The Orlando Pride announced their decisions and status of all rostered players following the 2022 NWSL season. The Pride currently have 12 players under contract for the 2023 NWSL season. They exercised options on three players and offered new contracts to five. Three players weren’t offered new contracts, sending them to the waiver wire, and four are eligible for free agency.
The players currently under contract for next season include forwards Haley Bugeja, Darian Jenkins, Leah Pruitt, and Ally Watt; midfielder Mikayla Cluff; defenders Kerry Abello, Caitlin Cosme, Haley Hanson, and Megan Montefusco; and goalkeepers Kaylie Collins, Erin McLeod, and Anna Moorhouse.
The club also exercised options on forward Julie Doyle, midfielder Gunny Jonsdottir, and defender Kylie Strom, keeping the three players in purple next season.
The Pride have offered new contracts to five players who are out of contract following the 2022 season, including midfielders Jordyn Listro and Viviana Villacorta and defenders Celia, Carrie Lawrence, and Courtney Petersen. Midfielders Thais Reiss, Parker Roberts, and Chelsee Washington will enter the waiver wire as the club has decided not to bring them back. While Parker was waived by the club, Reiss and Washington are out of contract and the club didn’t offer them new deals.
The NWSL has recently opened the path to free agency for qualifying veterans and four Pride players will experience it for the first time. Meggie Dougherty Howard, Toni Pressley, Erika Tymrak, and Marta are all free agents and the club is currently in discussions with all four players about returning in 2023.
What It Means for Orlando
There weren’t any big surprises in the club’s postseason roster decisions this year. The Pride recently re-signed Hanson and Watt — the latter just earlier today — to new contracts, ensuring their return next season. Most of the players you’d expect to be back are already under contract.
All of the three players whose options were exercised were also expected to be back. Doyle is a young striker with a lot of promise, Jonsdottir is the club captain, and Head Coach Seb Hines has spoken glowingly multiple times about the play of Strom.
It’s also not a surprise who is not returning. Reiss, Roberts, and Washington played sparingly in 2022, with Roberts and Washington making one appearance each off the bench in the regular season. Reiss made five appearances and two starts but didn’t impress enough that a new contract was warranted.
Despite the Pride having a new front office staff, the rebuilding project will continue in 2023. Former general manager Ian Fleming told The Mane Land that new chairman Mark Wilf was aware of the rebuild project prior to buying the club and was on board with the idea. The team still has some excellent young talent that should improve with more time on the field.
Post-2022 Orlando Pride Roster Status
(Current club players in italics)
Kerry Abello - Under Contract
Haley Bugeja - Under Contract
Mikayla Cluff - Under Contract
Kaylie Collins - Under Contract
Caitlin Cosme - Under Contract
Meggie Dougherty Howard - Out of Contract
Julie Doyle - Option Exercised
Haley Hanson - Under Contract
Darian Jenkins - Under Contract
Celia - New Contract Extended
Gunny Jonsdottir - Option Exercised
Carrie Lawrence - New Contract Extended
Jordyn Listro - New Contract Extended
Erin McLeod - Under Contract
Megan Montefusco - Under Contract
Anna Moorhouse - Under Contract
Courtney Petersen - New Contract Extended
Toni Pressley - Out of Contract
Leah Pruitt - Under Contract
Thais Reiss - Rights Waived
Parker Roberts - Waived
Kylie Strom - Option Exercised
Erika Tymrak - Out of Contract
Marta - Out of Contract
Viviana Villacorta - New Contract Extended
Chelsee Washington - Rights Waived
Ally Watt - Under Contract