Orlando Pride signs defenders Toni Hansen, Brianna Martinez to 2023 contracts

Mark Thor, Orlando Pride

Defenders Tori Hansen and Brianna Martinez have been signed on one-year deals through the 2023 NWSL season with options for an additional year, the Orlando Pride announced on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are happy to be able to sign both Tori and Brianna to our roster for the season. The pair enables us to shore up our back line with depth and versatility,” said Orlando Pride VP of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter in a club release. “Brianna is attack minded and comfortable on the ball. Tori offers another calming presence and is a true aerial threat on set pieces. Both players progressed tremendously over preseason, and we look forward to seeing their continued development.”

Martinez, a 17th overall pick by Racing Louisville in the second round of the 2023 NWSL Draft this offseason, joined Orlando as a non-roster invitee at preseason camp. She was drafted out of the University of Notre Dame, where she captained the Fighting Irish during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Hansen, who was selected 25th overall in the third round, joins the Pride after spending four years at the University of North Carolina, where she made 65 appearances and started 28 matches, netting nine goals and adding four assists over the course of her collegiate career.

Insant analysis

The Pride had seven defenders on the roster already, including Carrie Lawrence, who is out for the season with an ACL injury, but the backline has been a major area of concern for the club heading into the season — Sunday’s 4-0 loss in Portland surely didn’t squash any of those doubts.

At the very least, Martinez and Hansen will give head coach Seb Hines more depth and options throughout the season, especially as two more young pieces the Pride couldn’t potentially use in their long-term build towards stability.

For more Orlando soccer news, follow the Soccer Journal on Twitter: @OSJSoccer


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