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Former NWSL president Amanda Duffy takes top post leading Orlando Pride

The former president will take on a new role with the Pride after a long-standing relationship with the club.

Amanda Duffy during the NWSL Championship Media Day prior to the NWSL Championship match between the North Carolina Courage and the Portland Thorns FC at Orlando City Stadium.

After stepping down from her previous post as the president of the NWSL, Amanda Duffy has been hired as the new executive vice president of the Orlando Pride. 

The role of president is a new form of leadership for the Pride, and it will return Duffy to a leadership team that she has been working with since her early days in club administration.

Duffy will take charge of the front office and technical operations of the Pride’s front office, reporting directly to Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão. She will also take on the duties of hiring and overseeing all members the Pride staff.

“When we decided to invest in this position, we knew we wanted to bring in someone who not only has a strong understanding of the current landscape of women’s soccer but someone who has a proven record of building exciting, successful clubs and we couldn’t think of a more perfect fit than Amanda,” Leitão said. “We have been working closely with Amanda for years and have seen all that she has been able to accomplish, from her days in the USL and Louisville to her most recent time with the NWSL. We are so excited that she has chosen to come to Orlando and that she shares our vision of the potential of women’s soccer in this country and wants to be a part of building the future of the game as a member of the Pride.”

After working in the NWSL administration for two years, Duffy became the league’s president in January 2019. During her year-long tenure, the league inked a sponsorship deal with Budweiser and a broadcasting deal with ESPN, added an expansion franchise in Louisville and increased attendance by almost 25%.

The NWSL Players Association released a statement on social media thanking Duffy for her time as league president.

The message read, “The NWSL Players would like to thank Amanda for all of her work and wish her luck in Orlando — we now look forward to 2020 and building on all the progress that has been made.”
 

Duffy comes to Orlando with previous ties to the Orlando City organization — she was the president of Louisville City when the team was Orlando City’s USL affiliate, and she has been mentored by Orlando City co-founder Phil Rawlins; Beswicks Sports director and Orlando City board member Gary Mellor; and former Orlando City vice president of development Tim Holt.

“I have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the leadership of Orlando City SC for more than a decade and have watched its rapid growth trajectory into a global brand with admiration and respect,” Duffy said. “As this position came into the club’s plans, and as I learned more about the broader goals of the collective organization, it was clear to me that the club is prepared to invest deeply in the women’s game, and in the Pride specifically. This investment, combined with the chance to work with Alex’s leadership, a world-class roster, and intensely passionate fans, made the decision to come to Orlando one of tremendous excitement and an immense honor.”

During her time in Louisville, Duffy was successful in rallying support for the club, which set attendance records during her year as president. Under Duffy, Louisville finished in the top 25 franchises in attendance across all North American leagues including MLS. This will be a focus as the new president settles into her role. Although the team saw a boost of 1,000 fans on average from 2018 due to the World Cup, overall Pride attendance has dwindled by 38 percent since the team came to Orlando in 2016.

She will start her role in the front office on February 15. Pride general manager Erik Ustruck will continue in his current position until Duffy’s start date, and he will then return to a position with Orlando City.

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