Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Sign Free Agent Forward Simone Charley

The Pride have signed veteran free agent forward Simone Charley.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride announced the signing of free agent forward Simone Charley this afternoon. The deal with the NWSL veteran is for two years, running through the 2025 season. Charley was originally listed as a non-roster invitee when the Pride’s 2024 preseason camp opened on Tuesday but that was pending the official approval of her contract.

“Simone is someone we have had on our radar for a while, and we are so happy she wants to join our team and be a part of what we are building here,” Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in a club press release. “She will provide an attacking spark to our front line and will undoubtedly cause problems for opposing back lines. We are thrilled to welcome Simone to Orlando and excited to see her on the field in a Pride kit.” 

The 28-year-old attacker was born in Boston, MA, but grew up in Hoover, AL. She attended Vanderbilt University and had a breakout final season, scoring four goals and adding six assists. She was named second-team All-Southeast Region and second team All-SEC that season. 

Charley went undrafted in the 2018 NWSL Draft and spent the 2018 season training with the Portland Thorns. That year earned her a contract for the 2019 season with the Oregon-based side. In three years with the Thorns, she played in 45 games with 26 starts and recorded 2,350 minutes in all competitions. She scored eight goals and added two assists. Her best season to date was in 2021, when she scored five goals — tied with Christine Sinclair for second on the team — just two goals behind Sophia Smith.

Prior to the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft, Angel City acquired the forward in exchange for full roster protection, $100,000 in Allocation Money, and Angel City’s 2022 natural second-round draft pick. However, the signing didn’t go as well for Angel City as the club had hoped. She played in 23 games with 12 starts in 2022 for 1,296 minutes and recorded three goals and one assist. However, she ruptured her achilles against the Pride in the second game of the 2023 season, ending her year. The Los Angeles-based club decided not to bring her back in 2024, making her a free agent.

In five years of NWSL action, Charley has made 70 appearances with 38 starts and recorded 3,703 minutes. She’s scored 11 goals and added three assists while playing up top and on the wing.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining the Pride,” Charley said in the club’s press release. “The club’s strong coaching staff, talented roster, and challenging training environment are all reasons I am thrilled to be a part of the Pride. I am ready to push for the playoffs and a championship for Orlando!”

Internationally, Charley was named to the United States U-23 Women’s National Team for the 2019 Nordic Tournament, scoring in a 2-0 win over Norway. She also spent time on loan with Australian club Canberra United in 2019 and 2020, scoring five goals in 11 games.

What It Means for Orlando

Signing Charley is a bit of a risk, because she’s coming off a season-ending injury. However, she can have a significant impact on the team if healthy. Pride Head Coach Seb Hines prefers players with versatility and Charley can play both on the wing or up top. She’ll likely be coming off the bench and can fill the role needed by the team in a specific moment.

Another benefit of the singing is that Ally Watt can move into the midfield. Hines started Watt on the right at times last season, and her attacking teammates spoke about how they loved having her on one side and Julie Doyle on the other. With Watt and Charley, the team has two players who can play up top behind Messiah Bright or provide speed on the outside.

Whether this is a good signing will largely depend on how she returns from injury. Carrie Lawrence and Viviana Villacorta are both coming off ACL tears, so bringing in a player that missed most of last season is another question. If Charley can play as she did in Portland, she’ll be a key piece off the bench this year.


Exit mobile version