Marc Skinner has resigned as Orlando Pride manager amidst rumours linking him to the vacant Manchester United Women managerial role.
Skinner’s departure brings his two-and-a-half year spell in charge of Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida, USA, to an end despite having guided The Lions to their best-ever start in 2021 NWSL season with no defeats in their first seven matches as they sit sixth in the standings.
This announcement also comes at a time when Skinner is currently linked with the vacant managerial role at Manchester United Women in the Women’s Super League, following Casey Stoney’s exit at end of last season.
Those rumours were further amplified by Orland Pride who noted in a statement that Skinner was leaving in order ‘to pursue a coaching opportunity outside of the National Women’s Soccer League’.
Speaking on his decision to depart Orlando Pride, Skinner said: “I am immensely proud to have been the head coach of Orlando Pride. I want to thank the players, staff and Club for all of their efforts in creating a culture worthy of this city and state.”
The 38 year-old former Birmingham City Women manager also paid tribute to Orlando Pride’s fans, thanking them for their support and patience “whilst we grew together” across the last two-and-a-half seasons as they contributed to helping “drive this team to achieve the heights that you all deserve”.
Skinner also spoke of his wish to see the club continue to “go from strength to strength” and retain their developed values after the club was successfully purchased by the Wilf family on Wednesday (21 July), whilst he watches from a distance.
Orlando Pride’s Executive Vice President, Amanda Duffy praised Skinner with “tremendous gratitude and appreciation” for bringing a fresh vision to the team during his time in charge, in which his leadership enabled the club to “become a better team and a better organization, with a foundation in place for the continuation of a winning culture.”
Duffy also confirmed that a search for their new manager is underway with Assistant Coach, Seb Hines, and Goalkeeper Coach, Lloyd Yaxley, both continuing in their current roles.
Skinner’s Assistant Coach, Carl Green will also depart the club after taking charge of Pride’s home clash against OL Reign in NWSL on Saturday 24 July 2021.
This latest announcement also comes after an eventful day for Man Utd in which they discovered their 2021-22 WSL fixtures and signed Hannah Blundell from Chelsea, with Lauren James departing to join the Blues where her brother – Reece James plays for the men’s team.