The Orlando Pride have extended the contracts of Australian defender Steph Catley and American forward Jamia Fields, who will both return for the club’s second National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) campaign in 2017. The team also made official that Australian striker Lisa De Vanna was waived.
The 23-year-old Catley extends her stay with the Pride after her off-season stint with Melbourne FC in the second semester of 2016, where she captained the team to its second straight Australian W-League title. The defender played all 90 minutes of the Pride’s first 11 matches of the 2016 NWSL season and scored the club’s first-ever goal.
Catley, who was one of Orlando’s most productive players last year, sustained a metatarsal fracture and hamstring strain while with Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics and missed the tail end of the NWSL season.
Fields, 23, made 12 appearances for the Pride in 2016, including six starts. The Florida State University product had one assist last season.
“Jamia and Steph were both valuable assets to our team last season so we're thrilled to bring them back,” said Pride General Manager Niki Budalic in a club press release. “Jamia provided a spark for us off the bench with her speed and tenacity. And with Steph, there's no question she is among the best left backs in the world on both ends of the field. With our returning players plus the acquisitions we’ve made this off-season, I'm really excited with how our back line is shaping up.”
The veteran De Vanna, 32, leaves the club after playing only the three final matches of the 2016 NWSL season. The striker, who is the second highest goal scorer of Australia’s national team, has already joined local club Canberra United.
“I’d like to thank Lisa for her contribution during her short time at the, club,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni in the club’s release. “Despite the fact that she was only here for a brief time, she made a big impact with our team and with the fans. She is a very special player and we hope to see her back in the league in the future.”
The Pride open their 2017 season at Portland at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 15. The home schedule in Orlando’s new downtown stadium begins on April 22, with the Pride facing the Washington Spirit at 4 p.m. ET.