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NWSL: Orlando Pride, FC Kansas re-sign players

The Orlando Pride announced on Tuesday that they re-signed two players and waived a third.

The Pride announced that defender Steph Catley and forward Jamia Fields received new contracts. However, forward Lisa De Vanna was released by the team.

Catley, 23, started her club career in 2009 in her native Melbourne, Australia. She signed with Melbourne Victory FC and remained with the club until 2015, making 65 appearances and scoring seven goals. However, for one season in 2014-15, she spent time with the Portland Thorns, where she made 17 appearances. The next season, in 2015-16, she went on loan to Melbourne City FC, where she made 13 appearances.

Last season for the Pride, Catley made 11 appearances. In addition, Catley has represented Australia’s Women’s National Team since 2012, making 56 appearances and scoring two goals.

Fields, 23, started her career in the NWSL, signing with the former Western New York Flash in 2015. She made 10 appearances, scoring one goal, before signing with the Pride. In 2016, she made only one appearance.

In college, Fields made 103 appearances, scoring 14 goals, for the Florida State Seminoles.

“Jamia and Steph were both valuable assets to our team last season so we’re thrilled to bring them back,” Pride General Manager Niki Budalic said. “Jamia provided a spark for us off the bench with her speed and tenacity. And with Steph, there’s no question she is among the best left backs in the world on both ends of the field. With our returning players plus the acquisitions we’ve made this offseason, I’m really excited with how our back line is shaping up.”

“I’d like to thank Lisa for her contribution during her short time at the Club. Despite the fact that she was only here for a brief time, she made a big impact with our team and with the fans,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “She is a very special player and we hope to see her back in the league in the future.”

FC Kansas City re-signs Groom

Heading to the Midwest region of the United States, FC Kansas City announced that Shea Groom would return to the team.

Groom, 24, started her professional career with FC Kansas City, as she was their 12th overall pick in the 2015 NWSL College Draft. The forward has made 32 appearances for FC Kansas City, scoring 12 goals.

“I’m very happy to have Shea back this year,” said head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “I think she did an excellent job last season and I’m excited about coaching her this season and into the future.”

“I’m extremely excited to continue my career in Kansas City for a third season,” said Groom. “It’s home and there’s no other place in the league I’d rather be.”

 

Photo of Steph Catley courtesy of the NWSL.

Follow me on Twitter, @TheeMcKriger, for all NWSL coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Sports Journalist
Rachael McKriger writes for Pittsburgh Sporting News, RSEN Report (Lead Editor), Pittsburgh Sports Castle and Politically Incorrect Sports Talk, in addition to being a copy editor at the Herald Standard newspaper. McKriger also has a freelance photography business called "McKriger Photography."
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