ORLANDO, Fla. (October 27, 2016) - With the team’s first year under its belt, four Orlando Pride players will head to overseas clubs as they continue to prepare for the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. Australian international Laura Alleway and Brazilian Monica have been loaned to clubs in Australia’s Westfield W-League, while defender Steph Catley and midfielder Maddy Evans have both signed with W-League sides.
The four players join forward Jasmyne Spencer, who signed with W-League side Canberra United on Oct. 18.
The Australian defensive duo of Catley and Alleway will return to Melbourne City FC, where the pair will look to lead the second-year club to back-to-back W-League Championships. Both players were integral to City’s 2015-16 title run, going undefeated during the side’s expansion season.
Catley, 22, made history on April 17 when she scored Orlando Pride’s first-ever goal. The left back started and played the full 90 minutes in 11 matches before joining Australia for the Olympics. However, a foot injury during that tournament shortened her Pride season. Alleway, 26, also a member of Australia’s Olympic backline, started in nine of her 11 Pride appearances for 781 minutes.
Brazilian defender Monica will also be spending her offseason in Australia, joining Adelaide United. During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Monica helped lead host Brazil to the bronze medal match. An established international player, Monica played in 16 matches for Orlando, starting all but one.
Evans, 25, will play her first season overseas after four years in the NWSL, signing with two-time W-League champion Brisbane Roar FC. Evans was selected with the No. 9 pick in the 2015 NWSL Expansion Draft and featured in 16 matches during the Pride’s inaugural season, 12 of them starts.
Orlando has exercised its option on both Alleway and Monica, while the Club is currently in contract negotiations with Catley and Evans for the upcoming NWSL season. Players will be available to rejoin the Pride at the start of the 2017 season.
In 2017 Orlando Pride will begin play in the Club’s new, state-of-the-art, soccer-specific venue that will also serve as the home of the Lions of Major League Soccer. 2017 season tickets are currently on sale, with current season ticket members able to secure their seats until Nov. 1.