ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2022) — The Orlando Pride has acquired defender Megan Montefusco (née Oyster), $30,000 in Allocation Money and OL Reign’s natural third-round pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft that was acquired by the Houston Dash in a previous trade. In exchange, the Dash have received midfielder Marisa Viggiano.
“Megan is a proven talent in this league and we are very happy to add a player of her quality to our backline. The stability that she brings, along with her natural affinity to be a modern ball-playing center back, are not coincidental to the past successes of the teams she's played for,” Orlando Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said. “As we continue to build a new Pride that can consistently challenge for honors in our league, we expect that Megan will be an important part of that path forward.”
“We’d also like to thank Marisa for being such an incredible part of our Club and community for the last three seasons,” Fleming added. “Beyond Marisa's unquestioned ability on the pitch, she is, more importantly, simply a wonderful person and I'm honored to have worked with her over the past year. I want to wish her a tremendous amount of luck and success in Houston, and I look forward to crossing paths many times in the future.”
Montefusco, a seven-year NWSL veteran, joins the Pride after two seasons with the Houston Dash where she totaled 32 appearances and one assist, leading the Dash to seven shutouts and the 2020 Challenge Cup title. Since being selected No. 13 overall by the Washington Spirit in the 2015 NWSL Draft, Montefusco has totaled 133 appearances, two goals and four assists across all competitions.
Since 2016 — when the statistics began being tracked — Montefusco has finished atop the league-leaders in a number of defensive categories, totalling 400 clearances (156 headed), 202 interceptions, and a 75.2% tackle success rate, all while contributing to 31 total clean sheets.
In addition to her play in the NWSL, Montefusco has also had multiple offseason stints in Australia with the Newcastle Jets.
The move to Orlando reunites her with Amanda Cromwell, who coached the defender at UCLA from 2011-14. In 2013, UCLA won the NCAA College Cup, with Montefusco providing the assist on the game-winning goal. In her final season, Montefusco and the Bruins defense held opponents to just a 0.245 goals against average, setting a school record with 19 shutouts and only six total goals against.
After being a member of the youth national team pool, Montefusco earned her first call-up to the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2017, making her senior debut on April 6, 2017 against Russia.
Viggiano, 25, was selected by the Pride in the fourth round of the 2019 NWSL Draft and would go on to be a key contributor in the midfield over her three seasons. A product of Northwestern University, Viggiano made 47 appearances over her tenure in Orlando, totaling four goals.
Orlando Pride acquire defender Megan Montefusco, $30,000 in Allocation Money and OL Reign’s natural third-round pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft from the Houston Dash in exchange for midfielder Marisa Viggiano.
Megan Montefusco (mon-teh-FOO-sco)
Born: Sept. 3, 1992 in Naperville, Ill.
Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
College: University of California, Los Angeles