Orlando Pride has acquired the rights to Brazilian international Poliana Barbosa Medeiros from the Houston Dash in exchange for the Pride’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft. Following the trade, the Pride signed Poliana to a contract for the 2018 season. Per team and league policies, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“Poliana is a player that we have admired since she joined the league. We believe she has been one of Houston’s best, most consistent players during that time,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “What really appeals to us is that, though she plays mostly in a full back role, we think she’s the kind of player who can play anywhere. She’s intelligent, her ability to read the game is phenomenal. As well as outstanding defensive qualities, she also has the skill to get forward and score goals. She has all the characteristics we look for at our Club. I think she is an ideal fit for the Pride.”
Commonly known as Poliana, the outside back spent the previous two seasons with the Houston Dash, where she totaled five goals and two assists in 37 appearances. The 5-foot-9 defender totaled 2,888 minutes, missing time during the 2016 season due to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Last season, Poliana earned NWSL Week 10 Player of the Week, becoming the first Brazilian player to take the honor.
Though typically an outside back, Poliana has the ability to play multiple positions on the field, playing defense up through forward during her time with the Dash.
Before coming stateside, Poliana played for Icelandic club Starjnan, where she scored three goals in five league appearances. In UEFA Women’s Champions League play, Poliana led Starjnan to the knockout round with five goals in five matches.
From 2010-14, Poliana featured with São José, winning the Copa Libertadores Femenina in 2011, 2013 and 2014. In the 2014 championship match, she scored two goals, including the game-winner, as São José went on to win 5-1. The Brazilian got her professional career started with renowned side Santos in 2009.
Poliana becomes the Pride’s fourth member from the No. 8 ranked Brazil Women’s National Team, joining teammates Marta, Monica and Camila in Orlando.
In the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Poliana made two appearances for the Seleção, as Brazil was knocked out in the Round of 16. The following year, Poliana appeared in all six marches as Brazil finished fourth in the Rio Olympics.
Orlando Pride begins its 2018 preseason in just over two weeks, with matches kicking off at the end of March. 2018 season ticket packages are available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
Poliana Barbosa Medeiros (Po-lee-ah-nah bar-BOW-suh meh-DEY-rohs)
Born: February 6, 1991 in Ituiutaba, Brazil
Hometown: Ituiutaba, Brazil
Acquired: via trade with Houston Dash on February 6, 2018