The Orlando Pride have traded star forward Alex Morgan to NWSL expansion side San Diego Wave FC. The Wave announced the “signing” of Morgan today on the club’s website and social media, but the Pride held her league rights, meaning there has to be some exchange to be announced. Neither team has yet identified the terms of the transfer of Morgan’s NWSL rights. The Wave did not state what they gave up for Morgan’s rights in their published news story and the Pride released a statement indicating the announcement will come when the trade window reopens.
“The Orlando Pride has worked with forward Alex Morgan to secure a trade that is mutually beneficial for the club’s future success and Alex’s goals, both personal and professional,” the Pride said in a statement. “The Pride are extremely appreciative of the professionalism and commitment that Alex has shown to the club over the last six seasons, and respect her desire to play closer to family at this point in her career.”
While the deal appears to be agreed upon, the NWSL’s trade window doesn’t open until Friday, the day after the NWSL Expansion Draft.
“With the NWSL trade window currently closed, the Pride will continue to follow both club and league policies,” the club continued. “And will make a formal announcement when the transaction is official and timing is appropriate.”
The trade ends Morgan’s six-year run with the Pride, which began with the team’s inaugural season in 2016. Morgan initially joined the Pride in 2016 in a blockbuster trade heading into the 2016 season after spending three years with the Portland Thorns. The forward was immediately named captain of the team.
In her six years in Orlando, Morgan, 32, made 69 appearances with 64 starts and recorded 5,682 minutes. She is currently seventh all-time in appearances, fifth all-time in career starts, and fourth in all-time minutes for the Pride. Additionally, her 23 goals and 10 assists rank her second behind Marta in both categories.
“As a Southern California native, I am excited to be making a long-term commitment to Wave FC and the city of San Diego,” Morgan said about the move on the Wave’s website. “I am coming home to partner with this ambitious new club and to push the league forward for generations of soccer players to come. I cannot wait to get started and I will do everything I can to help bring a championship to this great city.”
The trade continues a string of moves from the Pride as they begin a rebuild of the team. On Dec. 6, the Pride traded captain Ashlyn Harris and starting center back Ali Krieger to NJ/NY Gotham FC. That followed a deal that saw forward Jodie Taylor, who the Pride signed mid-season, go to the Wave.
In addition to the player transactions, the Pride also parted ways with Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Amanda Duffy and hired a new head coach in Amanda Cromwell from UCLA. Given the timing of rumors of the Cromwell signing, her resignation from UCLA, and the deals made, the new head coach seems to have had a say in each deal along with General Manager Ian Fleming.
In addition to her time with the Pride, Morgan has been a prolific striker for the U.S. National Team. Playing on the 2015 and 2019 World Cup champion teams as well as winning the 2012 Olympic gold medal, Morgan has scored 115 goals in 190 games for the United States.
We’ll have more on this story as information is released.