Birmingham City Women manager Marc Skinner is expected to be named new head coach at Orlando Pride, where he will work with some of the most famous players in the world including Alex Morgan and reigning Best FIFA Women’s Player Marta.
35-year-old Skinner has been in charge of Birmingham’s women’s team since 2016 and was previously technical director of the club’s Ladies Centre of Excellence for six years.
The report about his imminent move stateside comes from Pro USA Soccer, claiming that an official announcement from Pride is anticipated ‘soon’.
Skinner previously led Birmingham to the 2017 Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley where the Blues faced a Manchester City team that were reigning Women’s Super League champions at the time and had USA superstar Carli Lloyd on loan. As such, Birmingham lost 4-1.
Skinner’s first full season in charge saw Birmingham finish fifth in the Women’s Super League, while the team are performing very well so far in 2018/19. With more than half the season played, the Blues have managed to keep pace with the division heavyweights – Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea – and find themselves only five points off the top.
Kicking off 2019 in the right way, Birmingham’s last game resulted in a 2-1 victory over Reading thanks to an 89th minute winner from defender Meaghan Sargeant.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise Pride were formed in 2015 and are affiliated with Major League Soccer club Orlando City. Retired Canadian international Kaylyn Kyle and the aforementioned Morgan were the first two acquisitions, while Marta has been plying her trade in the club’s purple kits since 2017 after leaving noted Swedish club Rosengard.
Pride missed the NWSL playoffs in 2016 and 2018 after finishing ninth and seventh respectively, while in 2017 they were knocked out at the semi-final stage. In his new role for 2019, Skinner will therefore be expected to improve on what has been an underwhelming existence.