The Orlando Pride named former Houston Dash goalkeeper Haley Carter as the club’s first-ever vice president of soccer operations and general manager. Carter, 38, succeeds Ian Fleming as GM in this new role that will include an executive leadership role that reports directly to Pride ownership. She will oversee all elements of the team’s soccer operations.
“When we began our search for this key role for the Orlando Pride, we were looking for someone with deep and comprehensive knowledge of the women’s game and the leadership qualities to carry our organization into its next era.” Orlando Pride Chairman Mark Wilf said in a club press release. “Haley is a strong, experienced and respected leader with a vast background and network across women’s soccer, including an extensive knowledge of the NWSL. Off the field, she has a clear dedication to service, community, and player safety. After our conversations with Haley and feedback from our players, we believe Haley is the perfect leader for us and we look forward to supporting her in building the Pride into a world-class franchise.”
“I am honored and grateful to join the Orlando Pride,” Carter said in the club’s press release. “The changemaking leadership and committed, personal investment by the Wilf family to the success of the club made this a tremendous opportunity from the outset. Our roster is composed of awe-inspiring, gifted athletes, each bringing their own unique and vital qualities to the team. We also have an extremely talented technical, medical, and support staff. Together, we will take the Pride to new heights, further crafting an inclusive, safe, winning culture, making fans proud to support us and players proud to play for us. We’re going to be in the community, we’re going to grow the game, and we’re going to bring championships home to Orlando! I am thrilled to lead our players and staff as we embark upon a new and exciting evolution for the club.”
In addition to having played in the NWSL from 2013 to 2016, and at the U.S. Naval Academy from 2002-2005, Carter is an accomplished business executive, coach, licensed attorney, and former U.S. Marine officer. She is a certified professional football scout, holding Level I and II Talent Identification certification through the Professional Football Scouts Association. She also serves as chair of the Women’s Coaches Community for United Soccer Coaches and was honored with the organization’s President’s Award in 2019 and 2022.
While serving on active duty in the Marine Corps, Carter represented the United States in two International Military Sports Council Women’s Military World Soccer Championships.
The Friendswood, TX native appeared in 27 matches with the Navy Midshipmen while at the U.S. Naval Academy. After completing her active duty, Carter spent three seasons with the Houston Dash. She did not play in a competitive match with the Dash, and made the team’s bench one time. Still, she became the first-ever women’s player recognized with the FIFPro World Players’ Union Merit Award in her final season.
After hanging up her boots, Carter embarked on a coaching career, gaining experience at the youth, collegiate, and international levels. While still with the Dash, she served as an assistant coach at Huston–Tillotson University, a historically Black college in Austin from 2014-2015, and Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX from 2015-2016.
From 2016 to 2018, Carter was an assistant coach for the Afghanistan Women’s National Team under former USWNT defender Kelly Lindsey. She returned to the college ranks in 2019 as an assistant coach at the University of Houston and also served as a consultant for the Houston Dash’s scouting and recruitment. She served as the goalkeeper coach for the Antigua and Barbuda Women’s National Team from 2019 to 2021.
Away from the pitch, Carter has shown a dedication to various women’s and social causes. In 2021, she played a role in evacuating more than 100 people from Kabul, Afghanistan, including members and families of the national team she coached, who were at risk due to the Taliban takeover. She has served on the Executive Board for the Girls Academy League, the City of Houston Women’s Commission, and chaired the City of Houston Commission to End Gun Violence.
Carter graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with honors in 2006. After earning her commission, Carter served nearly eight years as a Marine Corps logistics officer, making two combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to her degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, Carter possesses an MBA with Distinction from the University of Liverpool and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the University of Houston Law Center.
The Pride begin preseason training today. With Carter now in place, the club will still need to formally announce Seb Hines’ coaching staff.