The Orlando Pride announced today the acquisition of midfielder Jade Moore from Reading FC of England’s FA Women’s Super League. The English player signed a one-year contract with an option for a second season. Allocation money was used by the Pride to make the acquisition.
“Simply put, Jade is the complete midfielder,” Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “She possesses a great skill to travel quickly in small spaces, control the pace of the game, and her ability to not only read the game well but destroy attacks before they start will bring a much needed dynamic to our midfield. We’re very excited to bring her into the club and look forward to seeing her in purple when we get back to play.”
The 29-year-old central midfielder has played for Reading since joining the WSL team in 2017. In that time, she’s made 54 appearances, scoring eight goals and adding four assists. Prior to joining Reading, Moore played with Notts County until the club folded its women’s team and for Birmingham City, former home of Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner. While at the club at the same time, Moore never played for the first team under Skinner as she departed before he became the first team head coach.
“I think one of the biggest things for me is that this is a fresh challenge, a new league,” Moore said about the move in a club press release. “Obviously, back in the UK I’ve played in the league for over a decade and you kind of get used to the same things, the same teams, the same player pool. So I’m really excited about that, coming overseas, and taking me out of my comfort zone to play against different players and play against the best players in the world. When this came about, it ticked every single box of what I wanted at the next part of my career.”
In addition to her club career, Moore has made 50 appearances for England with her first coming in February 2012. Since then, she’s taken part in four major tournaments, including the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
What it Means for Orlando
Moore is known for her distribution from the midfield, which can help the Pride when the NWSL starts. Orlando has struggled in the middle of the pitch with turnovers, so Moore could be a valuable addition. She is a player who can produce chances for Marta and Sydney Leroux up top — especially helpful since Alex Morgan might miss much of the season due to pregnancy. The move will also provide some flexibility as Skinner will be able to find a single position for Alanna Kennedy if he chooses. Kennedy has been playing at central defense for both Australia and Melbourne City.
The English native will require an international slot, so it will be interesting to see how the Pride handle the roster, whether through green cards being acquired or moving players out. Some movement will be necessary anyway, given league roster limits and the number of players the Pride have under contract.
Although there is something to be said for adding experienced veteran players, the fact remains that the Pride have acquired three players this off-season who are getting up there. Moore will turn 30 in October, while her fellow off-season acquisitions are 32-year-old fullback Ali Riley, and 37-year-old goalkeeper Erin McLeod. They join 34-year-old Marta, 29-year-old Leroux (who turns 30 next month), 35-year-old Ali Krieger (36 in July), and 30-year-old Alex Morgan (who will turn 31 in July — not too far removed from giving birth. Additionally, Kristen Edmonds is 32, Julie King is 30, Ashlyn Harris is 34, and Toni Pressley is 30.
That’s 11 contracted players of age 29 or above, and at least six — seven if Morgan can physically bounce back — who will be asked to play key roles this coming season — whenever it comes.