ORLANDO, Fla. – Alex Morgan is officially back on the Orlando Pride roster after five months away playing for the French Olympique Lyonnais, the Pride said Wednesday.
While Morgan played overseas, she remained as a U.S. Women's National team Federation player for the Pride but was not part of the 20-player roster.
Pride head coach Tom Sermanni said to make way for Morgan, the team has released forward Christina Burkenroad.
Sermanni said that the decision was made knowing that Burkenroad’s playing time would have been limited with Morgan’s return.
Burkenroad was drafted by the Pride in January 2016 from Cal State Fullerton. She played in eight games on the team.
“We’re sad to see Christina leave the Pride. She has been a dedicated professional and a wonderful contributor to our team, the Club and the community,” Sermanni said.
Before Morgan plays a match, she must be cleared for a hamstring injury, which is expected in two to three weeks, team officials said in a news release.
Morgan played 15 matches during the Orlando Pride's 2016 season and scored four goals and one assist.
“Alex is going to add another dimension of our attacking ability. I think we already have a great deal of mobility and attack, and, somebody like Alex coming back into the team will add to that further,” Sermanni said. “Obviously, bringing someone like Alex back gives everybody a boost the players, the team, the club and the supporters. So there’s a whole range of positives with Alex coming back into the fold.”
Morgan brings back her star power to the season along with her new Brazilian teammate and five-time FIFIA's Women's Player of the Year, Marta.
The Pride play at Orlando City Stadium Saturday against the Houston Dash at 3:30 p.m.