Alex Morgan (middle), Kaylyn Kyle (left) and Sarah Hagen have been acquired by new NWSL team Orlando Pride.
ORLANDO — Alex Morgan is moving to the Sunshine State to lead the newly-formed NWSL team, Orlando Pride.
The Pride acquired Morgan as well as Canada international Kaylyn Kyle from Portland Thorns FC. The move to Florida will put Morgan in the same city and with the same organization as her husband, Servando Carrasco, who plays for Orlando City of MLS.
"This is where my journey is supposed to take me," Morgan said via the Pride’s Twitter account.
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Orlando Pride — which will be the 10th team in the NWSL — traded 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 to Portland.
The NWSL is entering its fourth season, making it the longest-lasting women’s professional soccer league in the U.S., and Orlando has proved itself a viable soccer city.
In their inaugural season, Orlando City set a MLS record for an expansion team with an average attendance of 32,847. In the U.S. women’s national team Victory Tour match against Brazil Sunday at the Citrus Bowl, pre-game ticket sales topped 31,000, while game-day sales pushed that number higher.
Pride spokesman Lenny Santiago said the organization sold 1,000 season tickets just hours after they went on sale Sunday. That equaled the pace at which Orlando’s MLS team sold season tickets, Santiago said.
"This city has embraced this sport," Morgan said.
Morgan, 26, however, is a critical piece for Orlando to have in place. She’s not only one of the best strikers in the world (50 goals in fewer than 100 caps for the U.S. women’s national team) but is also the most popular female soccer player in U.S., and beyond. She’s a marketing machine, teaming up for behemoth corporate deals with Nike and Coca-Cola, as well as other endorsements.