Former goalkeeper and Marine named VP, GM of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride have named former professional goalkeeper and U.S. Marine Haley Carter their vice president of soccer operations and general manager.

In the newly created position with the National Women's Soccer League team, Carter will oversee all soccer operations, including the coaching staff and scouting, player safety, and performance.

Carter, 37, is well-known in the soccer community. She served as an assistant coach for the Afghanistan women's soccer team and was instrumental in helping those players evacuate the country in 2021 after the Taliban takeover.

She was a goalkeeper for over four years at the U.S. Naval Academy before spending eight years in the Marines, including two deployments during the Iraq War. She spent three seasons as a backup goalkeeper with the NWSL's Houston Dash, but never appeared in a game. She later served as a consultant for the club.

"What really attracted me to this position is that it's at the intersection of business and soccer. And that's what I love, that really gets my heart racing. I've cared about the business side of it for a very, very long time, just in terms of how do we grow investment in the women's game and what does that look like?" she told The Associated Press. "But as somebody who played and coached, I've also been very serious about advocating for players, advocating for women coaches, women, the women's game."

Carter believes she's the right person to lead the Pride following the turbulence in the NWSL for the last 18 months. Allegations of coach misconduct spurred two investigations and significant turnover across the league.

The team was among the teams impacted. The NWSL terminated the contracts of Orlando coach Amanda Cromwell and assistant Sam Greene in October following allegations of retaliatory conduct. The two were suspended by the team in June. Cromwell released a statement denying the allegations.

"Haley is a strong, experienced, and respected leader with a vast background and network across women's soccer, including an extensive knowledge of the NWSL," Pride Chairman Mark Wilf said in a statement. "Off the field, she has a clear dedication to service, community, and player safety."