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Orlando Pride Lose Alanna Kennedy in 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft

Racing Louisville selected the Australian international and the rights to forward Caitlin Foord from the Pride.

SOCCER: AUG 17 NWSL - Utah Royals FC at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Orlando Pride say goodbye to defender/midfielder Alanna Kennedy, who was selected by Racing Louisville in the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft. The NWSL expansion side also selected forward Caitlin Foord’s rights from Orlando.

Kennedy was out of contract following the 2020 NWSL season but the Pride had extended a new contract offer to her following the NWSL Fall Series. The Pride acquired Kennedy via trade from the North Carolina Courage in January of 2017 for Sam Witteman. She played three seasons with Orlando, moving on loan to Tottenham Hotspur rather than playing in the 2020 Fall Series with the Pride.

While with the Pride, the Australian international made 60 appearances (59 starts), playing 5,340 minutes. She scored eight goals, and added two assists and was always the Pride’s most dangerous threat on set pieces, either delivering them or receiving them. We’ll never forget moments like this:

Kennedy’s best season in Orlando came in 2017, when she started in 23 of the Pride’s 24 matches and played in all 24. Her 2,101 minutes played were behind only Ali Krieger on the team that year. She scored four goals — tied for third on the team — and added an assist. She took 32 shots that year (10 on target), passed at a 75% rate, and she had the third most touches on the team (1,470). She was also third on the team in clearances (80)

Louisville selected the rights to Kennedy’s Australia teammate Caitlin Foord with the ninth pick in the Expansion Draft. The Pride had tried for years under Tom Sermanni to get Foord to the City Beautiful and finally got Foord’s rights on Jan. 8 of this year along with defender Emily Sonnett in exchange for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft. Foord played in Europe instead, signing with Arsenal on Jan. 24.

Elsewhere in the draft, the big eyebrow-raising moments came when Louisville selected the rights to a pair of USWNT stars — winger Tobin Heath from the Portland Thorns and forward Christen Press from the Utah Royals. Heath and Press are both playing with Manchester United currently, but their rights are now owned by Racing Louisville if they return to the NWSL. Louisville parted with $75,000 in allocation money for each of the two NWSL stars, so the expansion side must have something planned.

It will be interesting to see if any of the players (or rights) Louisville selected tonight will be moved when the league’s trade window opens tomorrow.

2020 NWSL Expansion Draft Selections

  1. Addisyn Merrick (Defender) — North Carolina Courage
  2. Julia Ashley (Defender) — OL Reign
  3. Jennifer Cudjoe (Midfielder) — Sky Blue FC
  4. Cece Kizer (Forward) — Houston Dash
  5. Katie Lund (Goalkeeper) — Washington Spirit
  6. Alanna Kennedy (D/MF) — Orlando Pride
  7. Lauren Milliet (Midfielder) — North Carolina Courage
  8. Kaleigh Reihl (Defender) — Sky Blue FC
  9. (NWSL rights to) Caitlin Foord (Forward) — Orlando Pride
  10. Katie McClure (Forward) — Washington Spirit
  11. Erin Simon (Defender) — Houston Dash
  12. Michelle Betos (Goalkeeper) — OL Reign
  13. (NWSL rights to) Tobin Heath (F/MF) — Portland Thorns
  14. (NWSL rights to) Christen Press (Forward) — Utah Royals FC