Last October, the Orlando Pride made a trade with FC Kansas City as they obtained the player rights to Sarah Hagen. In this trade, the Pride also received Kansas City's second round pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft in exchange for the Pride's second selection in the 2017 NWSL College Draft. Today, the Pride announced their decision to waive Hagen just before the 2017 NWSL season begins next week.
As opening day quickly approaches, the Pride is coming down to it's final decisions as their roster is due this Monday. The decision to waive Hagen was based on the preseason performances that the team displayed.
Pride head coach Tom Sermanni commented on their decision:
"Making a move like this is never easy, and it was an incredibly difficult decision to part ways with Sarah. Sarah has been a consummate professional both on and off the field. We thank her for her commitment to the Pride and wish her the best of luck in her future, hopefully in the NWSL.”
During her 2016 NWSL season as she represented Orlando, Hagen clocked in 587 minutes of playing time where she managed to score two goals and made two assists.
Last May, she score her first goal of the season in a match against Seattle Reign, which was also the same day that she celebrated 11 years of being cancer free. The 27-year old was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 15. That day Hagen stated:
“[Cancer] made me a stronger person off and on the field. It's given me a perspective, definitely."
For this upcoming season the Pride has recruited many forwards such as Chioma Ubogagu from Houston Dash, Danica Evans from the University of Colorado who was the 22nd pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, Rachel Hill, and midfielder Nickolette Driesse, the 32nd pick of the College Draft. Although Alex Morgan is currently with Lyon, she is expected to return in July to resume her time with the Pride.
Since the Pride have a variety of forwards and players to include in their roster they decided to bring in new players, which minimized their numbers for their season roster. Hagen has greatly impacted the team in a positive light with her dedication to press on and has much to contribute to the NWSL.
The Orlando Pride will face the Portland Thorns on April 15th at 12:00pm for the 2017 season opener.