ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2023) — Orlando Pride, Erin McLeod and Gunny Jónsdóttir have announced their departure from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), with the pair returning to Jónsdóttir’s home country of Iceland.
McLeod and Jónsdóttir, who played for the Pride until 2020 and 2021, respectively, got married on Jan. 2 and are leaving the NWSL to begin the next chapter of their lives abroad.
“Both Gunny and Erin were very important members, not only of the Pride, but of the NWSL as a whole. Their influence, skill and professionalism will be missed both in the locker room and in the community, but this next step in their lives is exciting. and let’s celebrate as well,” Orlando Pride Coach Seb Hines said. “On behalf of the entire organization, we thank both Erin and Gunny for everything they have given to the team and wish them all the best in this next chapter.”
“This decision has been one of the most difficult of my career but as I’ve gotten older, my dreams and priorities have changed. Now it’s time to start the next chapter of my life with my wife,” McLeod said. “We are happy and proud of the work this team did last season, led by the Wilf Family, who made this decision even more difficult. We believe, now more than ever, that there are great things to come.” This team, new, recognition, new honor
“Orlando has been my home for the past two years, and it’s not easy to say goodbye,” Jónsdóttir said. “Thank you to the players, it was a privilege to have the opportunity to enter the field with you. Thank you to the staff, you were always welcoming and ready to help in any way possible. Finally, but at least, thank you. I salute the fans for their endless support, especially the Black Swans who have always shown up and stood by us through thick and thin. I wish the Pride the best of luck this season and I will be cheering you on somewhere. away.”
McLeod, 39, has made 28 appearances for the Pride, with five shutouts. During her NWSL career, which includes previous stints with the Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash, the goalkeeper has played a total of 75 games with 13 clean sheets and 293 saves.
Internationally, the Edmonton native is a member of the Canadian women’s team, most recently a gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. McLeod has led Canada to four world titles and three Olympic titles, while also Another bronze medalist in 2012 in London.
Jónsdóttir was acquired by the Pride in a trade ahead of the 2021 season, making an immediate impact in midfield. Over two seasons in Central Florida, the 34-year-old played in 48 games with five goals and two assists. Jonsdóttir’s 100th in the NWSL came in the team’s final game of the 2022 season, a streak that also included 52 games with Utah Royals FC. In total, Jónsdóttir has scored seven goals and added eight assists since joining the NWSL in 2018.
The midfielder has been part of Iceland’s women’s national team since 2011, most recently participating in the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Championship and finishing second in the SheBelieves Cup earlier that year.
During their time with the Pride, both McLeod and Jónsdóttir were integral parts of Orlando, not only on the field but in their community efforts, as well.
Most recently, Jónsdóttir worked as part of the National Community Impact Team, representing and fundraising for Special Olympics Florida and supporting athletes for Special Olympics USA 2022. Last year, McLeod designed and released “Collecting the Future” – the first-ever apparel partnership between the club and its players – to bring awareness to social equity and impact efforts, while also raising money for Orlando-based nonprofit, The Zebra Alliance.