ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2023) – The Orlando Pride have acquired $90,000 in Allocation Money and 2024 expansion protection from Utah Royals FC in exchange for midfielder Mikayla Cluff and the No. 26 overall selection in the 2024 NWSL Draft, which the Pride acquired from San Diego Wave FC in a previous trade. With the trade, the Pride have secured complete protection in the 2024 Expansion Draft, after previously trading with Bay FC.
“Kayla has been an important part of the growth of the Pride since joining the Club and is someone who has epitomized what it means to be an Orlando Pride player,” VP of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said. “It’s never easy to part ways with someone like Kayla, but I’m happy we were able to work together to give her the opportunity to return home and play for her hometown team. We look forward to seeing her both on and off the pitch in the coming years and wish her nothing but the best moving forward in her new chapter.”
“I’ve enjoyed my time in Orlando so much and thank the Club and fans for everything they have given me over the last two seasons. This organization and city will always have a special place in my heart,” Cluff said. “I’m very thankful of my time as a member of the Pride and am extremely appreciative of their willingness to find a way for me to return home to my family and hometown. The future of this team is exciting, and I wish everyone in Orlando the best of luck.”
Cluff has made 51 appearances across all competitions since joining the NWSL, all of which have come as a member of the Pride, totaling four goals and one assist while in the midfield. The No. 14 overall selection in the 2021 NWSL Draft scored her first professional goal on May 18, 2022, which was a game-winning goal against the North Carolina Courage. She went on to score two more goals this season for the City Beautiful, one in a 3-1 victory over the Wave and another in a 5-0 rout of the Chicago Red Stars.
A native of Kaysville, Utah, Cluff returns to her home state where she also played collegiately at Brigham Young University. The midfielder finished her career there as one of the most decorated players in Cougar history, starting every game over the course of her BYU career and helping lead the team to the 2021 National Championship. Individually, she was named WCC Player of the Year three times, the 2021 WCC Offensive Player of the Year and a 2021 Hermann Trophy finalist.
Utah Royals FC are set to return to the NWSL as a 2024 expansion side, along with Northern California’s Bay FC. The expansion draft is set to be held on Friday, Dec. 15, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
TRANSACTION: Orlando Pride acquires $90,000 in Allocation Money and 2024 expansion protection from Utah Royals FC in exchange for midfielder Mikayla Cluff and the No. 26 overall selection in the 2024 NWSL Draft.