The Orlando Pride have waived Australian international center back Laura Alleway. The writing has been on the wall for a while on this move, since Alleway lost her starting spot on Tom Sermanni’s back line early this season. The cut opens up a roster spot and an international slot for the team as it looks to bolster the squad for the second half of the 2017 NWSL season.
Alleway, 27, was signed back on March 8 of 2016 and appeared in 13 matches making 10 starts over her two seasons with the Pride. The Australian international totaled 917 minutes on the back line, posting six shots. However, in 2017, Alleway had made only two appearances for 136 total minutes, earning two yellow cards and conceding a penalty for a handball in the box at North Carolina Courage, allowing the hosts to score the go-ahead goal in a 3-1 victory on April 29.
“As one of our first overseas signings, Laura has represented the Pride with commitment, passion and distinction,” said Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni in a club press release. “Despite her change in role this season, she has continued to be a consummate professional and is always supportive of her teammates. In her desire to play more minutes, we believe it is in Laura's best interests to be free to pursue other opportunities. We wish her great success moving forward.”
What it Means for the Pride
The sad truth is that Alleway never really seemed to settle in during her time in Orlando. The Pride’s back line was a problem throughout the team’s inaugural season, repeatedly getting torched on long balls over the top. Alleway’s central defense partnership with Monica last season was a weak spot on the team that Sermanni addressed in the off-season by acquiring Alanna Kennedy and Ali Krieger.
But Toni Pressley’s incredible off-season transformation allowed Sermanni to move Kennedy into a midfield role and Alleway’s play, combined with Kristen Edmonds’ slow start in midfield, forced the Pride coach to shift Krieger inside and Edmonds to right back — moves that have shown positive results for the team.
With an open roster and international spot, Sermanni has the flexibility to find another piece to augment his team and put it in a better position to challenge for one of the NWSL’s four playoff spots.
The Pride are back in action Saturday when they visit the Washington Spirit at 3:50 p.m. ET. The match is Lifetime’s Game of the Week and pregame coverage starts at 3:30 p.m.