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Haley Carter’s task? To finally make Orlando a destination in the NWSL

The Pride have long struggled on and off the field. In her first interview, the team’s new VP of soccer ops & general manager tells EQZ how she plans to change that.

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There is no hiding from it: establishing consistency is a baseline need for the Orlando Pride on and off the field.

It is the fifth straight National Women’s Soccer League offseason in which the team is in the middle of some sort of larger scale rebuild, from abrupt coaching exits to major player turnover and a recent ownership change.

A big part of Haley Carter’s task is to establish stability. Carter was introduced on Monday as the team’s new vice president of soccer operations and general manager.

“For players and athletes and staff members who have been through a lot of churn,” she told The Equalizer. “Orlando has really been a history of churn if you look at it, between ownership changes, front-office changes, coaching changes; it’s been difficult to establish consistency. So, consistency, and clear and transparent communication, have been two priorities for us as we get prepared for the kickoff of preseason.”

Carter’s background directly addresses areas where the Pride have struggled historically. She is a former goalkeeper who spent three years with the Houston Dash. She has coached, including as an assistant for the Afghanistan women’s national team. She also has a law degree and spent nearly eight years serving in the Marines after attending the U.S. Naval Academy.

For most of the past 17 years, soccer — even at the professional level — was her passion project. All the other stuff paid the bills for her family.

The ongoing reckoning within the NWSL, however, called to Carter personally. She is perhaps best known as a fierce advocate for women’s players and coaches. In 2021, Carter played a major role in evacuating over 100 people from Kabul, Afghanistan — including players she coached and their family members — to escape the Taliban takeover.

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