Orlando Pride fan group feeling ‘helpless’ after Sydney Leroux trade

(Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The recognized supporters group of the Orlando Pride, Black Swans Drinking Club, is speaking out after the club traded Sydney Leroux to Angel City FC on Wednesday.

The star forward’s exit comes after a series of high-profile players have left Orlando in recent months, including Alex Morgan, Taylor Kornieck, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Ali Riley. Last month, head coach Amanda Cromwell and assistant coach Sam Greene were placed on temporary administrative leave pending an investigation into “alleged retaliation in violation of the NWSL Policy to Prevent and Eliminate Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying.”

On Thursday, Black Swans Drinking Club addressed Leroux’s trade and the broader player exodus from the Pride amid other controversies.

“You could say it’s been a struggle to be an Orlando supporter, we’ve trusted the process and now we’re here,” the group wrote on social media. “Accepting losses on the pitch is one thing, but compounding those losses with losing key players, turmoil in the locker room, rumors on social, investigations into coaching and losing fans gets disheartening and frustrating. We’re feeling a little helpless and in the dark.”

The fan group concluded their note with a message to the players, writing, “We see you. We understand you just want to play the game you love. You want to win as much as we do. We’re not f****** leaving.”

In exchange for Leroux, the Pride received Angel City’s natural first-round pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft and $75,000 in allocation money.

Orlando, seeking its first NWSL playoff appearance in five years, is currently 11th in the league standings with a 2-2-5 record. On Friday, the Pride announced the signing of promising young forward Haley Bugeja from US Sassuolo in Italy’s Serie A league.