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2018 Orlando Pride Season in Review: Danica Evans

The young forward barely saw the field in 2018.

Colin Ziemer, The Mane Land

In Danica Evans’ second year as a pro, she didn’t make much of an impact on the Orlando Pride’s season. Drafted 22nd overall in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, Orlando hoped that the University of Colorado graduate could provide depth to a team with Alex Morgan and Marta starting up top. This has not panned out, and in two years she has played just 244 minutes and scored once.

Here’s how she did in 2018.

Statistical Breakdown

There is a small sample size of stats for Evans. She played in just five games, all from the bench, and averaged fewer than 10 minutes per game. She took one shot, which was not on target, made 18 passes, connected on just 78% of them, put in no crosses, and was also never offside. She did nothing on the defensive side, finishing with no clearances or tackles.

Evans’ numbers went down from 2017. In her rookie season, Evans finished with 195 minutes in 11 games, took seven shots, four on target, and her sole goal won the NWSL Goal of the Week. She also made 45 passes on the year, with the same passing accuracy as this season of 78%.

Best Game

Evans never played more than 16 minutes in a single game this season, so choosing her best game is no easy task. She got the most game time early in the season, appearing in three of the Pride’s first four matches. On April 15 she came on in the 77th minute in the Pride’s 2-1 loss to the Portland Thorns and did well for her limited time. Evans did not get any shots off, but she finished with six passes — a season-high — and connected on five of them. She also had three fouls suffered.

2018 Final Grade

Evans’ final 2018 grade is incomplete, due her lack of field time. There were many promising signs in 2017, earning her a final grade of 5.5 last season, but Tom Sermanni must not have been impressed with the 23-year-old at practice this season. The addition of Sydney Leroux hurt Evans’ playing time, but not enough for her to have been essentially Sermanni’s last option off the bench. I see a good amount of potential in Evans, but not enough quality.

2019 Outlook

It is hard to say what Evans’ role will be next season. On one hand, the Pride offered Evans a new contract. However, they kept everyone else also, so it doesn’t mean too much. The Mane Land’s own Dave Rohe wrote Evans’ 2017 Season in Review and said:

It is likely that Evans will be relegated to an off-the-bench role barring injuries. It is also possible that others in front of her could get traded. However, even if she doesn’t move up the depth chart, it doesn’t mean that she won’t be growing as a player. Working with her more veteran teammates will help her learn quite a bit about her position. She is still very young and will look to take advantage of whatever playing time she gets in the 2018 season.

2019 will be the exact same situation, with one caveat — Evans will have to fight for a roster spot. She obviously did not do enough in practice or in her limited game time to warrant the faith of Sermanni and, had the Scot not been let go, I would have said that Evans would not be in Orlando next season. Hopefully she can find a team this winter and get more experience so that when 2019 kicks off the young forward is able to create a positional battle with Rachel Hill and Chioma Ubogagu.


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