Top NWSL draft pick Mia Fishel signs with Liga MX’s Tigres instead

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Orlando Pride draft pick Mia Fishel will not suit up with the NWSL team this year, instead opting to sign with Tigres Femenil. The Mexican club announced the news on Friday, with the UCLA junior confirming the deal on her personal social media account.

“I’m all about disrupting the norm and taking charge of your life,” Fishel wrote on Twitter. “Doing what you believe is right for you. Excited to join (Tigres Femenil) as my first professional team!”

Fishel was the Pride’s first selection and the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft. With Fishel’s UCLA coach Amanda Cromwell now at the helm in Orlando, the pairing appeared to be a natural fit.

In a statement released Friday, the Pride said they “were unable to come to terms with Mia and we understand her desire to pursue this alternative career opportunity.”

Though the NWSL club said it “envisioned Mia as an important and impactful player for the future of the Orlando Pride,” the team hasn’t written off the young star for good, concluding, “we look forward to having the opportunity to welcome her as a member of the Pride in the future.”

Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer provided some insight into Fishel’s decision, reporting that her move to the Liga MX club was in part due to “better money.”

Fishel ended her 2021 season with 12 goals and five assists in 19 appearances with the Bruins.

The 20-year-old will join the U.S. Under-23 Women’s Youth National Team in Austin, TX, from Jan. 23 to Jan. 28 for the program’s first camp since 2019.