ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Orlando is beginning its new era in the National Women’s Soccer League by acquiring one of the sport’s top players.
The expansion Orlando Pride announced Monday they traded for Portland Thorns and U.S. women’s national team star Alex Morgan. Morgan’s husband, Servando Carrasco, plays for Major League Soccer’s Orlando City.
In the deal with Portland the Pride also picks up Canadian Kaylyn Kyle, in exchange for Orlando’s first selection in the expansion draft, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 college draft, and one international roster spot in 2016 and 2017.
In a separate deal with FC Kansas City, Orlando acquired the rights to Sarah Hagen. The Pride also receives Kansas City’s second-round selection in the 2016 college draft, in exchange for Orlando’s second-round 2017 college draft pick.
Morgan, who was a member of U.S. national team this summer when it won the World Cup this past summer, received some of the loudest ovations Sunday during the national’s teams exhibition win over Brazil in a game played at the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium.
“Bringing a women’s team here, it’s so special for me to be able to have a place called home for myself and my husband,” Morgan said Monday. “It’s special to be one of the first female footballers to represent this club…This city has embraced this sport, embraced this club and I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
Orlando City and Orlando Pride president Phil Rawlins said the player acquisitions on Monday will give the Pride a solid foundation heading into the expansion draft.
“Signing three players with the caliber of Alex, Kaylyn and Sarah, clearly demonstrates the club’s intention to be successful from the very start,” he said.
The 26-year-old Morgan is easily one of the most recognizable names in women’s soccer today.
In two seasons with the Thorns, Morgan has scored seven goals in 18 games.