The Orlando Pride announced today that the club has re-signed midfielder Marisa Viggiano to a two-year deal with an option for an additional year. Orlando has been announcing a string of players re-signing after Toni Pressley and Carrie Lawrence agreed to new contracts last week.
“Marisa has been excellent from the first day she came to Orlando,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said in a club press release. “She is an inspiration to all young soccer players that wish to follow their dreams of becoming a professional player. She possesses excellent technical skills and is a student of the game. She really has the ability to be a top player if she continues to work hard at her game and we’re excited for her to continue as part of the Pride.”
Orlando drafted Viggiano with the 30th pick in the 2019 NWSL draft. At 5-foot-4, the Northwestern product is not the biggest player on the field but has done well with the ball. She is a technical player who fits in well with Skinner’s system.
The midfielder made 19 appearances (16 starts) in her rookie season. She scored one goal and did not have any assists. Viggiano started out the year slowly but continued to improve throughout her rookie campaign. She became a constant figure in Skinner’s starting XI, especially when the international players were on World Cup duty.
Viggiano received a final rating of 4.5 for her 2019 season. She was thrown into the fire and into the starting XI as the Pride were shorthanded. She did well considering, but the most impressive part is she continued to improve.
In 2020, she was one of just four players to play all 360 minutes for Orlando in the Fall Series. In those four games, she was the only player on the Pride to score multiple goals, netting two of Orlando’s five goals.
What it Means for Orlando
With Orlando losing Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond staying with West Ham at least through mid-May, the Pride have taken some hits in the midfield. Viggiano certainly gained the trust of the coaching staff, and likely will begin the season as a starter in the midfield in a box-to-box role.
Orlando added Meggie Dougherty Howard a few weeks ago. Dougherty Howard will likely start at defensive midfield, and like Viggiano, is excellent on the ball. By tying down Viggiano, Skinner further demonstrates his desire to better retain possession in the middle of the field.
In addition to Dougherty Howard and Viggiano, the Pride also have Chelsee Washington, Taylor Kornieck, and Jade Moore under contract. Kornieck could be a big part of the midfield moving forward. Orlando also offered Camila a new contract at the end of the 2020 season is un-signed as of this writing.