Two former CU soccer stars out of NWSL Challenge Cup as Orlando Pride forced to withdraw

Buffs all-time points leader Taylor Kornieck denied pro debut

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Taylor Kornieck, CU soccer’s all-time points leader, was hoping to make her pro debut this week. (Photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

A couple of former Colorado standouts will have to wait for another day to hit the field on the pro soccer circuit.

On Monday, the Orlando Pride announced it was withdrawing from the NWSL Challenge Cup scheduled to begin later this week due to a number of positive COVID-19 tests among the club’s players and staff. A report in the Orlando Sentinel indicated it was six players and four staff members who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Pride is the NWSL home of former CU Buffs Erin Greening and Taylor Kornieck, who was looking to make her pro debut after getting picked third overall in the 2020 NWSL draft earlier this year.

In a statement released Monday, the Pride said all the team members who tested positive were asymptomatic and would remain in isolation for two weeks.

“This was obviously a difficult and disappointing outcome for our players, our staff and fans, however this is a decision that was made in order to protect the health of all involved in the Challenge Cup,” Orlando Pride executive vice president Amanda Duffy said in the statement. “While we were all excited to see the 2020 Pride on the field this weekend, our priority is now making sure our players and staff  safely recover and providing any support wherever and however possible.”

The Pride was supposed to face the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday in Utah in the opening round of the NWSL Challenge Cup, a 25-game tournament scheduled to culminate in a championship game on July 26.

Kornieck ended her CU career last fall as the Buffs’ all-time points leader with 102. Kornieck also shares CU’s career lead with 24 assists and ranks second all-time with 39 goals. Greening, a defender, appeared in 17 games for the Pride last season after getting selected in the third round of the 2019 NWSL draft.