It’s been reported for a while, but the Orlando Pride have officially announced Ian Fleming as the NWSL club’s new general manager. The 34-year-old joins the Pride from the Houston Dash organization, where he worked in an analytical role with both the Dash and the Houston Dynamo technical staff, helping both teams with draft, trade and technical decisions.
With Fleming’s help in making those personnel decisions, the Dash constructed the roster that won the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup championship and finished second in the Fall Series. The graduate of the Chicago-Kent Law School previously worked with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.
He succeeds Erik Ustruck, who returned to the men’s side to work with Orlando City. Fleming will work with Executive Vice President Amanda Duffy and Head Coach Marc Skinner and will be responsible for talent identification, personnel decisions, and contract negotiations, helping the Pride “make strategic, informed soccer decisions that align with larger, organizational goals.” He’ll report directly to Duffy, who oversees the front office and soccer operations.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to do something that I’d been planning on aiming myself towards my entire life,” Fleming said. “Being able to be a GM is a dream job. Orlando is primely positioned to make leaps and bounds, jumps forward to be able to remain competitive both now and moving into the future.
“In the short term, what we have here is a great staff set in place. I have a lot of faith in Marc and the group. Amanda is a great hire for this club in the past year that is going to provide good direction on where we’re going from both a business and a soccer standpoint. The short-term goal is to make this team as competitive as possible immediately, with a view towards long-term of making us competitive, winning championships, and doing so in a sustainable way.”
Fleming will be with the Pride at the 2021 NWSL Draft at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The draft will be streamed live on Twitch. The Pride enter the draft holding four total picks this year, giving Fleming ample opportunity to make an immediate impact.