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Former Shark Star Lelii Vying for Pro Roster Spot with Pride



Former Nova Southeastern University Women’s Soccer player Sierra Lelii

Former Nova Southeastern University women’s soccer player Sierra Lelii is in camp with the Orlando Pride ahead of their inaugural National Women’s Soccer League season.

Lelii is a “trialist,” one of eight players invited to be a part of the Pride preseason roster, among 28 competing to be a part of the expansion team’s maiden season.

Thus far, the squad has played two preseason games, with Lelii coming on as a substitute in each. The Pride defeated Eastern Florida State College 8-0 behind four goals from U.S. Women’s National Team standout Alex Morgan, and followed that up with a 5-1 win against the University of Florida. Lelii entered the first match in the 46th minute and the second in the 75th.

There are two more preseason matches on the schedule, against the University of South Florida on March 30, with the final competition against Florida State University this Saturday, April 2.

The team, the 10th to join the NWSL, has their first official match of the 2016 season on the road against Portland Thorns FC on April 17, beginning at 10 p.m. EST. Should Lelii be selected to the team, she and the Pride’s first-ever home match would take place on Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, when they host the Houston Dash.

Besides Morgan, the Pride features another member of the 2015 World Cup Champion USWNT team, goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, and head coach Tom Sermanni is a former head coach of the national program. Here is the full list of players in camp being considered for the Opening Day roster:

2016 Orlando Pride Preseason Roster
Goalkeepers (3): Aubrey Bledsoe, Ashlyn Harris, Julia Kantor**
Defenders (9): Laura Alleway, Monica Hickmann Alves, Steph Catley, Kristen Edmonds, Maddy Evans, Cami Levin, Toni Pressley, Jackie Simpson**, Samantha Witteman*
Midfielders (8): Becky Edwards, Leah Fortune**, Kaylyn Kyle, Sierra Lelii**, Kim Reynolds**, Lianne Sanderson, Lauren Smith**, Dani Weatherholt*
Forwards (8): Josée Bélanger, Christina Burkenroad*, Jamia Fields, Sarah Hagen, Chelsea Leiva**, Alex Morgan, Jasmyne Spencer, Allie Wisner**

*2016 NWSL Draft Pick // **Trialist