Angel City FC added another piece to the inaugural roster puzzle on Thursday. The team announced they have acquired the playing rights to New Zealand National Team captain and former Orlando Pride defender Ali Riley. In exchange for the experienced defender, Angel City send the Pride their 2023 third-round draft pick, as well as $15,000 in Allocation Money.
Riley spent the majority of her career playing in Europe, having had recent stints with Chelsea FC and Bayern Munich. She signed with the Pride ahead of the 2020 season, making her NWSL debut for the team in 2021. She started 18 of the 20 matches she featured in for the Pride. She finished the season with 75% passing success rate, with a 51% success rate in defensive duels.
The defender brings loads of experience to the expansion side. As an International, Riley has logged 140 caps, and netting one goal for the New Zealand she captains. At the same time, she is a U.S. citizen, having been born and raised in Los Angeles, so she’s coming home after a career that’s literally taken her around the globe.
Joining a defense with players like Sarah Gorden and Mary Alice Vignola, Riley brings some much wanted depth in the team’s quest to keep opponents off of the scoresheet.
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