Orlando Pride has filled its 20th and final roster spot, signing Brazilian-American midfielder Leah Fortune. Per team and league policies, details of the contract were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to have signed Leah. She came into preseason well-prepared and her work ethic and professionalism have been evident from day one,” said Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. “With her ability to play effectively at numerous positions, Leah is going to add even greater flexibility to our squad.”
A dual-citizen, Fortune was born to American parents in Sāo Paolo, Brazil and has featured for the Brazilian Women’s National Team on the youth and senior levels. She played collegiately at the University of Texas in 2009 and 2010, later transferring to Lee University, where she served as team captain her junior and senior seasons. In 2011, Fortune led Lee to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship and was named a First Team All-American with the Lady Flames.
Gaining notoriety for her “flip-throw”, Fortune featured with the Charlotte Lady Eagles of the W-League in 2015. There, Leah finished second in the league in points (33) and goals (13), with her seven assists the most in the league.
Internationally, Fortune represented Brazil in two U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cups and was called into training camp with the full Brazil Women’s National Team for 2011 Women’s World Cup qualifying. In 2010, the midfielder earned the Golden Boot at the TACA Governadora Cup as part of the U-20 green and gold side.
Fortune, who was raised in Chicago, also joined Brazil for 2012 Olympic qualifying, but suffered an ACL tear during her first cap with the senior Brazil National Team.
Most recently, the 25-year-old served as assistant coach for the University of South Carolina Upstate women’s soccer team before joining the Pride for preseason camp.
As a dual citizen, Fortune will not occupy an international roster spot.
Born: December 13, 1990 in São Paulo, Brazil
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
College: Lee University
Acquired: via Discovery on May 3, 2016