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Centerback Monica announces she’s leaving Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride centerback Monica kicks at goal during the Seattle Reign at Orlando Pride NWSL game at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

Brazilian centerback Monica announced via Instagram post Monday she’s leaving the Orlando Pride. 

A club spokeswoman confirmed Monica was out of contract with the Pride and was free to sign with a new club. The new club isn’t an NWSL side. If Monica were to sign with an NWSL club, the Pride would either need to trade her or waive her NWSL rights. 

The Pride extended a new contract offer to Monica — and six other players — in October, though that wasn’t a guarantee the centerback would return to the club. The Pride exercised options on all of last seasons players who had options available and extended new contract offers to players without options. 

“When I came here, the love was instant, from people who did not even know me at the time,” Monica wrote in her post. “I lived some of the best moments of my life here, in Orlando. Here, I was treated as a professional and received from you all daily support and love that I could have never dreamed of.

“However, unfortunately, this year I will not be part of the purple warriors on the field, but I am very happy for all those years I spent here.”

View this post on Instagram

It took me a little while to write this to you all because I did not know how to say bye to my purple family. When I came here, the love was instant, from people who did not even know me at the time. I lived some of the best moments of my life here, in Orlando. Here, I was treated as a professional and received from you all daily support and love that I could have never dreamed of. However, unfortunately, this year I will not be part of the purple warriors on the field but I am very happy for all those years I spent here. I am very grateful to all of you who in a certain way helped me and followed me during this time… friends, family and you, my beloved fans, thank you! I hope to come back soon, our journey did not come to an end yet. valeu @obsplayers 👊🏽✅mais uma etapa concluída… #obsplayer #purple #thecrow #pridescrown #ourcityourpride #orlando #futfem #womensoccer #dreams #grateful #gratidao🙏

A post shared by Monica Hickmann Alves (@monicahickmann) on

Monica played in 17 games (15 starts) for the Pride last season. She’s the second player who has left the club after last season. The Pride announced Brazilian defender Poliana was waived in January. The club announced the hire of coach Marc Skinner on Jan. 14 and new Pride GM Erik Ustruck on Jan. 7. 

NWSL preseason training begins March 4. 

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