THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Forward Messiah Bright made her mark in the NWSL quickly with the Orlando Pride. Her team fell behind 1-0 in her second game of the season, facing Angel City. Nonetheless, she was a difference-maker, causing problems for Angel City’s back line, eventually finding an equalizing goal in the second half; she dribbled between defenders Sarah Gorden and Megan Reid and slipped a shot past goalkeeper DiDi Haraic.
Less than a year later, Bright is a part of Angel City. She joined the team on Sunday after being traded by the Pride per her request for “personal reasons.” Angel City sent a fee of $130,000 of intra-league transfer funds in return to the Pride.
Bright has not bragged about the goal against Angel City to her new teammates but said they remembered it. She hopes she will do the same for them when the season begins in March, in front of Angel City’s enthusiastic fan base.
“I definitely did get to experience it (the BMO Stadium environment) when we (the Pride) played here. And I thought the fans were just amazing,” Bright said. “I’m excited to be a part, and bring the energy to be my stadium and do it with my teammates and win a bunch of games and hopefully bring a championship back to L.A.”
In preparation for the game day atmosphere, Bright has seemingly fit in well during her first week in Los Angeles. She appreciates head coach Becki Tweed’s competitive training environment, where almost every player contributes.
“I love it,” said Bright about Angel City’s training sessions. “It’s good to have everyone on the same page. And that’s what brings the most out of everything. It not only makes me confident, but it also shows how much the team is driven to push each other to their limits. And that only transfers on the field when you’re playing against another opponent.”
Bright has brought her own competitiveness to practice while learning from others. She is a dynamic forward who showed her talents by scoring six goals in 22 appearances during the 2023 season.
“Young, hungry, really excited to learn. Really coachable. Just adds another dynamic to our group,” said Tweed about Bright. “Bringing her in has been really good. She has been here for a few days now, so just giving her time to settle in, it is a big move from east coast to west coast at such a young age. Excited to see what she brings to this group in the future as well.”
Bright found success in the NWSL by leaning on her confidence and taking advice from the Pride’s coaches. There was an adjustment period when she moved from Texas to Florida to become a professional, but the group’s closeness in Orlando helped her thrive.
“Just have to remain confident,” Bright said. “With Orlando (Pride), it was a good staff as well that helped me transition into the professional lifestyle. So, it’s all about being confident and having the teammates around you to push you even further and believe in yourself. So that’s what helped me a lot to do what I needed to do for the team at the time.”
Bright aims to build on her accomplishments with the Pride in 2024 with Angel City, the next step in her young professional career.