In their first front office move leading up to the 2021 season, the Orlando Pride have hired a new general manager. Ian Fleming, an experienced soccer mind with a history in law, strategy and analytics, will step into the vacant role left by Erik Ustruck, who now works under Luiz Muzzi with Orlando City.
Fleming joins Orlando having recently worked with the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash as their director of strategy and analytics for the last year and a half. Prior to that, Fleming worked with the San Jose Earthquakes as their director of analytics and strategy as well as their senior manager of business intelligence and analytics.
With his background in soccer comes a background in law as well. A graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law with a Juris Doctorate specializing in sports and entertainment law, Fleming is well versed in the legal side of sports as well as the business side.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to do something that I’d been planning on aiming myself towards my entire life,” Fleming said in a video released by the club. “I think I’ve gone through a lot of stages in my personal career growth, where I went through law school with the thought of being an agent at one point, knowing that the idea behind contract negotiations could someday lead to this type of opportunity.”
Fleming have the rigorous job of overseeing all of the Pride soccer operations, including trades, contract negotiations and player acquisitions as well as the team’s sports performance, scouting and analytics, and player support staff, while reporting directly to Executive Vice President, Amanda Duffy.
“In the short term, what we have here is a great staff set in place. I have a lot of faith in Marc (Skinner) and the group. Amanda is a great hire for this club in the past year that is going to provide good direction on where we’re going from both a business and a soccer standpoint. The short-term goal is to make this team as competitive as possible immediately, with a view towards long-term of making us competitive, winning championships, and doing so in a sustainable way.”
Fleming will be with the Pride on Wednesday evening for the 2021 NWSL Draft, which begins at 7 p.m. ET live on Twitch.