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Orlando Pride Announce Roster Decisions Following 2021 NWSL Season

The Orlando Pride announced their decision on roster statuses prior to the 2022 NWSL season.

Chicago Red Stars v Orlando Pride Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The Orlando Pride announced the decisions on the status of all rostered players. The announcement includes exercising the options on nine players and declining the option on one player. Another seven players are currently under contract for 2022 (or beyond), and the Pride have extended new offers to six others. Forward Alex Morgan remains on the Pride roster as a 2021 Federation Player, with her 2022 status to be announced at a later date.

The club has exercised its contract options on midfielders Marta, Erika Tymrak, Viviana Villacorta, and Chelsee Washington (who is currently on loan with Canberra United of Australia’s Liberty A-League); defenders Carrie Lawrence, Courtney Petersen, and Toni Pressley; as well as goalkeepers Erin McLeod and Brittany Wilson.

Jamaican defender Konya Plummer’s option was declined and forward Crystal Thomas is out of contract as both players will enter the waiver wire. Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris were already traded to NJ/NY Gotham FC, and Emily van Egmond was transferred to the Newcastle Jets FC in the Liberty A-League.

The Pride will be offering new contracts to midfielders Meggie Dougherty Howard, Taylor Kornieck, Jade Moore, and Parker Roberts; defender Ali Riley; and goalkeeper Kaylie Collins.

The group of players already under guaranteed contracts for 2022 include forwards Abi Kim and Sydney Leroux, midfielders Gunny Jónsdóttir and Marisa Viggiano and defenders Phoebe McClernon, Amy Turner, and Kylie Strom.

It’s not too surprising that Plummer’s option wasn’t picked up by the Pride as she had trouble breaking into the starting lineup and was loaned to Swedish club AIK in August for more reliable minutes. Still, with Krieger’s departure and the age of defenders Riley (34), Turner (30), and Pressley (31) to take into consideration, Plummer could have been a young defender for the future.

As for the players who will be back next season, Erin McLeod will likely be the team’s starting goalkeeper unless another player is brought in. McLeod did well this past season when filling in for Harris, who will be between the sticks for Gotham next season. The decision to exercise Marta’s contract option for 2022 is interesting as she struggled at times in 2021 and has been linked with a return to Corinthians in Brazil.

More changes may be coming for the Pride’s roster as the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft is set to take place on Dec. 16 and the rumored trade of Morgan to San Diego Wave FC could be finalized when the trade window reopens on Dec. 17.

Player Decisions at a Glance:

Federation Allocated Players (1) — automatically retained
  • Alex Morgan (USA)
Already Under Contract for 2022 (7)
  • Gunny Jónsdóttir
  • Abi Kim
  • Sydney Leroux
  • Phoebe McClernon
  • Kylie Strom
  • Amy Turner
  • Marisa Viggiano
Options Exercised for 2022 (9)
  • Carrie Lawrence
  • Marta
  • Erin McLeod
  • Courtney Petersen
  • Toni Pressley
  • Erika Tymrak
  • Viviana Villacorta
  • Chelsee Washington
  • Brittany Wilson
Offered New Contracts for 2022 (6)
  • Kaylie Collins
  • Meggie Dougherty Howard
  • Taylor Kornieck
  • Jade Moore
  • Ali Riley
  • Parker Roberts
Options Declined for 2022 (1)
  • Konya Plummer
Out of Contract (1)
  • Crystal Thomas