Effective immediately, Marc Skinner has stepped down as the head coach of the Orlando Pride.
Skinner was named the head man in 2019, leading the Pride to a record of 9-23-11 across all competitions. The overarching record should not detract from the fact that Skinner had the team off to the best start in club history this season when they opened on a seven game unbeaten streak.
The vast majority of Skinner’s losses came during the 2019 season when the squad was decimated by international call-ups for that year’s Women’s World Cup. He was tasked with competing in the NWSL without Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, Marta, Emily van Egmond, Alanna Kennedy, and Shelina Zadorsky, as well as reserve Camila. That same season the squad was without Sydney Leroux during her pregnancy and Toni Pressley who was going through treatment for breast cancer.
The following season was wiped out due to the global pandemic, and when the NWSL announced their return to play plans with the Challenge Cup, the Pride were dealing with a COVID outbreak that forced them to withdraw.
All that goes to say that the explosive start to 2021 was long overdue. Equipped with all his stars, Skinner’s managerial prowess was able to shine. It shone so brightly, in fact, that other teams began to take notice…
The Englishman was previously at the helm of Women’s Super League side Birmingham City, and it now appears he will be making his way back across the pond; this time to Manchester United Women.
MU’s interest in Skinner was first reported in The Athletic on July 10 and it appears that the interest was mutual. Per reports, the deal is now done between Skinner and his new club, while the settlement between the Pride and the English side has yet to be finalized. Don’t expect any comment from either side until that settlement is agreed upon.
Skinner’s move back to the UK is a deserved one, he emerged as a top-tier coach relatively quickly when he had talent at his disposal. Anyone who doubts that just needs to consider the fact that he’s been tagged by one of the top clubs in the world as “their guy.”
The WSL season is set to kickoff on September 3, and in all likelihood, Skinner will be back behind a British bench come opening kickoff.
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