The Orlando Pride announced this afternoon that Head Coach Marc Skinner has resigned effective immediately. Skinner had a 9-23-11 record in all competitions during his two-and-a-half year tenure.
The news follows reports yesterday that Skinner had agreed to terms with Manchester United to become the head coach of its women’s team. The 38-year-old will replace Casey Stoney, who left the club following the 2020-21 season and subsequently was hired as the head coach of San Diego’s new NWSL team.
“I am immensely proud to have been the head coach of Orlando Pride,” Skinner said through a club press release. “I want to thank the players, staff, and club for all of their efforts in creating a culture worthy of this city and state. To the fans, I thank you for being patient whilst we grew together. You will continue to drive this team to achieve the heights that you all deserve. I have no doubt that this club will go from strength to strength with the new ownership in place and the values that the team have worked hard to develop. Although I will be watching from afar, the iconic purple team will always remain close to my heart. For the final time, #VamosOrlando.”
It was also announced that assistant coach Carl Green has resigned. However, while Skinner’s departure is immediate, Green will coach the team as they take on OL Reign tomorrow night at Exploria Stadium.
Skinner and Green initially signed two-year contracts with the Pride. A third-year option was picked up last year, resulting in the expiration of their contracts following the 2021 NWSL season.
“I have tremendous gratitude and appreciation for the vision Marc and Carl brought to the Orlando Pride and I thank them for their commitment to the club and the players during their time in Orlando,” Pride Executive Vice President Amanda Duffy said. “Under Marc’s guidance, the Pride have become a better team and a better organization, with a foundation in place for the continuation of a winning culture. I wish both of them much success in their next opportunity.”
Skinner joined the Pride in 2019 after the club mutually parted ways with its first head coach, Tom Sermanni. His first year saw the Pride have its worst season to date, finishing last in the nine-team league (4-16-4, 16 points). He started rebuilding the club in 2020 in his vision, but the season was wiped out by the global pandemic. The Pride only played the four games of the Fall Series last year, drawing twice and losing twice.
The 2021 season started great for the team, though they have struggled in recent weeks as key starters have departed for the Olympics. Even with their recent results, the Pride currently sit fifth in the league (4-3-4, 16 points) and only three points behind the league-leading Portland Thorns.
Green’s departure along with Skinner isn’t surprising as the former is a long-time assistant, coming to Orlando with Skinner from Birmingham City in 2019. However, the club is retaining former Orlando City center back and current Pride assistant coach Seb Hines as well as long-time goalkeeping coach Lloyd Yaxley.
The club has now begun a “thorough and extensive search” for the next Pride head coach, led by Duffy. In the meantime, the club says that an interim head coach will be announced in the near future.