ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2020) - Orlando City SC has added successful American soccer leader Amanda Duffy to its front office staff, named as the Executive Vice President of Orlando Pride, the Club announced today. After serving as the president of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), Duffy will depart her post at the league on February 15 and will begin with the Pride immediately thereafter.
As Executive Vice President, Duffy will head all operations related to the Orlando Pride - both front office and technical - and will report directly to Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão. As part of the Club’s increased investment in its NWSL operations, Duffy will also be responsible for hiring and overseeing additional staff members for the Pride.
“When we decided to invest in this position, we knew we wanted to bring in someone who not only has a strong understanding of the current landscape of women’s soccer but someone who has a proven record of building exciting, successful clubs and we couldn’t think of a more perfect fit than Amanda,” Leitão said. “We have been working closely with Amanda for years and have seen all that she has been able to accomplish, from her days in the USL and Louisville to her most recent time with the NWSL. We are so excited that she has chosen to come to Orlando and that she shares our vision of the potential of women’s soccer in this country and wants to be a part of building the future of the game as a member of the Pride.”
“I have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the leadership of Orlando City SC for more than a decade, and have watched its rapid growth trajectory into a global brand with admiration and respect,” Duffy said. “As this position came into the Club’s plans, and as I learned more about the broader goals of the collective organization, it was clear to me that the club is prepared to invest deeply in the women’s game, and in the Pride specifically. This investment, combined with the chance to work with Alex’s leadership, a world-class roster, and intensely passionate fans, made the decision to come to Orlando one of tremendous excitement and an immense honor.”
Duffy, 39, joined the NWSL in January of 2017 as the league’s managing director. After two years, the Jacksonville, N.C. native was promoted to president in January 2019. During her tenure with the league, Duffy helped guide the NWSL to its historic eighth season, with continued growth in attendance, engagement, and stability, as the league builds on its title as the longest running women’s professional league in the United States.
In 2017, Duffy was instrumental in establishing a groundbreaking partnership with A+E/Lifetime, which included a national television and streaming deal for matches as well as the establishment of NWSL Media. She was named one of AdWeek’s 35 Most Powerful Women in Sports that same year.
Following the success of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Duffy brought the NWSL to the ESPN family of networks, introduced Louisville City FC as a 2021 expansion club and helped secure a marquee, long-term league partnership with Budweiser, the first official beer partner of the NWSL. She also helped procure an extension with the league’s founding partner, Nike, through the 2022 season
After the 2019 season, Duffy received the 2019 Honorary All-America Award from United Soccer Coaches, which recognizes a person or persons who have brought particular distinction and/or attention to the sport of soccer through their efforts within and beyond the boundaries of the sport.
Before joining the NWSL, Duffy helped Louisville City FC become one of the most successful teams across North American soccer. Duffy was named Vice President of Operations in October 2014 but was quickly promoted to General Manager of the club just two months later. She served in that role for one year before earning another bump up the ranks, becoming the first female President in United Soccer League (USL) history in November 2015.
While under Duffy’s guidance, Louisville City - who took Orlando City’s spot in the USL after City was awarded the 21st Major League Soccer franchise - became one of the hottest tickets in American soccer, finishing top 25 in attendance across all North American leagues, including Major League Soccer.
A former professional player, Duffy began her front office career with the USL’s league office in 2007 as the League Operations Administrator and in 2008 was promoted to Director of Operations. After three years, Duffy became Senior Director, responsible for all operations of the W-League, USL’s women’s soccer developmental league that featured over 30 teams during her tenure.
Prior to her move to the front office, Duffy was a standout player at East Carolina University. In 2012 she became the first women’s soccer player to be inducted into the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame. Duffy finished her career with the Pirates as the school's all-time leader in points (83) and goals scored (33), and finished second in assists (17). The 2002 graduate was also a two-time first-team All-Conference USA selection.
Following graduation, Duffy played three seasons in the W-League - including a stint with the Central Florida Krush, which was based out of Orlando suburb Winter Park - and won the championship in 2003. Duffy also played one professional season in Sweden with Danmarks IF.
Duffy’s hiring signifies yet another commitment from the Club in the long-term growth and stability of both the Orlando Pride and women’s soccer as a whole. As announced earlier in the year, the team will train at a fully renovated and customized Sylvan Lake Park facility, becoming the first NWSL team to have their own exclusive training complex.
General Manager Erik Ustruck will remain with the Pride until Duffy’s start with Orlando, at which point he will transition back into a role with the Club’s men’s side.