ORLANDO, Fla. (ORLANDO PRIDE) - Orlando Pride has added another dynamic attacking option to its roster, signing Scottish forward Claire Emslie.
Emslie is currently with the Scotland Women’s National Team, who kick off 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup play on Sunday, June 9 at 12 p.m. ET against England. The forward will join the Pride following Scotland’s run at the World Cup, pending receipt of her P1 Visa. Per team and league policies, terms of the contract were not announced.
“Claire is a very dynamic forward that can provide the final ball that we’ve been looking for, with both feet. She loves to attack fullbacks for the full 90 minutes, she recovers well and she defends on the front foot,” Orlando Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said. “Claire has the ability to change games and she brings a team-first mentality to the group that will enhance the culture that we’re trying to build. We’re looking forward to having her in Orlando.”
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play pro soccer in the USA. My time at Florida Atlantic University fueled that dream and Orlando Pride was the club I always envisioned playing for,” Emslie said of her signing. “I left Florida three years ago as a college graduate determined to return one day as a professional soccer player and I can’t quite believe it has happened. I’m excited for the new challenge ahead and ready to work for it!”
Emslie, 25, joins the Pride following two seasons with Manchester City Women of England’s Women’s Super League (WSL). Since joining Manchester City in 2017, Emslie registered 31 appearances with eight goals scored. In the most recent season with Man City, Emslie helped lead the Blues to the 2018-19 FA Women’s Continental League Cup Championship as well as the Women’s FA Cup.
“Claire is a player I have wanted to work with for a long time now. She possesses many desirable talents that will only help improve the team. Her ability to effectively dribble, pass and shoot with both feet, means she will keep defenders guessing about her next move and will excite our fans,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “More importantly, Claire possesses a personality that will epitomise the hardworking culture we are working daily to create at the Pride. We can’t wait for Claire to join the family.”
Prior to her time in Manchester, Emslie joined Bristol City in 2016, scoring 10 goals in 20 appearances. The forward started her professional career at age 17 with Scottish Women's Premier League team Hibernian. She made her debut April 24, 2011 and went on to total 35 appearances and 18 goals in three seasons with Hibernian.
On the international stage, Emslie was named to Scotland’s roster for the 2019 Women’s World Cup on May 15, marking the first World Cup call-up for the Edinburgh native and the first World Cup appearance by Scotland. The 25-year-old made her senior team debut in June 2013, a 3-2 win over Iceland. Overall, Emslie has totaled 21 appearances and three goals, two of which came in 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification.
Emslie will return to the state of Florida, a familiar place as she is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University. During her time in Boca Raton, Emslie scored 29 goals and recorded 10 assists in 76 appearances for the Owls from 2012-16. The 2016 graduate earned All-Conference USA honors each of her four years and was honored on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Central Region team after her senior season.
The Pride return to action on Saturday, June 1, hosting the North Carolina Courage at 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium.
- Position: Forward
- Number: 7
- Height: 5-7
- Born: March 8, 1994 in Edinburgh, Scotland
- Hometown: Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland
- College: Florida Atlantic University
- Citizenship: Scotland
The Orlando Pride contributed to this report.