The first domino for the Orlando Pride has fallen. The Pride announced this afternoon that the club has waived forward Chioma Ubogagu.
The club stated that the English international will leave the NWSL to pursue opportunities in Europe. According to reports out of Spain, Ubogagu’s next move will be joining Primera Division side CD Tacón, the women’s team of Real Madrid.
“On behalf of everyone at the Pride, we’d like to thank Chioma for her contributions to the club over the last three seasons,” Orlando Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said through a club release. “We wish her the best of luck in this next career move.”
Ubogagu was acquired through a trade with the Houston Dash on January 23, 2017. She was re-signed in February of 2018. In her two-and-a-half seasons with the Pride, the 26-year-old made 57 appearances with 48 starts. She tallied 12 goals and six assists in 4,008 minutes. Ubogagu leaves the club as its third highest all-time scorer behind Marta (22) and Alex Morgan (18). She also leaves tied with Ashlyn Harris as third all-time in club appearances behind Dani Weatherholt (69) and Kristen Edmonds (63). During her time in the NWSL with Orlando and Houston, Ubogagu made 72 appearances, scoring 13 goals and adding seven assists.
Left off the England roster for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Ubogagu played a key role for the Pride this season, who were missing several starters. She’s played in 17 games this year, starting 15, and has accumulated four goals and two assists.
Although her time in Orlando has been plagued with inconsistency, Ubogagu has played well for the Pride in recent weeks. Her absence will be a blow on Saturday if the Pride-Spirit match isn’t postponed. The club is already without Marta (hamstring), Alex Morgan (concussion protocol, international duty), and Claire Emslie (international duty) up top. If there’s a game on Saturday night, the Pride’s forward line is going to look mighty thin.