The Orlando Pride announced today that the club has parted ways with Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Amanda Duffy. Hired in early 2020, Duffy was on the job for less than two years before this move was made.
Duffy has an extended history in soccer management. In Oct. 2014, the former professional player was named vice president of operations for Louisville City FC of the USL Championship. Louisville City was Orlando City’s original USL affiliate club. Two months later, she became the club’s general manager. In Nov. 2015, she became the first female president of a USL club.
In Jan. 2017, Duffy joined the NWSL, becoming the league’s managing director. After two years in that position, she was named president of the NWSL. In that position, she helped oversee national television rights and streaming deals for the league.
The Pride hired Duffy to run the team’s soccer operations on Jan. 7, 2020. She took over for former Lion and former Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck, who moved over to the men’s team after her arrival.
Hired by former CEO Alex Leitao, Duffy’s departure is the first front office move under the Wilf family ownership.
“After acquiring the Orlando Pride during the 2021 season, the Wilf family has been in the process of evaluating the club’s structure and operations to best position it moving forward, both on and off the field,” a club statement said about the decision. “As part of that process, the club has parted ways with Amanda Duffy. The club would like to thank Amanda for her contributions over the last two seasons.”
The Athletic’s Steph Yang reported that the decision was simply a part of the club’s organizational restructuring after the acquisition and is not related to the NWSL’s ongoing investigation over abuse or improper behavior within the league office in the wake of the former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley’s termination.
Amanda Duffy is out at Orlando. A source within the club told The Athletic that per statement this is just part of their structural re-org in the wake of an acquisition, unrelated to any recent issues in #NWSL re: investigations into allegations of abuse or improper behavior https://t.co/oGqp8FXWNi— Steph Yang | Horrible Soccer Goose (@thrace) November 29, 2021
It is uncertain what, if anything, this means for Pride General Manager Ian Fleming’s future in Orlando. Fleming was hired in January of this year and was the first major hiring on the Pride under Duffy’s stewardship of the NWSL side.
The decision to let go of Duffy puts even more pressure on ownership heading into the 2022 season. Head Coach Marc Skinner resigned during the 2021 NWSL season and interim head coach Becky Burleigh took her name out of the running for the permanent position.
That means that the Pride will now have to replace the executive vice president of soccer operations — or whoever will run the Pride — as well as the team’s head coach.