The Orlando Pride made a pair of roster moves today ahead of the 2020 NWSL season. The club announced the signing of Orlando native Carrie Lawrence as a supplemental player and waived forward Danica Evans. Lawrence spent the 2018 season as a training player for the Pride.
“We are thrilled to have Carrie join our roster as she is someone we would have liked to sign last year but were unable to,” Orlando Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said in a club press release. “She trained hard with us every day and was a clear representative of the culture we are building at the club. We are very happy to reward her with this contract and excited about the depth she brings to our back line.”
Lawrence, 22, is a 2019 graduate of the UCF, where she was a three-year letterwinner for the Knights. From 2016-18, Lawrence made 49 appearances, scoring four goals and adding 11 assists. Prior to joining the Knights, Lawrence spent her freshman season at the University of South Carolina, where she scored two goals and added an assist in 20 appearances.
Evans will leave the NWSL to pursue a playing opportunity in Europe. The 24-year-old was the Pride’s first pick (third round, No. 22 overall) in the 2017 NWSL College Draft out of Colorado University.
Evans finishes her time with the Pride with two goals and one assist in 25 appearances (four starts), playing just a total of 566 minutes across three seasons in Orlando. She scored the Pride’s first-ever goal at what we now know as Exploria Stadium — an 87th-minute game-tying goal — in the Pride’s 2017 season opener against the Washington Spirit.
“On behalf of the entire organization, I’d like to thank Danica for her three years with the club. We wish her the best of luck in the next chapter of her career,” Ustruck said in the club release.
What it Means for the Orlando Pride
The Pride add some depth in a position of need and in the form of a player they already know well. Depending on which players are gone for the Olympics this summer and the health of those defenders who were already on the roster, Lawrence could find herself playing meaningful minutes in 2020 as a depth player. While it’s doubtful she’ll be a huge difference maker on the roster, it’s important for the club to strengthen the defense.
Evans, meanwhile, gets to pursue an opportunity to find more playing time. She only managed 566 minutes in three seasons, including just 49 in 2018. Although she could show flashes in those brief appearances, she never earned the trust of two different coaches to earn significantly more playing time — even when the team was starved for offense and both Alex Morgan and Marta were away with their national teams.