The Orlando Pride made yesterday's rumor official today, announcing the signing of Brazilian international defender Monica Hickmann Alves. The newest signing for the NWSL's newest team will occupy an international roster spot as the fledgling club continues to build its roster. Per club and league rules, additional details were not disclosed.
The 28-year-old center back joins the Pride from Ferroviária in Brazil, where she won the 2014 Brazilian League, Campeonato Brasilieiro, and the Brazilian Cup, the Copa do Brasil. The team would go on to win the Copa Libertadores Femenina, South America's championship, in 2015.
Internationally, Monica made her debut for Brazil on June 11, 2014 against France and has made 20 appearances since. In 2015, she helped As Canarinhas to the 2015 Pan American Games gold medal. Her first international goal came in a group stage match in that tournament against Ecuador. She scored her second on Oct. 21 in Seattle against the U.S.
"We're excited to have Monica join Orlando Pride in the team's inaugural season," said head coach Tom Sermanni in a club press release. "Monica is a very talented player with invaluable experience at both the club and international levels, which will be highly beneficial for us as we continue to build a competitive roster."
The signing of Monica fills the club's first of four international slots. The other two non-American players on the Pride are Canadian midfielder Kaylyn Kyle and English midfielder Lianne Sanderson. Kyle, acquired in a trade with the Portland Thorns, is a Canadian allocated player while Sanderson holds a green card and therefore doesn't occupy an international slot.
The Pride now have 13 of the 18-20 roster spots filled with about four months remaining until the beginning of their inaugural NWSL season.