Orlando Pride set to make major announcement, possibly about Alex Morgan

On Monday afternoon, the Orlando Pride will hold a press conference to make a team announcement. The press conference will be held at the Abbey, located downtown Orlando, at 2:00pm.

It is speculated that the announcement will be about USWNT star forward Alex Morgan, who is rumored to be headed to Orlando. Morgan has told her current NWSL team, Portland Thorns, that she wishes to join Orlando so that she could be with her husband, Servando Carrasco. Below are the details of the trade:

Orlando Pride Receives:

  • Alex Morgan
  • Canadian national team member Kaylan Kyle

Portland Thorns Receives:

  • First pick in NWSL draft
  • Two international slots
  • USWNT member Meghan Klingenberg
  • Lindsay Horan

On Sunday, Morgan was in Orlando when the USWNT defeated Brazil 3-1, in front of a record crowd in the Florida Citrus Bowl. Of course it was Morgan who scored the opening goal and put USA up top.

After the game, Morgan did not say whether or not she knew what the press conference was about, nor did she confirm or deny that she is heading for Central Florida:

“Right now, I do call Orlando home. So it’s definitely understandable for my coach to see this city as my home,” Morgan said. “Nothing is confirmed right now. So I can’t really speak on that. My agent is dealing with all of those negotiations.”

So what does this trade mean for Orlando?

From a soccer stand point the trade is poor. Trading away the foundation of a team for one player is not how you build a team. Alex Morgan is one of the best women’s soccer players in the world, and at only 26 years old, she is still getting better, but she is still just one player. Also, she has stated that she wants to come to Orlando because of her husband, but what happens when Carrasco leaves? There is no guarantee that Carrasco will be staying at Orlando City next season, especially with Harrison Heath, Estrela, Darwin Ceren, and Cristian Higuita all natural holding midfielders, the same position as Carrasco.

Possibly the worst part of the trade, though, is that Morgan has a history with injuries. This, combined with international play, led her to have only one goal and two assists in only four appearances. Portland is asking for Orlando to trade everything, and Orlando Pride is giving in. Orlando should have tried to get the trade down to Morgan for Klingenberg and a draft pick.

However, the trade is not as bad as many believe though. What Morgan will bring Orlando Pride will be the same effect that Kaka brought to Orlando City. She will be a marketing landmine. Morgan will create record crowds not just in Orlando, but also to the opposition teams as well. A new team without any superstars is bound to fail, merely because fans will not be interested in the team. By adding Alex Morgan as the center piece, you immediately create a team that soccer fans want to go see.

Perhaps the main reason why this trade happened is because without Morgan, Orlando might have had to wait until 2017 to launch their NWSL team without Morgan. If this is true, then the trade seems like a no brainier, but still Orlando Pride is giving up too much.

Whether or not the press conference will be about Alex Morgan or not awaits to be seen, but it can be expected that there will be some major news in Central Florida this afternoon.