Orlando continues to build buzz in the soccer community, this time it’s the Orlando Pride and their announcement of their three big-time acquisitions, Canadian National Kaylyn Kyle, FC Kansas City’s Sarah Hagen, and USWNT Star Alex Morgan.
In exchange for Morgan and Kyle, the Pride traded to Portland Thorns FC the rights to their first Expansion Draft selection, the first-round selection (No. 1 overall) in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, and one international roster spot for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
In a separate transaction with FC Kansas City, Orlando acquired the rights to Sarah Hagen. The Pride also received FC Kansas City’s second-round selection (No. 15 overall) in the 2016 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Orlando’s second-round selection in the 2017 NWSL College Draft.
Kaylyn Kyle joins the Pride from Thorns FC with a plethora of experience, both at the club and international levels.
Since earning her first cap with the Canadian Women’s National Team in 2008, Kyle has gone on to play over 100 games for her native country, scoring six goals as a midfielder. Kyle, 27, helped guide her home country to an appearance in the quarterfinals in this year’s FIFA World Cup.
At the Club level, Kyle has made over 70 appearances for teams such as Vancouver Whitecaps Women, Seattle Reign FC, Boston Breakers and Houston Dash.
Forward Sarah Hagen, 25, signed with Orlando Pride after spending the past two seasons with FC Kansas City. In 26 games played with FC Kansas, Hagen scored eight goals. Prior to joining the American side, Hagen played over 50 games for German Bundesliga side FC Bayern Munich women’s team, scoring 38 goals in two seasons.
Hagen’s honors include a German Cup title (2012) and an NWSL Championship (2014). The striker has also earned two caps for the USWNT, making her debut during the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal.
“Kaylyn Kyle and Sarah Hagen bring additional international experience and a championship pedigree to Orlando,” McDonough continued. “Kaylyn is a tough tackling midfielder with extensive league experience. Sarah has a strong track record of scoring goals both domestically and abroad. We expect Sarah and Alex will form a potentially lethal partnership on the attack. These three signings bring world class talent to the squad and we look forward to adding other exciting players in the upcoming Expansion and College Drafts.”
The trade provides a strong foundation for the Orlando Pride roster that is currently being built heading into the team’s opening campaign.
One of the most recognizable names and lethal finishers in women’s soccer worldwide, Morgan, 26, has scored over 50 goals in 95 appearances with the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) – playing a key role in the team’s FIFA World Cup title this summer.
“Alex Morgan is a dynamic, prolific striker in the global women’s game, with all of the qualities that we look for in a star player,” said Orlando City General Manager Paul McDonough. “. Her career and accomplishments in the game speak for themselves. She will instantly raise the profile of the Orlando Pride, and help develop an attacking style of play for the team.
In 2012, Morgan joined legendary USWNT striker Mia Hamm as the only two American women to record 20 goals and 20 assists in the same calendar year, notching 28 goals and 21 assists. As a result, Morgan was named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year and was also a FIFA World Player of the Year finalist.
Since beginning her professional career in 2008, the San Dimas, Calif., native has scored 35 goals in 60 games. After signing with Thorns FC in 2013, the forward has continued her prolific strike rate, producing 15 finishes in 36 games played.
“Today marks a significant milestone in building a successful professional women’s Club here in Orlando,” said Orlando City Founder and President Phil Rawlins. “Signing three players with the caliber of Alex, Kaylyn and Sarah, clearly demonstrates the Club’s intention to be successful from the very start. I’d like to welcome all three players to the City Beautiful, and I look forward to seeing them and the rest of the Pride on the pitch next season.”