The 2018 version of the Orlando Pride roster was announced today as the team released their official roster for the upcoming National Women's Soccer League season.
The Pride officially have 21 players listed on their roster and will look cut one player within the next few weeks to bring that number to the official 20 signed player roster that teams are allowed to have this season.
Injury rules out Camila
One of Orlando's key players last season, Camila Martins Pereira or Camila is she's more commonly known, has been placed on the 45-day disabled list at the start of the season after suffering an ACL and MCL injury in September last year. The midfielder was impressive for Orlando and helped them make the NWSL Playoffs for the first time in their history. Her creativity and goals will be missed but as a way of making up for her absence, the Pride brought in Christine Nairn from Seattle Reign FC to plug into midfield.
Another new player to Orlando this season, Sydney Leroux, will be looked at to score goals for the team. The majority of Orlando's goals last season came from Alex Morgan and Marta so head coach Tom Sermanni will be looking to Leroux to be another source of goals for the team going forward.
Gomes fails to make the cut
The Orlando Pride only made one selection in the 2018 NWSL College Draft and that was 23rd overall pick Nadia Gomes. Gomes has seemingly not done enough to earn a spot on the official roster which means that Orlando will have no rookies listed on their roster when the season starts.
Instead, the team will look towards returning players such as Morgan, Marta and Chioma Ubogagu as well as newly signed players such as Nairn, Emily van Egmond or Shelina Zardosky to not only help them make the playoffs again but also make it to the 2019 NWSL Championship once the season ends. It's an interesting choice by Sermanni to stick with players he's familiar with and who are also veterans of the NWSL and the season will show if his choices were the right ones or if the team will falter.
Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris, Haley Kopmeyer.
Defenders: Poliana Barbosa Medeiros, Monica Hickmann Alves, Ali Krieger, Carson Pickett, Toni Pressley, Shelina Zadorsky.
Midfielders: Kristen Edmonds, Alanna Kennedy, Camila Martins Pereira, Christine Nairn, Emily van Egmond, Dani Weatherholt.
Forwards: Danica Evans, Rachel Hill, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Chioma Ubogagu, Marta Vieira da Silva.