After months of speculation, the Orlando Pride announced the signing of Australia Women's National Team defender Laura Alleway Tuesday, pending receipt of her International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Per team and league policies, details of the contract were not announced.
"Laura is a player that I have rated highly for many years and very happy to be bringing to the NWSL," said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. "She is a dominant defender who is now firmly established in the Australian national team. We will be looking to Laura to add more depth and experience to our backline, and are very excited for her to arrive in Orlando."
Alleway is currently in Japan along with her new Pride teammate Steph Catley on the Australian National Team in the Asian Football Conference Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The Matildas have already punched their ticket to Rio. Per the team press release: "I want to thank the Orlando Pride for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural team," Alleway said. "I'm really looking forward to working with Tom again and getting to challenge myself in one of the most prestigious leagues in the world."
Alleway, 26, will make her NWSL debut fresh off a championship season with Melbourne City FC of Australia's Westfield W-League. There, Alleway paired up with Catley to lead the Melbourne back line to a seven-match shutout streak while allowing just five goals to opponents in the club's undefeated season.
Prior to joining Melbourne City, Alleway played with the W-League's Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory, and also had a stint with England's Lincoln Ladies. In 2011, Alleway helped lead Brisbane to a W-League Grand Final Championship.
The defender made her first appearance with Australia's Women's National Team under Sermanni in 2010 and has scored two goals for her country. Alleway appeared in all five of Australia's matches during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, with the Matildas ultimately bowing out to Japan. She also represented Australia during the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.