This past offseason, the Pride have made a number of experienced additions to the roster - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Emily Sonnett, New Zealand Women’s National Team captain Ali Riley and Canadian international Erin McLeod to name a few.
Their latest edition, English midfielder Jade Moore, fits the same mold.
Moore, 29, joins the Pride following over a decade of professional play in her home nation of England in the FA Women’s Super League. Since 2012, she has totaled 50 international caps for the English National Team, including two UEFA Women’s Euro selections and appeared at two FIFA Women’s World Cups, including the most recent edition in 2019 and England’s 2015 run to winning the bronze medal.
Having played in England the entirety of her professional career, her move to the Pride and the NWSL marks a turning point in her career in pursuit of a new and exciting challenge.
Discussions surrounding a move to Orlando began when Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner reached out at the back end of last year, having known Moore from her days at Birmingham City, his former club. Those discussions ultimately led to a visit to Orlando last month that included tours of the team’s two facilities, the Orlando Pride Training Ground and Exploria Stadium.
“The stadium is unbelievable, I think that was one of the biggest selling points for me coming off the back of that sort of weekend tour that I had,” Moore said of Exploria Stadium. “That was probably the bit that was a little bit of a wow factor that I really enjoyed and I’m very thankful that I got the opportunity to do that.
“For them to have their own training facility was another big tick. That’s been one of the biggest things I’ve seen in the women’s game in the UK is they’ve started to get their own facilities and it just helps to sell that appeal that teams have their own brand.”
Following the weekend visit, Moore knew that she could see herself thriving in this environment and Skinner knew the deal was sealed. From there, it was a matter of putting pen to paper and completing her journey to Orlando.
“There wasn’t a question about anything, she was just like ‘when can we make this happen?’ That’s a testament to Orlando, to the way that we’re continuing to develop it,” Skinner said of her visit. “It’s a real buzz and a real time to get excited because we can attract players like Jade because the Club has helped us to build a foundation and now it’s a springboard for us.”
On the pitch, Moore fits the mold of a controlling midfielder with Skinner holding her ability to read the game and to break the lines of the opposition in high regard. Coupled with her determination and never say die mentality, he coined her the complete midfielder for him.
“I’m definitely more of a defensive-minded player. I like the ugly parts of the game, I like to break up play, I like to tackle and win the ball and start attacks off deeper,” Moore said of her playing style. “That’s probably the easiest way to describe it, but I think if people were to describe me as a player they’d probably say a tough-tackling, dirty, horrible player to play against.”
The addition of Moore adds another piece to the culture that Skinner and his staff are trying to build at the Club - one that is characterized by the highest of standards and a lay it all on the line attitude from his players.
When speaking of his newest addition, Skinner acknowledged that she demands the best out of those around her on the pitch while holding herself to the same standard.
“Jade always shows that on the field she doesn’t want to lose, so her mentality coupled with her playing ability was big for us in bringing her here. One of the things we were looking to recruit to Orlando was that mentality, that winning mentality,” Skinner said. “For me she’s a real key piece and a key player in what we’re trying to do here in terms of changing the mentality of the Club into one that doesn’t accept defeat, it’s not okay to lose and they’re going to give absolutely everything.”
For Moore, the move signifies a new phase of her career, one where she wants to push herself outside of her comfort zone by coming to a new league that she considers to be the best in the world. For her new manager, it showcases just the kind of person she is and the value that her move to Orlando truly brings.
“I’m really excited about playing against different players and playing against the best players in the world, but also the experiences that come along with it,” Moore said of the change. “Just sort of testing myself with football that I’ve obviously played for so many years but in a completely different context.”
“I think what that shows to everybody in Orlando is that she’s not happy with just settling down in her career and finishing just doing the same things,” Skinner said.
“She wants to challenge herself, she wants to be here and help us be successful."