The Orlando Pride announced this morning that the club has signed Abby Elinsky and Sarah Shimer as National Team Replacement Players for this weekend’s game against Seattle Reign FC. The duo were signed to take the spots of Alex Morgan and Ashlyn Harris, who were both called in to the USWNT camp ahead of two friendlies against China coming up on June 7 and 12.
This is the second time this season that Elinsky has been signed by the Pride as a National Team Replacement Player. She spent the month of April with the team while several players were away on international duty with Australia and Brazil. The 22-year-old midfielder has made two appearances this season for a total of 32 minutes.
This is the first time Shimer will be on an NWSL roster after being selected in the fourth round of the 2018 NWSL College Draft by the Houston Dash. The goalkeeper made 38 appearances for the University of Washington, recording 11 clean sheets during her senior season.
Morgan and Harris will be preparing for warm-up games for the U.S. which will compete in the 2018 Tournament of Nations from July 26 to August 2. That tournament also features Australia, Brazil, and Japan, but the Pride will not lose any players to the tournament as they don’t play during that period. Additionally, the Pride will not be missing any other international players on Sunday. Shelina Zadorsky will report to Canada for the international break after Sunday’s Pride match.
National Team Replacement Players can be signed when national team players are away on international duty and don’t count against the 20-player roster limit. Morgan and Harris are expected to only miss one game, returning for the team’s June 16 clash against Sky Blue FC.
Pride Shorthanded for Sunday
While Elinsky and Shimer will replace Morgan and Harris on the active roster, Orlando will still be a bit shorthanded this Sunday — especially at forward. In addition to Morgan being out, Marta (calf) and Rachel Hill (groin strain) are also listed as “out” on this week’s NWSL injury report. They join Camila (knee surgery) and Ali Krieger (MCL) as being unavailable for Sunday’s game. Additionally, Toni Pressley (quad) and Monica (knee soreness) are listed as questionable for the Pride’s match at the Reign.
The loss of three starting-caliber forwards could force Tom Sermanni to change shape from his preferred 4-3-3. Chioma Ubogagu and Sydney Leroux are likely starters up top. Sermanni could also play Kristen Edmonds or Danica Evans on the forward line. Poliana could also play in an advanced role.