Friday, June 9, 2023

San Diego Wave finalizing trade for Alex Morgan as Orlando Pride continue to shake up roster before NWSL Draft

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United States women’s national team forward Alex Morgan could be leaving the Orlando Pride and heading back to her home state this offseason. Expansion club San Diego Wave FC and Orlando are working on reaching a trade agreement for the 32-year-old two-time World Cup winner, Meg Linehan of The Athletic reports. Both teams would have to wait until the NWSL Expansion Draft on Thursday, Dec. 16 to be completed and in order to make the trade official. Paramount+, CBS Sports HQ and CBS Sports Network will carry the NWSL Expansion Draft and the NWSL Draft (Dec. 18) on its platforms.

Several clubs have made trades with both the San Diego Wave and Angel City FC ahead of the expansion draft event for either full roster protection or partial roster protection from the two California expansion sides. 

Morgan is not the only significant player leaving Orlando this offseason. In an earlier deal, the franchise bid farewell to 2015 and 2019 World Cup champions Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris via trade with NJ/NY Gotham FC. In exchange Orlando received a 2022 NWSL Draft first-round selection, a 2023 NWSL Draft natural third-round pick and $50,000 in allocation money. 

The Pride are also reportedly interested in having longtime UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell fill their head-coaching vacancy, according to Jeff Kassouf of Equalizer Soccer. The Pride are one of several NWSL clubs on the hunt for a new head coach, though no official announcement has been made on the position.

Pending official paperwork, Morgan’s move to San Diego would mark her third time as a key player in an inaugural franchise. Morgan began her NWSL club career with Portland Thorns FC in 2013 before moving to Orlando in ahead of its expansion season in 2016.

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