Orlando Pride were granted an extra international roster spot for the 2016 and 2017 National Women’s Soccer League seasons, The Equalizer confirmed with the league.
Orlando Pride, owned by the same group which owns Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC, will be the NWSL’s 10th franchise, will begin play in 2016. As part of their entry into the league, the Pride received an extra international spot, meaning they initially had five international roster spots for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
But the Pride now have four international roster spots after trading one of them — for both the 2016 and 2017 seasons — away to Portland Thorns FC as part of the trade which brought superstar U.S. international Alex Morgan to Orlando.
Four international spots for each team in 2016 is also a change from the original plan. As published on the NWSL site at the beginning of the year, the original plan was for three international roster spots in 2016. The rules are still posted on the league’s site:
Each Team has four (4) international Roster spots for the 2015 season, which will revert back to three (3) international Roster spots at the conclusion of the 2015 season. These international Roster spots may be traded with the only condition being time (spots can be traded for one year, two years or forever). With trades, there is no limit on the number of international Roster spots a Team may have. Any Player who does not qualify as a domestic Player in the U.S. shall be considered an international Player. Any international Player must occupy an international Roster spot on a Team’s Roster (with the exception of Canadian or Mexican Allocated Players).”
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