Messiah Bright goes from NWSL draft-day drop to three-year deal

(Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

The Orlando Pride have signed draftee Messiah Bright to a three-year deal. 

The Pride selected the forward at No. 21 overall, in the second round of the 2023 NWSL draft. She stood out as a high-value pick for the Pride, as many draft boards had Bright going earlier in the night, by the middle of the second round at the latest.

“Messiah has the potential to be one of the most dangerous attackers in the NWSL, something the Club knew when we drafted her this year,” Pride general manager Haley Carter said. “She has had a great preseason, showcasing the skills she possesses and becoming a great fit for the culture we are building in our locker room. 

“We know she still has so much untapped potential and we are excited that Orlando will be where she develops and grows as an athlete and person. We’re really looking forward to the important role she is going to play in achieving our goals, this year and in the future.”

Bright comes to Orlando from TCU, where she finished her five-year college career with 50 goals and 17 assists through 102 games played. She leaves as the program’s all-time leader in goals and points (118).

On the international stage, Bright played for the U-23 U.S. women’s national team in 2022.

“I am beyond excited to be able to stay in purple and call Orlando home for the next few years. It’s always been a dream of mine to play professional soccer, and I finally get to do that with such an amazing team,” Bright said. “The experience thus far is something I have been truly grateful for. The team as well as the coaching staff have welcomed me with open arms, and they drive me to be the best person I can be on and off the pitch. I can’t wait to see my development and give it my all for the Club and our fans!”