Reports surfaced over the past month that the Orlando Pride were in discussions to sign Brazilian star Marta, the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year. The National Women's Soccer League team did just that on Friday.
However, the Pride needed to make room on their roster to accommodate the addition and remain under league the salary cap. On Thursday, the second-year team waived forward Sarah Hagen (Appleton North/UW-Milwaukee).
The 27-year-old was one of the first players to sign with Orlando, arriving in a trade with FC Kansas City in October 2015. She quickly became a fan favorite in Florida, and had two goals and one assist in 17 appearances (8 starts) as the Pride (6-13-1) finished ninth in the 10-team league in their inaugural season.
"Making a move like this is never easy, and it was an incredibly difficult decision to part ways with Sarah,” Orlando coach Tom Sermanni said in a news release. "Sarah has been a consummate professional both on and off the field. We thank her for her commitment to the Pride and wish her the best of luck in her future, hopefully in the NWSL."
Hagen came to the NWSL in summer 2014 on the heels of a highly successful 2½-year stint at Bayern Munich – she scored 43 goals in 60 appearances for the German club. She had eight goals and three assists in 25 appearances (19 starts) in her two seasons with FC Kansas City, winning NWSL titles each season.
On Twitter: @sarahapplehagen
- Ian Bennett and Max Ferdinand, who combined to score nearly half of the Milwaukee Wave's goals this season, were named to the All-Major Arena Soccer League first team. Bennett finished second in the league in the regular season with 53 goals in 20 games and added eight more in six playoff appearances – he scored in each of Milwaukee's first 24 matches, and added 14 assists overall. Ferdinand, meanwhile, led the MASL with 30 assists in the regular season and finished with 22 goals and 34 assists overall. The Wave (16-10), who lost to the Baltimore Blast in the Eastern Conference finals, was the only team with two players on the six-member team selected by league and team officials. On Twitter: @IanBennett26
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- Logan Ketterer (Racine Prairie School), a fourth-round selection in January's MLS SuperDraft, posted a clean sheet as the Columbus Crew reserves blanked Michigan State 3-0 in an exhibition match last Sunday. Columbus starting keeper Zack Steffen (illness) and backup Brad Stuver (right elbow strain) are listed as questionable for today's match at the Fire, but Crew coach Gregg Berhalter told reporters late in the week that both players should be available. On Twitter: @Keeper_Ketterer