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Orlando Pride Trade Brittany Wilson to Angel City FC

The Pride sent their backup goalkeeper and a 2023 third-round pick to Angel City FC for a fourth-round 2023 draft pick but there’s a logical explanation.

NJ/NY Gotham FC v Orlando Pride Photo by Alex Menendez/ Getty Images

The Orlando Pride announced tonight that the club has traded goalkeeper Brittany Wilson and its natural 2023 NWSL Draft third-round selection to Angel City FC for the expansion side’s natural 2023 NWSL Draft fourth-round selection.

“We’d like to thank Brittany for her dedication to the Pride over the last two seasons,” Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said in a club press release. “We’re proud of the development she’s shown during her time here, and wish her the best of luck in this opportunity with Angel City. We’re happy we were able to come to this deal that helped us keep the core of our team intact during the expansion draft, while providing Brittany a new opportunity for her career.”

The statement by Fleming indicates that the Pride made the deal as a way to gain immunity during the NWSL Expansion Draft last night. As a part of the trade that sent forward Alex Morgan out west, the San Diego Wave likely also agreed to not select any current Pride players. Angel City selected Claire Emslie’s NWSL rights, but no players on the Pride’s current roster were taken.

Wilson joined the Pride on a short-term contract in June of 2020 before signing a permanent deal prior to the 2020 Fall Series that lasted through the 2021 NWSL season.

In her brief time with the Pride, the 24-year-old goalkeeper only made one appearance, which came during the 2020 NWSL Fall Series. She conceded a pair of goals and made five saves against the Houston Dash in a 2-1 loss at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee.

What It Means for Orlando

The Pride sent starting goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to NJ/NY Gotham FC earlier this off-season, so this is the second shot stopper the team has sent away this month. The Pride previously brought in Canadian international Erin McLeod to back up Harris and drafted Kaylie Collins out of USC in the 2021 NWSL Draft. Collins was added to the roster as a national team replacement player on June 4 and signed with the club on Oct. 7.

This trade means that the 38-year-old McLeod — who will turn 39 in February — and 23-year-old Collins are the only two goalkeepers on the roster. McLeod, who had her contract option picked up after the 2021 season, was already expected to be the starter heading into the 2022 NWSL season barring a new signing. Wilson likely would’ve been the primary backup, but this trade means that the position will likely go to Collins. This is dependent upon Collins re-signing with the Pride, who made an offer to the young goalkeeper after the season.

The biggest part of this trade is the apparent expansion draft protection. The Pride had to protect Morgan since the trade window was closed during the draft and wanted to protect their two top draft picks from 2021, Viviana Villacorta and Mikayla Colohan. As a result, some key midfielders like Meggie Dougherty Howard, Gunny Jonsdottir, and Marisa Viggiano were left unprotected.

Wilson was unlikely to make a major impact for the team in 2022, only filling in for McLeod when she was on international duty or if she were injured. So it makes sense to send her to Angel City for draft protection, where Wilson will back up DiDi Haracic.