Orlando, Fla. (January 24, 2023) — Orlando Pride, Erin McLeod and Guni Jonsdottir have announced the pair’s departure from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), as the duo return to Jonsdottir’s home country of Iceland.
McLeod and Jonsdottir, who played for the Pride from 2020 and 2021, tied the knot on Jan. 2 and moved away from the NWSL to begin the next chapter of their lives overseas.
“Both Gunny and Erin have been incredibly proud and valuable members of the NWSL as a whole. “Their influence, skill and professionalism will be missed in our locker room and in our community, but this next step in their lives is an exciting one that we are celebrating,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines said. “On behalf of the entire organisation, we thank Erin and Gunny for everything they have contributed to the club and wish them all the best in the next season together.”
“This decision was one of the hardest of my career, but as I’ve grown, my dreams and priorities have changed. Now it’s time to start the next chapter of my life with my husband,” McLeod said. “The performance of this club during the season, led by the Wilf family, makes this decision all the more difficult for me. I believe, now more than ever, there are bigger things ahead for this club. A new identity, a new pride. To the fans and the Black Swans, thank you for showing up no matter what. Without you all. This club would not exist.
“Orlando has been my home for the past two years and it’s not easy to say goodbye,” Jonsdottir said. “Thank you to the players, it was a great privilege to be on the field with you. Thank you to the staff, you were always so welcoming and willing to help in any way. And last but not least, thank you to the fans for your endless support, especially the Black Swans, who have always stood by us this season. I wish the Pride the best of luck and cheer you on from afar.
McLeod, 39, has made 28 appearances between the sticks for the Pride, with five total shutouts. During her NWSL career with the Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash, the goaltender totaled 75 games with 13 clean sheets and 293 saves.
Internationally, the Edmonton native is a member of Canada’s women’s national team and recently won a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. McLeod has made four World Cup and three Olympic rosters with Canada, winning a bronze medal in London 2012.
Jönsdóttir was proudly acquired via trade ahead of the 2021 season and has made an immediate impact in midfield. Over two seasons at Central Florida, the 34-year-old has made 48 appearances with five goals and two assists. Jonsdottir’s 100th NWSL appearance came in the team’s final match of the 2022 season, a tally that included 52 matches against Utah Royals FC. Overall, Yonsdóttir has scored seven goals and eight assists since joining the NWSL in 2018.
The midfielder has been an integral part of Iceland’s women’s national team since 2011, most recently participating in the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Championship and finishing first in the Shebelives Cup earlier that year.
During their time with the Pride, both McLeod and Yonsdottir were an integral part of Orlando, not only on the field, but also through their efforts in the community.
Most recently, Yonsdóttir served as the club’s national community impact ambassador, supporting athletes at Special Olympics Florida and the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Last year, McLeod designed and released “The Futures Collection” – the first-ever apparel collaboration between a club and player – to bring awareness to social justice and impact initiatives, as well as raise funds for Orlando-based non-profit Zebra Coalition.