For the last several weeks, there were rumors the Orlando Pride were going to add an international player to the back line for its NWSL inaugural season. Yesterday, after Orlando City announced its new training complex in Lake Nona, club Founder and President Phil Rawlins took to Twitter to express his feelings on this weekend's Westfield's W-league Grand Final, which has Orlando Pride players represented on both teams.
Obviously Steph Catley and Jasmyne Spencer are already well known additions who are both on the Pride's roster page. But Laura Alleway's name came up for the first time from club officials. Rawlins referring to Alleway as a Pride player seems to confirm that she's headed to the City Beautiful.
The addition of Alleway from Melbourne City FC for the Pride back line would be a tremendous boost. Alleway has been playing alongside Catley with MCFC in its first year in the W-League. The team won all 12 matches and had a goal differential of +34, 16 goals better than the next best team. With Alleway on the roster, the Pride would still have one international spot open.
If Australia's women's national soccer team, also known as the Matildas, qualifies for the Rio Olympic Games, it could lead to three quarters of the Pride's back line being gone during that time, since both Catley and Alleway are teammates there. Brazilian defender Monica could also be called up for national team duty since it hosts the Olympic tournament.
Head Coach Tom Sermanni and his staff look to have built a strong roster for the Pride's first year in NWSL as the team is set to start preseason March 12. Drawing from his time as national team head coach for Australia seems to be paying off for Orlando, as team chemistry is usually a huge issue for an expansion team with most players unfamiliar with each other. At least for part of his back line, the Pride will have less to worry over.