NWSL expansion club San Diego Wave FC is expected to acquire U.S. women's national team star forward Alex Morgan in a trade with the Orlando Pride, according to The Athletic's Meg Linehan.
The move reportedly cannot be finalized until the league's trade window reopens on Dec. 17. It's currently unclear what Orlando will receive in return for the USWNT star. As a potential trade chip, San Diego does have the No. 1 pick in the NWSL college draft, which will take place on Dec. 18. The league's expansion draft takes place two days prior.
Wave FC, coached by former Manchester United manager Casey Stoney and guided in the front office by former USWNT manager Jill Ellis, will kick off their inaugural season in 2022, joining L.A.-based Angel City FC. The club began its roster construction by trading for USWNT center back Abby Dahlkemper and has since added star goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan in addition to defender Tegan McGrady and forwards Jodie Taylor, Katie Johnson, Makenzy Doniak and Kelsey Turnbow.
Morgan, a 32-year-old California native, would be the star attraction of the attack, though. She was traded to Orlando in 2015 after playing for the Portland Thorns. She scored five goals and added two assists in 13 appearances in 2021, though the Pride missed the playoffs. The club hired longtime UCLA coach Amanda Cromwell as its manager on Tuesday as it aims to move forward.
Morgan leaving for San Diego would continue a changing of the guard in terms of player personnel in Orlando, which sent goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and defender Ali Krieger to Gotham FC as part of a whirlwind of an NWSL offseason. USWNT star midfielders Julie Ertz (Chicago to Angel City) and Sam Mewis (North Carolina to Kansas City) have also been traded.
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