The Orlando Pride had a busy top of the third round in the 2022 NWSL Draft, swapping the No. 29 overall selection and adding USC forward Jada Talley at No. 31. The Pride sent the No. 29 pick to the North Carolina Courage for the rights to Canadian international forward Deanne Rose. Unless a trade is made, these two moves will conclude the Pride’s participation in the 2022 NWSL Draft.
Rose and Talley were the fourth and fifth forwards Orlando added today, joining draft picks Mia Fishel and Julie Doyle, along with trade acquisition Leah Pruitt, who was part of the trade that allowed the Pride to move up to the No. 10 spot to select Caitlin Cosme and sent center back Phoebe McClernon to OL Reign.
Orlando could have a steal in the third round if the Pride can sign Rose, who recently concluded her collegiate career with the Florida Gators and is currently playing in England with Reading F.C. Women in the Women’s Super League. She’s been effective at Reading, scoring three goals in her first eight matches in England. The New Tecumseth, Ontario native is coming off Canada’s gold medal championship in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
In 51 collegiate games with Florida (37 starts), Rose scored scored 18 goals and added nine assists. She put 55 of her 107 shot attempts on target during her college career and scored six game-winning goals. Rose, 22, was part of Canada’s 2016 bronze medal Olympic team and was named the 2017 SEC Freshman of the Year. The 2020 Olympic goal medalist has scored 10 international goals for Canada in 61 appearances.
Talley began her collegiate career at Arizona, where she was named All-Pac-12 first team in 2019, second team in 2020 and third team in 2018. The 5-foot-9 Corona, CA native played 18 games during the 2021 season at USC (15 starts), scoring three goals and adding two assists. She put 10 of her 33 shots on target and all three of her goals were game winners. Prior to transferring to USC, she played 73 matches with Arizona (55 starts), recording 24 goals and 16 assists and putting 70 of her 164 shots on target. Of her 24 goals with the Wildcats, 13 were game winners.
What It Means for Orlando
If the Pride can use some of the club’s cache of allocation money to land Rose, she would immediately be favored to claim a starting spot. However, the Pride will have to wait until at least the end of the season in England, and international duty will deprive the team of her service from time to time. However, she can certainly help the attack. The Pride spent much of today addressing the attacking third by adding so many forwards and Rose and Fishel could become instant starters with the departures of Alex Morgan and Jodie Taylor. Forward is an area of need and clearly the Pride were determined to address it. The addition of Rose, should it happen, would be an important one.
Talley is a taller striker who presents a bit of a different skill set for the Pride. She will compete for a roster spot and could provide not only some depth to the front line, but add a different wrinkle to Orlando’s attack. Having played her entire career in the Pac-12, Talley is a player who Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell knows well. She’ll no doubt have plenty of ideas how to best utilize Talley’s skillset.
Orlando could hardly have done more to address the forward position on draft day. Now it will be interesting to see which players end up on the opening day roster and how Cromwell uses them.