Haley Bugeja joins Orlando Pride

Maltese forward Haley Bugeja joined American side Orlando Pride who play in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The transfer from US Sassuolo is pending on the receipt of a P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate.

The eighteen year old played regularly for the Mgarr United senior side in seasons 2018/19 and 2019/20. She was voted MFA Player of the Year and Under-19 Player of the Year in 2018/19, apart from ending as top scorer in both the Women’s League and the Women’s Under-19 League with 19 goals and 41 goals respectively. In season 2019/20, she helped Mgarr United finish second in the Women’s League and champions in the Women’s Under-19 League. She finished as top scorer in the Women’s Under-19 League with 50 goals, scoring also 23 goals in the Women’s League.

Bugeja moved to Sassuolo in summer 2020, making her debut in Sassuolo’s 3-1 win over Napoli, scoring twice. She scored 12 goals over the course of her first season, finishing as a top five scorer in Serie A. She was voted Best Young Player in the Serie A and was also named as one of UEFA’s top 10 women’s players to watch. Bugeja’s 2021-22 season with Sassuolo was impacted by injury but still managed to score three goals for her side.

Haley Bugeja earned her first Malta senior cap in 2019 at just 14 years old, starting in a friendly match against Romania, with her first international goal coming in 2020 in a friendly match against Turkey. She scored four more goals that year, including a hat-trick in Malta’s win over Georgia in UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 qualification play, becoming the youngest women’s player to notch a hat trick in European qualifier history.