According to Caitlin Murray, she did not have majority support from NWSL owners to be the next commissioner, as the league is still searching.
UPDATE: 11:45 a.m.
The Orlando Pride officially announced the news on Tuesday via a press release. Duffy will take over as the club’s executive vice president of the Pride, managing the front office and technical aspects of the club. The press release also stated her last date with the NWSL is scheduled for Feb. 15.
Duffy will report to Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão. She will be granted permission to hire and oversee “additional staff members” for the Pride.
“When we decided to invest in this position, we knew we wanted to bring in someone who not only has a strong understanding of the current landscape of women’s soccer but someone who has a proven record of building exciting, successful clubs and we couldn’t think of a more perfect fit than Amanda,” Leitão said. “We have been working closely with Amanda for years and have seen all that she has been able to accomplish, from her days in the USL and Louisville to her most recent time with the NWSL.”
“We are so excited that she has chosen to come to Orlando and that she shares our vision of the potential of women’s soccer in this country and wants to be a part of building the future of the game as a member of the Pride.”
Meanwhile, Duffy said that she’s been impressed by the club’s rapid growth.
“As this position came into the Club’s plans, and as I learned more about the broader goals of the collective organization, it was clear to me that the club is prepared to invest deeply in the women’s game, and in the Pride specifically,” Duffy said. “This investment, combined with the chance to work with Alex’s leadership, a world-class roster, and intensely passionate fans, made the decision to come to Orlando one of tremendous excitement and an immense honor.”
The Pride also announced that general manager Erik Ustruck will move to the men’s side of the club once that Duffy joins the Pride.
Duffy’s role in the NWSL
Duffy filled the role of president for one season. She joined the National Women’s Soccer League in 2016, serving as the managing director of operations. When Jeff Plush retired from the NWSL commissioner role in 2017, Duffy acted as his de facto successor. During her time with the league, Duffy oversaw the rising of new clubs, like the North Carolina Courage and Utah Royals FC. However, the league also saw the collapse of the Boston Breakers and FC Kansas City.
Duffy is stepping down as the NWSL president to join the Orlando Pride front office. Her role has not been publicly confirmed or named by the Pride organization as of Monday night.
Amanda Duffy’s NWSL legacy
In one of her last acts as president, Duffy announced that the league would expand in 2021. With a World Cup year in 2019, fans and media speculated that the league would expand as early as next season. However, fans will watch nine clubs compete again in 2020.
In 2021, though, Louisville will join the picture. Duffy formerly served as president for Louisville City FC, the city’s USL Championship team. She worked for Louisville City from October 2014 until December 2016.
A forward, Duffy featured collegiately at East Carolina University. She began her professional career in 2003 with Carolina Courage in the former WUSA, but did not make the final roster. Instead, she joined the USL W-League while studying for her master’s degree. Duffy also went overseas and featured for Danmarks IF in Sweden.