On Oct. 20, the Orlando Pride officially became a National Women's Soccer League team. Like a kid with Play-Doh, the club spent the next few weeks molding the roster into coach Tom Sermanni's vision. While there are still a few cranks of the ole Play-Doh Fun Factory needed before the roster can be deemed complete, the rest of the team can kick back on lawn chairs and enjoy this beautiful Central Florida weather until training camp starts.
Well, at least, that's what I would (will) do. These Pride players, on the other hand, keep on working. Some of them have taken their talents overseas to continue to develop their skills during the NWSL's off-season. So, let's take a look at how those international women of mystery are performing.
Spencer has taken her game down under and is currently playing with Sydney FC in the Westfield W-League. This is actually Spencer's second year with the team, and it will be tough to top her 2014 campaign, in which she scored eight goals in 13 matches and earned the club's W-League Player of the Year award. She's off to a bit of a rough start this season as she has yet to score in four games. The team has two wins and two losses so far on the season, and currently sits sixth in the table (or "ladder" as they say in Aussie).
Defender Camille Levin is currently on loan to Fiorentina in the Italian Serie A. She hasn't made much of an impact so far on the season, having only appeared in one game as a substitute. She got six minutes of game time in a 3-0 loss to Tavagnacco, and one goal was scored against Fiorentina in that stretch. Fiorentina is currently fifth in the table, though only three matches have been played on the young season.
Playing in Denmark, Aubrey Bledsoe is the goalkeeper for Fortuna Hjørring. She's appeared in four Champions League matches so far this season, where she's allowed two goals and kept two clean sheets. Eleven matches into the season, Fortuna Hjørring is three points shy of league leader Brøndby.
The English international with the glorious hair is currently playing in Cyprus for Apollon Ladies. She's played in two league matches, scoring four goals in 180 minutes. That's some pretty solid production, and it's contributed to Apollon outscoring its opponents 23-1 in those games. While I'm far from an expert on the Cyprus Football Association, it would appear to me that competitive balance isn't really their thing. Apollon is tied with Lefkothea atop the First Division table. Oh, and Lianne has also played 90 minutes in a Super Cup match, but did not score.
It's great to see these Pride players fine tune their craft during the off-season, but it will be even better to see them put it together as a unified squad in Orlando. There's only a few months to go before that becomes a reality.