Marc Skinner’s departure from the Orlando Pride in July was abrupt. Then again, many coaching moves are, particularly for those already under contract and in the middle of a season.
Skinner’s move to Manchester United, however, seemed to happen particularly quick in the public eye. More so, it happened at a curious time in his tenure with Orlando. The Pride started the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League regular season on a seven-match unbeaten run, jumping to the top of the table in their hottest start in club history. The success was a 180 from the Orlando of old, a team which went 609 days between victories.
Skinner had endured plenty of those struggles in 2019, his first year in charge. This past offseason, however — in combination with new general manager Ian Fleming and executive vice president Amanda Duffy — he helped get the team on track. His departure halfway through what has strong odds of being the Pride’s best NWSL season to date felt like a project left incomplete.
This week, in his first formal media availability as Manchester United coach, Skinner said that part of the decision was family related — something current Thorns coach Mark Parsons also referenced as a reason for his impending move to become the head coach of the Netherlands. Skinner also lauded the ambitions of Manchester United, and the ability to compete for trophies.
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