The Orlando Pride announced that they have signed two new players to play the remainder of the season, as the Pride tries to clinch a spot in the playoffs. The two recent signees are midfielders, Jocelyn “Jo” Blakenship and Jordan O’Brien, pending O’Brien’s International Transfer Certificate. This signing is ahead of the Roster Freeze for 2017, which is on August 29th, the same day] the signings took place. The Roster Freeze prohibits team's from waiving players beyond a certain point in the season. No players were waived from the Pride in attempts to make room for the new signees. Both players have been training players for the Pride since the middle of the 2016 NWSL season.
Blankenship is a graduate of Loyola Marymount, she led her team to their first ever NCAA Tournament win in 2014. During Blakenship’s collegiate career from 2012-2015, she scored 14 goals and registered 22 assists. Before joining the Pride’s expansion team in July of 2016, Blakenship spent the 2016 preseason with the NWSL’s Boston Breakers.
O'Brien graduated Tulsa University in 2014, where she tallied 8 goals and 19 assists. O'Brien has spent time playing overseas, playing with KR Reykjavik in Iceland and QBIK of Sweden. Both new signees received numerous national recognitions while playing at the collegiate level.
Orlando Pride head coach, Tom Sermanni, had this to say about the recent signees “We’re really happy to reward Jo and Jordan after they’ve both been training in our environment for the past two seasons. They both have great attitudes and have been great additions to the team at training. They are both very technical, talented players and I’m really delighted to be able to put them on contract and join us in our playoff push.”
Blakenship and O’Brien join the Pride as they continue to chase the playoffs. They currently hold the fourth and final playoff spot.