NWSL: Amanda Cromwell leaves UCLA to take Orlando's helm

Amanda Cromwell, who during her first season at the UCLA helm in 2013 guided the Bruins to their first national title, has been named head coach of the NWSL's Orlando Pride. The club played the last three months of the 2021 season under interim coach Becky Burleigh, after Marc Skinner resigned to become Manchester United coach, and finished eighth in the 10-team standings.

Skinner compiled a 9-23-11 record in all competitions during his two and a half years with Orlando. The Pride was last in the NWSL in 2019 and was unable play in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup because of Covid-19 issues. Since joining the NWSL for the 2016 season, Orlando has reached the NWSL playoffs only once, in 2017.

"The NWSL is a natural transition for me at this point in my career and I am excited to return to the Central Florida soccer community," said Cromwell, who was head coach of the University of Central Florida for 14 seasons before her nine seasons at UCLA that included a runner-up finish to Stanford in 2017 and a semifinal appearance in 2019 in addition to the 2013 win with a team that included future world champions Sam Mewis and Abby Dahlkemper.

Along with Burleigh (Florida, 1998) and Erica Dambach, née Walsh (Penn State, 2015), Cromwell is one of three women to have led a team to a NCAA Division I women's soccer title.

“After a comprehensive search process, Amanda’s tremendous accomplishments and experience as a head coach for one of the most respected women's college soccer programs in the country stood out," said Mark Wilf, owner and chairman of the Pride. "We are fortunate to be able to bring Amanda’s track record of success in developing national, professional, and collegiate standouts, and her commitment and passion for the game of women's soccer to our Club. We are confident Amanda will be a terrific leader for the Pride moving forward."

The appointment of Cromwell, who is divesting her investment stake in expansion Angel City FC, leaves four NWSL vacancies and marks the third hiring since the end of the 2021 season.

NWSL: Head coaches (seniority)
1. Houston James Clarkson (Dec. 11, 2018)
2. San Diego Casey Stoney (July 14, 2021)
3. OL Reign Laura Harvey (July 15, 2021)
4. Angel City FC Freya Coombe (Aug. 23, 2021)
5. Gotham FC Scott Parkinson (Aug. 31, 2021)
6. Portland Rhian Wilkinson (Nov. 29, 2021)
7. NC Courage Sean Nahas (Dec. 1, 2021)
8. Orlando Amanda Cromwell (Dec. 7, 2021)
- Washington TBD (2021 coach: Richie Burke, departed Aug. 11, 2021)
- Racing Louisville TBD (2021 coach: Christy Holly, departed Aug. 31, 2021)
- Kansas City TBD (2021 coach: Huw Williams, departed Nov. 17, 2021)
- Chicago TBD (2021 coach: Rory Dames, departed Nov. 21, 2021)

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