San Diego Wave FC have announced the signing of US legend Alex Morgan from the Orlando Pride, despite the transfer window currently being shut.
The California based side are a new expansion team that will join the National Women’s Soccer League in 2022, along with the Los Angeles franchise Angel City.
So far, the club have recruited former Man City defender Abby Dahlkemper, Welsh midfielder Angharad James, and English forward Jodie Taylor, among others.
Morgan is the latest to make the move to San Diego and will now have the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd, having been born in California.
The striker is one of the most decorated players in United States football history and has scored 115 international goals. She captained the national team between 2018 and 2020 and is a two-time Women’s World Cup winner.
Wave FC revealed the news on Twitter, posting a video of Morgan, who says: “Hey San Diego. It was a dream come true today to be joining the Wave, and having the opportunity to play in front of my home crowd next year. I can’t wait and I’ll see you guys soon.”
Shortly after, Wave FC posted an image that included another statement from Morgan.
“As a Southern Californian native, I’m excited to be making a long-term commitment to Wave FC and the city of San Diego.
“I am coming home to partner with this ambitious new club and to push the league forward for generations of soccer players to come.
“I cannot wait to get started and I will do everything I can to help bring a championship to this great city.”
But while San Diego have already started advertising season tickets to watch Morgan, the American’s former side Orlando are yet to officially confirm her departure.
Instead, they noted that the trade window for NWSL clubs is currently closed and that they would not make the announcement until it was appropriate.
The Pride posted a statement of their own, which read: “The Orlando Pride has worked with forward Alex Morgan to secure a trade that is mutually beneficial for the Club’s future success and Alex’s goals, both personal and professional.
“The Pride are extremely appreciative of the professionalism and commitment that Alex has shown to the Club over the last six seasons and respect her desire to play closer to family at this point in her career.
“With the NWSL trade window currently closed, the Pride will continue to follow both Club and league policies, and will make a formal announcement when the transaction is official and timing is appropriate.”
San Diego could therefore face punishment for choosing to confirm the signing outside the trade window.
Back in September, Angel City were fined for announcing the capture of Christen Press before a contract was officially completed.
The league said the expansion club announced the signing “prior to the full execution of the player’s agreement,” which violated Section 17.2.1 of the NWSL rulebook.
The NWSL Expansion Draft will take place on Thursday, December 16th followed by the NWSL Draft on Saturday, December 18th.