Orlando’s entry to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) should be confirmed on Tuesday according to multiple sources. The NWSL waiver wire that was expected open last week has been postponed to October 21st, likely due to a pending October 20th announcement of the new Orlando team known as the Pride. This will come days before US Women’s National Team (USWNT) plays a friendly vs Brazil in Orlando.
Sources also indicate to us that each existing NWSL side will likely be able to protect TWO (2) USWNT core players in a potential expansion draft. Since most NWSL sides have more than two well-known USWNT players currently, several high profile figures such as Heather O’Reilly, Ali Krieger, Meghan Klingneberg and Sydney Leroux (her husband Dom Dwyer is a former Orlando City player and University of South Florida superstar) are likely to be unprotected thus able for Orlando to select.
Those unlikely to be available for Orlando include Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd, Amy Rodriguez, Julie Johnston and yes, Portland Thorns striker Alex Morgan. That leads us back to the discussion of a few weeks ago about what Orlando will need to give up in order to acquire Morgan. Orlando could be forced to part with several high-profile and useful players to force Portland to part with Morgan. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how the winter plays out and if and when a deal between Portland and Orlando for Morgan is reached.
This past week it was announced by the men’s third-division men’s league USL which Orlando City previously featured in before its move to MLS that the club will place a reserve team in that league. The USL entry for Orlando City will be latest among MLS teams that have elected to place a reserve side in the third-division. The USL entry raises the possibility that Orlando City B as they will be known could face off with one of the Florida NASL sides in the early rounds of the US Open Cup next season, in a round before MLS teams enter. That is assuming NASL does not gain a co-Division 1 status with MLS, something the league has indicated it is pursuing.
The Orlando City B side is likely to play its home games in Brevard County which long home to the PDL (fourth division) Cocoa Expos.