The Orlando Pride announced that defender Toni Pressley was diagnosed with breast cancer on Aug. 7 and Julie King was signed by the Pride the next day. King was expected to be a veteran leader presence and add depth in a time of need, but due to a red card suspension and injuries, her impact was hardly felt.
King started in just two games for Orlando this season. She made her Pride debut on Aug. 8, but was given a red card in the 60th minute for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. She made the bench three other times but did not see the field again until the season finale. King started that match but was subbed out for Pressley in the 71st minute.
She finished the season with no goals, no assists, and no shots, although that’s not surprising for a center back in two games. Her passing rate was 77.3%, which was among the most accurate of the team’s defenders, albeit in a smaller sample size. King conceded three fouls without winning any. Defensively, she attempted nine duels and won three of them. She also made one clearance and had no tackles.
Out of her two games played, King’s best game was the one in which she did not get a red card. The Pride tied Reign FC 2-2 and King got 71 minutes under her belt. King partnered with Alanna Kennedy in the back line but was not too involved. She finished with 25 touches, which was the second-fewest among starters. Claire Emslie had the fewest but only played the first half.
On the Reign’s first goal, King did well to try to organize the back line. She was not involved in the play though, as the cross went to the far post and she was near the top of the 18. On the second goal, she was pushed up the field and was not back to defend at all. It was not a great game for King, but she also did not do anything too out of place.
2019 Final Grade
King receives an incomplete for the season due to only racking up 133 minutes in two games. She had the potential to make a real impact. but couldn’t stay healthy. The red card was likely due to her lack of game time and a poor challenge. All in all, she failed to make a true impact, positively or negatively, on the 2019 Pride.
King could be on the roster next year. Orlando will be in a similar situation next season due to the Olympics and if the team is still loaded with international players, they will again miss substantial time. King could remain on the roster as a depth option, but will likely finish the 2020 season with minimal minutes if she’s kept.