ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2023) — Orlando Pride, Erin McLeod and Gunny Jónsdóttir have announced the pair’s departure from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), as the duo return to Jónsdóttir’s home country of Iceland.
McLeod and Jónsdóttir, who played for the Pride from 2020 and 2021, got married on January 2 and are leaving the NWSL to start the next chapter of their lives abroad.
“Gunny and Erin are important members, not only of the Pride, but of the NWSL as a whole. Their impact, skill and professionalism will be seen in our locker room and our community, but this process next in their lives is an interesting thing that we are excited about,” said Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines. “On behalf of the entire team, we thank Erin and Gunny for everything they have contributed to the team and wish them all the best in this next chapter.”
“This decision is one of the most difficult in my career but as I grow, my dreams and priorities have shifted. It’s time to start the next chapter of my life with my wife,” said and McLeod. “I was inspired and happy with the work this team did in the offseason, led by the Wilf family, which made this decision even more difficult. identity, a new Pride. To the fans and the Black Swans, thanks for showing up, nothing.
“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 step on the field with you. To the fans for their endless support, especially the Black Swans who always showing up and supporting us through thick and thin.
McLeod, 39, has made 28 appearances between the sticks for the Pride, including five shutouts. During his NWSL career, which included previous seasons with the Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash, the goalkeeper had 75 games played with 13 clean sheets and 293 saves.
Internationally, Edmonton is a member of the Canadian women’s national team, which won the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. McLeod made four World Cup and three Olympic titles with Canada, including winning the 2012 bronze medal in London.
Jónsdóttir was acquired by the Pride in a trade before the 2021 season, making an immediate impact in the midfield. Over two seasons in Central Florida, the 34-year-old scored 48 points with five goals and two assists. Jónsdóttir’s 100th NWSL came in the team’s final game of the 2022 season, a streak that 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 a key member of Iceland’s national team since 2011, which again competed in the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Championship and finished second in the SheBelieves Cup earlier that year.
During their time with the Pride, McLeod and Jónsdóttir became part of Orlando, not only on the stage but through their efforts in the community.
Most recently, Jónsdóttir served as the United States Special Olympics Ambassador, representing and raising funds for Special Olympics Florida and supporting athletes in 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Last year, McLeod designed and released “The Futures Collection” – the first apparel collaboration between a club and its player – to spread awareness of social equality and impact strategies, while raising money for Orlando-based nonprofit, the Zebra Coalition.