The Orlando Pride signed Kylie Strom to a two-year contract with one option year in July of 2021. On paper, Strom looked to be a good depth addition with two years of experience with Atletico Madrid and having played in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. The Endicott, NY native was not drafted in the 2014 NWSL Draft and played one season in Germany with FFC Frankfurt II, two seasons with the Boston Breakers, and had a two-year stint with Sparta Prague in the Czech Women’s league before joining Atleti.
All of that experience never coalesced for Strom with the Pride, though in her defense there have been five head coaches (mostly interim) for the club since she arrived. Let’s take a look back at the defender’s second season in Orlando.
In the 2022 Challenge Cup, Strom made five appearances with two starts for a total of 236 minutes. She did not record a goal or an assist, attempting one shot that was not on target. Strom completed 72 of her 99 passes for a 72.7% passing rate, and completed two of her five long passes with one key pass. She did not attempt any crosses. On defense, she made eight clearances, three interceptions, and won five of nine tackle attempts. She won only 11 of her 28 duels and one of four aerial duels. She also committed four fouls, suffered one, and earned two yellow cards.
In the 2022 regular season, Strom made 18 appearances with 14 starts for a total of 1,296 minutes. She scored one goal but did not record an assist on four shots, with two on target. She completed 491 of her 676 passes for a 72.6% passing rate, and completed 20 of her 63 long passes (31.7%). She was successful on two of her seven attempted crosses, and contributed seven key passes. On defense, she was successful on 18 of 35 tackles (51.4%), made 42 clearances, 36 interceptions, and five blocks. She won 101 of her 166 duels (60.8%) and 17 of 35 aerial duels (48.6%). She also suffered 30 fouls, committed eight fouls, and earned two yellow cards.
Strom’s best game came in the Orlando Pride’s 2-2 draw against Racing Louisville FC at the Daytona International Speedway. It was a gimmick location for the NWSL with the Florida team playing the Racing team, but when trying to grow the league and the audience, I think it is acceptable. Strom played 79 minutes and most importantly started the Pride’s comeback with her 59th-minute goal. It was her first career goal, her only one on the season, and it helped start the Pride’s seven-game unbeaten streak.
I’m picking this match because it also started a run of good form from Strom that coincided with the Pride’s better play. Interestingly, it was a revamped lineup without Gunny Jonsdottir on international duty and Courtney Petersen starting on the bench. As a result, Strom started on the back line with Celia, Megan Montefusco, and Toni Pressley. Strom played well defensively other than one turnover that led to a shot for Louisville. Fortunately, Erin McLeod easily handled the save.
2022 Final Grade
The Mane Land staff gave Strom a composite rating of 4.5 out of 10 for the 2022 season. She was not eligible to receive a grade from The Mane Land last season as she didn’t meet the requisite number of minutes, though I doubt her score would have been any higher had she earned one. Despite the run of good form displayed during the Pride’s seven-match unbeaten streak, overall Strom was a part of a defense that allowed the second-most goals in the NWSL, with 45, and garnered a -23 goal differential as a result. Strom would not have been a starting defender on most NWSL teams and it showed. Defensive mistakes, cheap turnovers, and inconsistent play earned her this grade.
Like most players on the Pride, I don’t doubt her heart, or willingness to give her all. It’s simply that the overall production on the pitch wasn’t good enough for a team that needs better play from all positions.
Strom was signed through 2022 with an option year for 2023. As such, if she is to stay with the Pride, her option will need to be picked up. Strom will be 31 years old by the time the next season starts. Whether she is back may depend on the new coach — once one is announced and arrives — though Seb Hines seemed to like her well enough. My gut tells me that the Pride will pick up her option for 2023, though her role will be as a depth player as the club continues to fill in positions of need with younger and better players.
Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)
- Kaylie Collins (10/11/22)
- Parker Roberts (10/13/22)
- Haley Bugeja (10/14/22)
- Anna Moorhouse (10/15/22)
- Thais Reiss (10/15/22)
- Marta (10/16/22)
- Chelsee Washington (10/18/22)
- Ally Watt (10/18/22)
- Haley Hanson (10/19/22)
- Jordyn Listro (10/20/22)
- Leah Pruitt (10/21/22)
- Carrie Lawrence (10/22/22)
- Erika Tymrak (10/23/22)
- Julie Doyle (10/24/22)
- Darian Jenkins (10/25/22)
- Viviana Villacorta (10/26/22)
- Toni Pressley (10/27/22)
- Celia (10/28//22)
- Kerry Abello (10/29/22)
- Mikayla Cluff (10/30/22)
- Meggie Dougherty Howard (10/31/22)
- Courtney Petersen (11/1/22)
- Gunny Jonsdottir (11/2/22)