Orlando Pride

Newest Brazilian midfield signings have Orlando set up for success


Orlando de Janeiro.

That’s the nickname the Orlando Pride have been given after signing two more players from the Brazil women's national team to their 2024 roster.

Last week, the team signed midfielders Angelina and Luana, adding to the three Brazilian players the Pride already have on their roster in Rafaelle, Adriana and Marta. The moves are a continuation from the Pride technical staff to find players from all over the world that want to make the jump to NWSL, and it just so happens that many of them come from Brazil, having now brought in four of those five players in the past calendar year alone.

“We're targeting quality-level players who are interested in coming to the NWSL,” Pride General Manger Haley Carter told Orlando-Pride.com. “Right now there is a market to bring players from South America and with the South American background to the NWSL. Our job is to find high-quality footballers who want to be in Orlando, who want to be in the league and who want to win championships, and we're confident that with these signings of Angelina and Luana we've found that.”

Those two signings bring some fresh blood into a midfield that was somewhat inconsistent at times this past season. While players like Haley McCutcheon, Kerry Abello, Marta, to name a few, can and have played in multiple positions, adding versatility to the Pride's midfield depth, it was a point of emphasis heading into 2024 that the Pride not only raise their level in midfield with players that have the ability to connect the attack and defense but also make key signings for their style play.

“To be able to bring in two players of that quality and a player like Angelina, who has this seriously high ceiling, and then right after, to bring in Luana with her already established resume, is huge for us,” Carter said. “Bringing in that level of midfield was always going to be a target position for us, and we feel happy about the way things have worked out. But that doesn't mean that we're done. We’re continuing to work and look at options in the midfield, look at options that are going to help us in transition, especially from defense to attack.”

In having Angelina, who is only 24 years old and regularly starting for the Brazilian national team, mixing in with the veteran Luana, the signings continue a trend for Orlando to have young, up-and-coming talent paired with veteran players that have years of experience under their belt.

“That's been a consistent theme for us,” Carter said. “It's important that we're balancing experience with youth, and that will continue to be a recurring theme moving forward. Seb (Hines) and the staff are very good at developing and nurturing that young talent and giving them an opportunity to grow, and so we want to ensure that we're continuing to do that as well. Still, our ultimate goal is to win championships, so being able to partner young, developing players with experienced veteran players on the roster will be the key for us moving forward.”

The other key for the Pride will be the shape of the team. Adding in their two midfielders now, Orlando has brought in at least one player from every position on the Brazilian national team. With that spine of the team already having played games together internationally, it should bolster the chemistry of the team.

“That chemistry is incredibly important both for us and for them as well," Carter said. "We have our goal of winning and building a winning team, but this gives an opportunity for these athletes who are getting ready to go to the Olympics next year to be able to play together and build chemistry. The Brazilian women's national team isn't exactly upset about our signings either because we essentially have a starting piece from each line, having the ability to work together and build that chemistry, so from our standpoint, it’s a win-win.”