ORLANDO, Fla. — The Pride signed defender Julie King, looking to add depth to the team’s backline as it enters the final stretch of the season. A veteran in the NWSL, King will join the team immediately and could see the pitch with the team as early as Saturday’s match against the Houston Dash.
“We are excited to have Julie join us, as she is both an experienced player and knows the NWSL very well,” Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said. “Not only does her addition add some needed depth to our backline, but Julie’s personality and leadership fits perfectly into the culture we are looking to build here in Orlando. We are very happy to have her as a member of the club.”
King is a five-year veteran of the NWSL, most recently playing for the North Carolina Courage. The defender had previously spent seven years in Boston, first signing when the Breakers were part of the WPSL, then making the leap to the NWSL with the club. She tallied 95 appearances for Boston, surpassing U.S. national team star Kristine Lilly as the team’s all-time leader in appearances.
The defender remained with the club until it folded in 2018, when the Courage selected her with the No. 9 overall pick in the Dispersal Draft. After she suffered an ankle injury and remained on the sidelines due to a resulting surgery, the Courage waived King on July 18.
In total, King has notched six goals and added three assists in her five-year career in the league. A graduate of Auburn University, she was the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year her senior year, tallying 87 starts during 89 appearances.
Joining the team this week, King’s addition will look to bolster a Pride backline that has allowed a league-highest 31 goals so far this season. Although the team struggled with allowing goals at the start of the season, the Pride recorded its first shutout of the season in its last game against Sky Blue FC. With the return of backline starters Ali Krieger, Shelina Zadorsky and Ashlyn Harris, King will join a reinforced defensive group looking to build through the latter half of the season.