With the Pride’s depth of options defensively, including the return of Ali Riley from the Olympics, the loan presents an opportunity for Plummer to get more consistent minutes and continue her development.
We believe this opportunity with AIK will empower her to both show what she has to offer today, while growing into the player she has the ability to become,” Orlando Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said
AIK is an interesting landing spot. While the men’s side is a historic power in Sweden, the women’s team is consistently fighting relegation, currently sitting second to last in the Swedish top flight.
Plummer was the 10th overall pick in the 2020 NWSL draft after playing her college soccer locally at the University of Central Florida. The 24-year-old center back made seven appearances and played 305 minutes for the Pride across all competitions. She has seen action in only three regular-season matches in 2021 (no starts) and has played just 52 total minutes. She has no goals or assists and has attempted just 15 passes with a 66.7% success rate. She started the first two matches of the NWSL Challenge Cup for the Pride but has been used sparingly since then.
What It Means for Orlando
Plummer has slid down Orlando’s depth chart since the Challenge Cup this past spring. She played 180 minutes in those two starts but has struggled to get on the field since with more experienced options in front of her, including Ali Krieger and the addition of veteran Amy Turner, who signed with the club on June 25. Turner has quickly become a regular on the Pride back line, sharing the central defense with either Krieger or promising youngster Phoebe McClernon, who has been the team’s best defender at times in 2021. Toni Pressley also seems to be ahead of Plummer in the pecking order.
Plummer needs to gain experience and this loan will help her get some valuable minutes to work on her game. She wasn’t likely to get more than a few late-game substitution minutes the rest of the NWSL season with the Pride’s central defense depth chart. So, it shouldn’t hurt the Pride, while potentially helping Plummer a great deal. After all, McClernon and Taylor Kornieck were able to get minutes overseas in 2020 and both have said it has helped them adjust to the NWSL.
A good loan spell could help Plummer unlock the potential that has made her a regular for her national team. If she can find some consistency in her game, Plummer could be a valuable player for a team that likes to build from the back. She must work on her positioning, winning 1-v-1 battles in the box, and passing accuracy. Regular minutes will hopefully slow the game down for Plummer, which should also help her to make quicker and better decisions on playing out from the back.