The Orlando Pride finished their season on Saturday night against FC Kansas City and said goodbye to one of the veterans of women’s soccer, Becky Edwards. This match marked the end to Edwards’ final season in the NWSL and after the match, the team reflected on what she has given to the club, to her teammates, and to her sport.
“She’s played a significant part in the startup of this club. She’s one of those players that is the gel, the chemistry, and the glue that keeps a team together… She supports her teammates, she’s a great professional, she turns up everyday,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said after the match. “She’ll be missed for that next year.”
“It hasn’t really hit me yet that it is my last game,” Edwards said. “But it was special to have my family here, to have my boyfriend here, to have his family here, it was special for me. For me, it feels like the right time to walk away.”
Edwards retires from professional soccer after a decade of appearances across both the national team and the various professional leagues in the United States and Sweden. “It’s been my whole life since I was four years old,” Edwards said. “But it’s time.”
Edwards played in the Women’s Professional Soccer League for two years before the league folded in 2011. She then spent a year playing in Sweden before coming back to the United States and the NWSL. She’s played for Western New York, Portland, and Orlando in the four years of the NWSL, and now she’s ready to play a different role in the game.
“I’m looking forward to following the girls next season and seeing the success that they’ll have,” Edwards said. “This city is incredible, they play for this city with the passion that they play with… I’m grateful to have played with them.”
Alex Morgan, who played with Edwards in every one of her club teams, gave an emotional goodbye to the women’s soccer veteran. “My first professional team, Western New York Flash, Becky was the captain of that team and she was only maybe 24-years-old and that just shows the professionalism that she carries around and that she can lead no matter if she’s given the captain’s armband or not,” Morgan said. “And this year she wasn’t named captain but in a lot of ways she was a huge leader and a huge influence to this team and a lot of people looked up to her so it was only right for her to carry the captain’s armband tonight and we’re just really, really gonna miss her.”
“I think she just kind of said congratulations,” Edwards said, speaking of the moment when she was substituted off and gave the captain’s armband to Morgan. “To see Alex grow from an 18-year-old on the U-20s national team to a 27-year-old on this team is incredible. The ambassador that she is to women’s soccer is incredible, the role model that she is… it’s been really cool to see her grow not only as a player but for women’s soccer. She’s really put it on the map.”
Morgan will look forward to leading her team into the next season. Edwards will move forward into the next stage of her life, but she will always find time to cheer on her Orlando Pride.
“This place is incredible,” Edwards said. “And I’m grateful to have played here.