Orlando sends Marisa Viggiano to Houston Dash in trade

Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos

Marisa Viggiano has been acquired by the Houston Dash from the Orlando Pride. In exchange, the Pride will receive defender Megan Montefusco, $30,000 in allocation money and the OL Reign’s third round pick in the 2023 NWSL draft.

The midfielder is a three-year NWSL veteran, appearing in 21 matches for the Pride during the 2021 regular season. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 NWSL Draft, Viggiano totaled 47 appearances with Orlando, tallying four goals.

“Beyond Marisa’s unquestioned ability on the pitch, she is, more importantly, simply a wonderful person and I’m honored to have worked with her over the past year,” said Pride general manager Ian Fleming in a release. “I want to wish her a tremendous amount of luck and success in Houston, and I look forward to crossing paths many times in the future.”

Viggiano had previously signed a contract with the Pride through the 2022 season.

Montefusco is a seven-year NWSL veteran who has been with Houston for the past two seasons. She made 32 appearances for the club, helping lead the Dash to seven shutouts and the 2020 Challenge Cup title. She has 133 total NWSL appearances since being drafted No. 13 overall by the Washington Spirit in 2015, tallying two goals and four assists.

“Megan is a proven talent in this league and we are very happy to add a player of her quality to our backline. The stability that she brings, along with her natural affinity to be a modern ball-playing center back, are not coincidental to the past successes of the teams she’s played for,” said Fleming. “As we continue to build a new Pride that can consistently challenge for honors in our league, we expect that Megan will be an important part of that path forward.”

A seasoned defender, Montefusco has ranked among the league’s best since the NWSL began tracking statistics in 2016. She’s totaled 400 clearances, 202 interceptions and a 75.2 percent tackle success rate.

She’ll reunite with Amanda Cromwell in Orlando, having played at UCLA from 2011-14.

The trade comes on the heels of the Pride sending defender Ali Riley to Angel City FC.