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Former Penn State Women’s Soccer Standout Kerry Abello Signs With Orlando Pride

Former Penn State women’s soccer star Kerry Abello is officially heading to the National Women’s Soccer League after spending five seasons wearing blue and white.

Abello was the No. 24 pick overall in the NWSL Draft in January 2021 but chose to defer her professional career and spend her final year of NCAA eligibility with the Nittany Lions. After a trip to the NCAA Tournament and a successful fifth season, the Illinois native signed a two-year deal with the Orlando Pride.

“Her versatility and history of playing across a number of positions at Penn State is an asset, while her natural left foot is a luxury that I’m sure many teams in our league would love to have. We are confident that she has a bright future ahead of her at this level,” Orlando Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said in a release.

This fall, Abello tallied two goals and three assists from her defensive position. While she is an outside defender on paper, you could find her just about anywhere on the pitch and contributed greatly to the Nittany Lions’ offense.

Throughout her career at Penn State, Abello was a three-time Big Ten champion, two-time Big Ten Tournament champion, three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honoree, among others. Outside of her time at Jeffrey Field, the alum had lots of U.S. Women’s National Team experience and participated in several national camps with U.S. Soccer.

“I couldn’t be happier or more excited! So grateful to be starting my new adventure with this incredible team. Let’s do this thing,” Abello said in a tweet.

The former Nittany Lion star will enter the NWSL on the Pride’s supplemental roster, but she will likely see plenty of playing time throughout the upcoming season. Abello will also see former teammate and Penn State alum Sam Coffey on the pitch, as Coffey signed with the Portland Thorns following the 2021 NWSL Draft. Coffey similarly deferred her professional career to spend her final season of eligibility at Penn State.

Abello and the Pride will kick off the 2022 NWSL season with the annual Challenge Cup in April followed by a 22-game regular season beginning in May.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a sophomore journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She also talks sports on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese, naps, and Kevin Jonas. If you would like to discuss your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @lammkeeley or send your best Spotify playlist to her email [email protected]

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