evans will provide attacking depth for a club that has a treasure trove of options.

9 Camila, Defender/Midfielder

After suffering a serious knee injury in the final regular-season match of 2017, Camila Pereira (simply known as Camila) begins the season on injured reserve and therefore won’t count against the club’s international slots or roster limit until she returns. The Brazilian international’s recovery has seemingly gone well and a return in June is expected for the second-year Pride player. Camila was Orlando’s breakout player of the year in 2017, after signing with the club in December of 2016. She appeared in all 24 regular-season matches with the Pride in 2017, starting 22. She played just about everywhere, starting four games at right back, three at forward, and 15 in the midfield. She’ll only have about half a season to do it, but Camila will look to build on her four-goal, five-assist season of a year ago.

10 Marta, Forward

Marta Vieira da Silva, known globally simply as Marta, is one of the world’s most recognizable soccer players. She returns for her second season with the Pride after arriving early in the 2017 campaign. After a few games to settle in, Marta started delivering the goals and assists she’s known for, and, if not for someone named Sam Kerr, she might have been the NWSL MVP last year. After signing with Orlando last April, Marta arrived in time to dress for the home opener, despite having arrived via international flight less than 48 hours earlier. Playing both forward and midfielder in 2017, Marta played in 23 of the club’s 24 regular-season games, starting 21, as well as Orlando’s playoff match in Portland. Marta scored a team-high 13 goals (second in the NWSL) with six assists (also second in the NWSL). She created a league-high 64 chances for her teammates and her goals + assists total of 19 was second only to Sky Blue’s Kerr (17/4), who is now with Chicago. Marta was a four-time member of the NWSL Team of the Month, and she’ll again be expected to contribute heavily to the attack and team’s possession in 2018 and perhaps she’ll have more room with Leroux to clear more space for her. She will occupy an international slot for the Pride.

11 Ali Krieger, Defender

No longer allocated by the USWNT, Krieger, like Leroux signed a contract with the Pride prior to the NWSL season. She now enters her second year with Orlando since being acquired from the Washington Spirit on Nov. 2, 2016, in exchange for the Pride’s spot in the Distribution Ranking Order. She played every minute of the Pride’s 2017 season, mostly at center back, moving over from her more familiar right back spot. She led the NWSL in passing attempts (1,300), completing 82.5% of them. She did not score a goal but did assist on two. With the additions of Zadorsky and Poliana, Krieger could again play both fullback and center back in 2018, but, regardless of where she is on the field, the Pride will rely on her leadership, experience, and calm demeanor.

12 Kristen Edmonds, Midfielder

One of the longest tenured members of the Pride, Edmonds has been with the club since her rights were acquired from the Western New York Flash — along with Becky Edwards — in December of 2015. She enters her third season with the club, having led the team in goals in 2015, but filling in as more of a role player in 2016. She played 22 games (20 starts) last season, scoring two goals without an assist, just one year after scoring six times and adding two assists. She seems destined once again to slot in wherever Sermanni needs her in 2018, whether at fullback or in the midfield but that role fits in well with her whatever-is-needed demeanor.

13 Alex Morgan, Forward

Morgan enters her third season as a player allocated to Orlando by the USWNT. She became the cornerstone of the team’s roster in October of 2015, when the Pride traded a sizable list of assets to the Portland Thorns for both her and Kaylyn Kyle. Orlando parted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft (which became Emily Sonnett), the rights to Orlando’s first pick in the 2015 Expansion Draft (Meghan Klingenberg), and an international roster spot for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Morgan missed several matches in both previous seasons with Orlando due to international play and a loan spell with Lyon. Still, she’s amassed 13 goals in 18 games across two seasons with the Pride so far. Of those, nine came last year, along with four assists, as she torched the NWSL in the second half of the season. Those numbers could climb if she remains healthy on this 2018 team.

14 Alanna Kennedy, Defender/Midfielder

Like van Egmond, Kennedy is going to be a late arrival in 2018, as she tries to help her country qualify for the World Cup through April’s Women’s Asian Cup. The Australian still requires one of Orlando’s precious international slots. The Pride traded its first ever draft pick, Sam Witteman, to the North Carolina Courage to acquire Kennedy on Jan. 19, 2017. Her deal expired after last season, but the Pride re-signed the Aussie to a new deal earlier this month. At the time of the trade, Sermanni called her “one of the best center backs in the league,” but she only played in that position for seven games before moving into the midfield. She played in all 24 matches (plus the playoff game) last year, starting 23 times in the regular season. She was second only to Krieger in minutes played, scoring four goals and adding an assist. She also scored Orlando’s first ever playoff goal at Portland. Kennedy was a ball winner, a safety-first defender (80 clearances), and a provider of timely offense. Sermanni will be happy when she returns from international duty.

15 Rachel Hill, Forward

The Pride sent two 2018 draft picks to Portland in January of 2017 for the rights to Hill, who joined the club late after finishing school at the University of Connecticut. Hill started eight matches in 2017 and appeared in 14 over the course of her rookie season, playing 713 minutes, while scoring three goals and adding an assist. This past off-season, she went on loan to Australia to continue her professional development and made a big impact with Perth Glory, where she played alongside — and learned a lot from — Kerr. She started all 12 matches in which she appeared for Perth, scoring nine goals and assisting on six more, and earning a league Player-of-the-Month honor. Hill will be looking to use that breakout performance as a springboard into the 2018 NWSL season.

16 Carson Pickett, Defender

Pickett, a 24-year-old Florida State product and Florida native, returned to her home state in the trade that sent Catley to Seattle. Pickett is a capable replacement for the Australian international left back, earning W-League Best XI honors this off-season with Brisbane Roar, for which she appeared 13 times, scoring once. Pickett enters her first season with the Pride, after two years with the Seattle Reign, where she made 36 appearances with one assist but is still seeking her first NWSL goal. She was part of Florida State’s national championship team in 2014, anchoring a defense that did not concede in the NCAA tournament. Like Catley, she’ll look to get forward and cross balls in for Morgan, Leroux, and Marta.

For more info on Pickett, check out this week’s PawedCast.

17 Dani Weatherholt, Midfielder

Weatherholt enters her third season with Orlando, after the Pride drafted her in the fourth round in 2016. She was out of contract after 2017 and re-signed with the club in January. She has appeared in 31 matches (26 starts) over the past two seasons, notching her first professional goal and assist in 2017 as she locked down a holding midfield role in her sophomore season. The 23-year-old Santa Clara product has gained confidence from playing with the U-23 USWNT and has made great strides in her first two pro seasons.

19 Poliana, Defender

The pride shipped a second-round pick in 2019 to the Houston Dash to acquire Brazilian international Poliana Barbosa Medeiros (more commonly known as Poliana) on Feb. 6. One of Houston’s more dynamic players over the past two years, Poliana notched five goals and added two assists in 37 appearances. Capable of playing both fullback and in more advanced attacking positions, Poliana shares some similarities with Camila, aside from her Brazilian heritage. She’s tested on the international level, playing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League play with Icelandic club Starjnan and winning the Copa Libertadores Femenina three times (2011, 2013, and 2014) with Brazilian side São José. She also has more than 30 international caps with Brazil. Poliana will require an international roster slot.

21 Monica, Defender

Monica Hickmann Alves (or just Monica) enters her third season with the Pride since being signed on Dec. 8, 2015. The Brazilian international, who is working on securing her green card before Camila returns from injury, according to a team spokesperson, has played both center back and holding midfield for the Pride over the last couple of years. She appeared in 19 of the team’s 24 regular-season matches (16 starts) and started in the team’s playoff game in Portland. She has made a total of 35 regular-season appearances (31 starts) in two seasons. Though she has yet to register a goal or assist with the team and has only 10 shot attempts, Monica’s defending (she won or shared the NWSL Save of the Week twice last year, despite not being a goalkeeper) and passing — she led the team at 84.4% — are her greatest strengths.

22 Bridget Callahan, Midfielder

Signed earlier today as a National Team Replacement player, Callahan enters her first professional season. The former University of Central Florida standout was a nonroster invitee to preseason camp and played well enough to at least earn a temporary deal with the club. She scored nine goals and accumulated two assists in 75 games. She scored three of those goals and added one of those two assists last year. With the Aussies gone until the end of April and the Brazilians leaving after the season opener, Callahan could be with the club through the first four games of the year or so. She will not count against the roster limit.

24 Ashlyn Harris, Goalkeeper

Allocated by the USSF, Harris enters her third season with the Pride, after being selected No. 2 in the 2015 NWSL Expansion Draft from the Washington Spirit. She’s made 28 appearances over the past two seasons as a starter, posting a record of 11-11-6 (6-2-5 last year) and notching six shutouts She missed time due to the Olympics in 2016 and a quad injury last year. Harris became the first player from an expansion team to win an NWSL season award when she was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016, when she recorded four shutouts and won the NWSL Save of the Week a whopping nine times. In 2017, Harris only won six weekly NWSL save awards. The 32-year-old USWNT goalkeeper may be Alyssa Naeher’s primary backup with the USWNT, but she’s Orlando’s star between the sticks, and she’ll again be counted on to make big saves when the team needs them — which will hopefully be less often with the additions the team has made on defense.

25 Lotta Ökvist, Defender

Ökvist, 21, enters her first season with the Pride after her rights were acquired from the Houston Dash on Wednesday in exchange for the club’s 2019 natural third-round draft pick. The Swedish international was the No. 13 pick of the Dispersal Draft after the Boston Breakers ceased operations in January. As a 2018 NWSL Dispersal Draft selection, Ökvist will not count against the Pride’s salary cap or roster maximum for the 2018 season, and her international roster spot from Houston (via Boston) will transfer with her to the Pride (effectively giving Orlando an extra for 2018). Before signing with the Breakers during the off-season, Ökvist featured for Pitea IF in her hometown of Piteå, Sweden. She made 25 appearances with Piteå during the 2016-17 Damallsvenskan season — her second stint with the club. The 5-foot-5 defender has also played one season with Umeå IK. Ökvist led her country to the 2015-16 UEFA U-19 Women’s Championship. Prior to that, she was a member of the U-17 Swedish Women’s National Team. The left-footer will bolster the Pride’s defensive depth and can also play in the midfield.

28 Haley Kopmeyer, Goalkeeper

Kopmeyer, 27, enters her first season with the Pride after being acquired from the Seattle Reign on Jan. 29, along with Seattle’s natural third-round pick in 2019, in exchange for Jasmyne Spencer. She provides a veteran backup for Harris, having made 46 NWSL appearances, with a high of 20 during the 2017 season. The University of Michigan product has kept 11 clean sheets and made 185 saves in her five-year career. Kopmeyer previously had loan stints with Brisbane Roar and Canberra United in Australia’s W-League and with Apollon Limassol in Cyprus.

Now you know the 2018 Orlando Pride. The club enters the NWSL season with its deepest and most talented roster to date, although not all the players are here now and more will soon depart for international play. With Women’s World Cup qualifying ramping up, this will be a common theme during the 2018 season. But the club has accounted for this as best it can by securing more domestic talent and inviting more college talent than usual to preseason training.

One notable name missing is draft pick Nadia Gomes (pictured in team photo, above). She isn’t officially signed as of now, and with no current roster space, she may end up being a National Team Replacement player at some point unless she’s dealt to another team or finds her way to another team/league.

This is a team expected to challenge for the NWSL Cup by season’s end. If it can stay healthy, survive the pockets of international duty, and build upon a strong 2017, the sky is the limit.

Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Sign Finnish Goalkeeper Sofia Manner

The Pride have added a fourth goalkeeper and the second one from abroad ahead of the 2024 NWSL season.



Image courtesy of the Orlando Pride and FC Honka

The Orlando Pride announced today the signing of goalkeeper Sofia Manner, who was acquired for an undisclosed transfer fee from FC Honka of Finland’s top flight, the Kansallinen Liiga. Manner has signed a two-year contract through the 2025 season with a club option for 2026. The signing is a bit curious as it comes less than two months after the Pride extended English goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse through the 2025 season, giving Orlando two international goalkeepers and four total netminders under contract.

“I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to join Orlando Pride, a team I have admired since my youth,” Manner said in a club press release. “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to contribute to such a renowned organization in women’s soccer. The prospect of starting this journey fills me with great enthusiasm, and I am eagerly looking forward to bringing my passion and dedication to the team. I’m ready to put in hard work and help write a new chapter for the Orlando Pride.” 

Manner, who turned 26 on Nov. 9, conceded the fewest goals in the Kansallinen Liiga this season and is a nominee for the league’s Best Player and Goalkeeper of the Year awards. She appeared in 23 matches and earned 10 clean sheets across all competitions, was twice named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Month this season, and was Player of the Month in April.

“Sofia is a tremendous addition to our goalkeeping corps and one we expect to challenge for the starting position,” Orlando Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said. “She brings an underdog mentality and gritty work ethic and fits every aspect of the profile we have built for our goalkeepers. Her size, aerial ability, shot-stopping prowess, and distribution are world class. She brings international experience and has led the Kansallinen Liiga in nearly every goalkeeping metric. Her nominations for Goalkeeper of the Year and Best Player are indicative of her winning mentality and drive to be the best. We are excited to bring her to Orlando and to give her an opportunity to prove herself in our environment and in the NWSL.” 

The shot stopper has experience playing in the United States, having played collegiately with Stony Brook University. She compiled a 1.14 career goals-against average across three seasons, which is fourth-best in Seawolves’ history. Her 20 shutouts ranks third in program history, and she compiled a .796 save percentage, which is ninth best all time.

While at Stony Brook, Manner was named America East Freshman of the Year in 2017, was a first-team all-conference selection in 2019, and was the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018 and 2019. She started in every match in her final two seasons at Stony Brook, backstopping the Seawolves to an America East conference championship in 2019 and a regular-season title in 2018.

What It Means for Orlando

The Pride currently have four goalkeepers under contract: 2023 starter Anna Moorhouse (through 2025), backup Carly Nelson (through 2024), third keeper Kaylie Collins (through 2024), and now Manner (through 2025). Collins is on loan with Western Sydney Wanderers FC of the A-League Women in Australia. Four goalkeepers will provide spirited competition in preseason camp, to be sure, but it’s likely that one of these players will be on the move at some point.

If Manner wins the starting goalkeeper spot from Moorhouse, it may be for reasons other than stopping shots. Moorhouse did a good enough job of that, but often struggled with balls in from the wings, which was illustrated in the Pride’s penultimate game of the year — a must-win match at Racing Louisville — when a routine-looking corner kick cross appeared to be easily catchable, but Moorhouse went for a punch instead and knocked the winning goal for Louisville into her own net. That dropped point in the standings put Orlando in jeopardy on Decision Day and indeed the Pride beat Houston but missed the postseason on goal differential. It was a crucial point dropped.

That wasn’t Moorhouse’s only major error on the season, as she set an NWSL record with the earliest sending off in league history with her third-minute red card at OL Reign on Sept. 3 — a match the Pride lost 1-0 while playing one player short for 87 minutes plus stoppage. She has also frequently spilled crosses and shots from distance.

Orlando needed to upgrade the position. Whether Manner is an upgrade remains to be seen, but as Carter said, she is expected to compete for the starting spot. If nothing else, the competition should be good for the Pride. If Manner does take the starting position, it seems logical that the club will look to move either Moorhouse or Nelson.

The goalkeeper position will provide one of the Pride’s most intriging camp battles.

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2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Kylie Strom

The veteran defender was a consistent starter for the Pride in 2023.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

The Orlando Pride signed Kylie Strom from Atletico Madrid on July 5, 2021 to a two-year contract with an option for 2023. Previously, Strom spent time with the Boston Breakers, FFC Frankfurt II in Germany, and Sparta in the Czech Women’s League. The Pride exercised her option prior to the 2023 season. Strom played a much bigger role for the Pride in 2023. 

Let’s take a look at the defender’s 2023 season with the Orlando Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

Strom appeared in 22 regular-season matches, starting all 22, for a total of 1,967 minutes. She scored one goal on six shots, putting one on target. She provided one assist and made 17 key passes. Strom completed 590 of her 880 total passes (67%). She was accurate on 58.7% of her passes in the opponent’s half, and went 73.8% in her own half. She was 29 of 106 on her long passes (27.4%). She also completed seven of her 36 crosses. Defensively, she logged 34 interceptions and 10 blocks, won 43 of her 81 tackles (53.1%), won 181 of her 291 duels (62.2%), and won 39 of her 64 aerial duels (60.9%). She also committed 18 fouls, suffered 42 fouls, and was not booked.

The 31-year-old made four appearances in NWSL Challenge Cup play, starting four games and playing 314 total minutes. Strom did not score any goals but took two shots with one on target. She attempted three crosses (one successful), and registered no assists. Strom completed 93 of her 134 total passes (69.4%). She was accurate on 61.8% of her passes in the opponent’s half, and 75.8% in her own half.  Strom was 11 of 19 on her long passes (57.9%), and made two key passes. Defensively, she made three blocks and eight interceptions, and won eight of her 10 tackles (80%), 29 of her 46 duels (63%), and eight of her 10 aerial duels (80%). She also committed five fouls, suffered five fouls, and was not booked.

Best Game

Strom’s best match was the 2-1 win over the Washington Spirit on May 20. She scored her only goal of the season on a header at the back post in the 77th minute to give the Pride the win. It was the type of goal that you want from defenders and it came at just the right time.

Strom played the full 90 minutes and she was active in both the defensive and offensive aspects of the match. She nearly put Messiah Bright in on goal but it was knocked out for a corner. Her goal came on three shots with one on target. She also completed 15 of her 30 passes (50%) on 52 touches, committed no fouls, suffered three fouls, and was not booked.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave Strom a composite rating of 6 for the 2023 season. Strom received a grade of 4.5 in 2022 due to being a part of a defense that gave up 45 goals with a -23 goal differential. That is a big year-over-year improvement for the defender and part of that is the defense as a whole was better. Strom also did well individually though she had a bad habit of cheaply giving the ball away in her own half. She previously received an incomplete during what was a rough stretch run in 2021 after joining the club midseason.

2024 Outlook

Strom is out of contract and will be 32 years old prior to the 2024 season starting. She’s also a free agent. Despite that, it’s very possible she is back with the Pride next season unless additional defensive signings are made. It would mean a new contract, but given she started every regular season match in 2023 and finished second only to Emily Madril in minutes played, Seb Hines evidently has faith in her ability to contribute.

Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)

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2023 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Haley McCutcheon

The veteran fullback logged a lot of minutes for the Pride in 2023.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Haley McCutcheon was still known as Haley Hanson when she joined the Orlando Pride on Aug. 18, 2022 in a midseason trade with the Houston Dash. The Pride gave up $75,000 in Allocation Money and a second-round draft selection. She joined Orlando for the stretch run, making her debut with the Pride on Aug. 20 in a 2-1 win over Gotham FC. Following the 2022 season, the Nebraska product signed a new contract through 2024 on Oct. 26 of last year.

Let’s look back at McCutcheon’s second year with the Pride.

Statistical Breakdown

The 27-year-old appeared in every one of the Pride’s 22 regular-season games, starting each of them, and was only subbed out twice all year. She logged 1,955 minutes this season, which was third most on the Pride behind only almost-an-iron-woman Emily Madril (1,977) and Kylie Strom (1,967). In other words, McCutcheon played 98.7% of all possible minutes for Orlando during the NWSL regular season. She scored one goal but did not assist on one, despite providing 15 key passes on the year. The defender attempted 17 shots, five of which were blocked and four were on target. She completed 504 of her 716 pass attempts (70.4%), but just 20.8% of her long passes, and nine of her 40 crosses were successful. In her own end, McCutcheon completed 77.6% of her passes but only 59.8% in the attacking half. Defensively, McCutcheon contributed 10 blocks and 18 interceptions while winning tackles at a 56.9% rate, duels at a 58.3% rate, and aerial duels at a 62.7% clip. Surprisingly, she did not tally a single clearance all season. McCutcheon conceded 18 fouls while winning only eight, and she was not booked.

In NWSL Challenge Cup play, McCutcheon appeared in four of the team’s six matches, starting two, and logging 233 minutes. She did not score or assist on a goal, attempting two shots and getting one on frame. Her passing rate in the competition was just 67.6%, and she was successful on 40% of her long passes while logging three key passes and going 1-for-4 on cross attempts. She completed 70.4% of her pass attempts in the defensive half and 62.7% in the attacking half. On defense, McCutcheon contributed two blocks and two interceptions while winning her tackles at a 75% rate, 77.3% of her duels, and 75% of her aerial duels. She conceded two fouls while winning one and was not booked.

Best Game

McCutcheon’s best match came back on April 29 in the Pride’s 3-1 win over the San Diego Wave at Snapdragon Stadium. She tied season highs in shots (2) and shots on target (1), passed at a 90.5% rate, and made three tackles. Those are all good things, but it gets better. In this match, McCutcheon scored her first goal with the Pride and her only goal of the season, and it proved to be the game-winning strike. And what a strike it was! With the ball on the other side of the field, McCutcheon made a smart run on the back side. Midfielder Viviana Villacorta spotted the run and delivered an excellent, long, diagonal ball into the area for her. But McCutcheon still had a lot to do. She put her head on it and powered it over the goalkeeper and inside the far post to give the Pride their first lead of the season.

The Pride added another goal and went on to grab their first win of the 2023 season. That sparked a 3-0-1 run in league play and got Orlando going in a season that came down to Decision Day.

2023 Final Grade

The Mane Land staff gave McCutcheon a composite rating of 6 out of 10 for her 2023 season, which is a slight improvement over her score of 5 last season. She was a good facilitator down the right side of the pitch and could fill in at times in the midfield with her versatility. Where she continued to struggle at times was with her 1-v-1 defending down the Pride’s right side and with her crossing accuracy at times.

2024 Outlook

As mentioned above, McCutcheon is on a deal through the 2024 season and since the Pride are safe from the NWSL Expansion Draft, the only way she wouldn’t be back is via trade or transfer. I expect her back in purple next year as she’s a versatile player who can fill in at multiple spots and she is obviously valued by the club, playing a lot of minutes and even wearing the captain’s armband five times during the 2023 NWSL campaign and twice in the Challenge Cup.

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