The Orlando Pride signed Emily van Egmond on Valentine’s Day 2018. It was a high profile signing, as the Pride brought in a player with World Cup, Champions League, and NWSL experience. At just 24 years old, van Egmond seemed to be a signing that would boost the Pride into the NWSL championship picture.
That of course never happened, and this is what The Mane Land said of her at the end of 2018:
“Given that resume, expectations were high for the midfielder when she was signed back on Valentine’s Day, and initially, she seemed to be a good fit. However, as the season progressed, her form never reached the heights her pedigree suggested.”
This season, van Egmond picked up right where she left off in 2018. She was never poor, nor great, but the Aussie did not live up to expectations. Her minutes were minimal this year, with the World Cup and an ankle injury that required surgery, and the midfielder’s last match was the Pride’s 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC back in July.
Van Egmond was limited to just eight games this year because of the World Cup and an ankle surgery. This is a significant decline from her 17 appearances in 2018. Van Egmond did not score in 2019 and is still waiting for her first Orlando Pride goal. She did manage one assist and attempted 12 shots, which is impressive for a midfielder in just 628 minutes played, but none of them found the target while two were blocked.
Van Egmond won 44% of her 69 duels. She made 15 clearances, which is the second-highest midfielder total behind Dani Weatherholt, and Alanna Kennedy — Kennedy has significantly more than the other two but played as center back for a large portion of the season. In 2018, van Egmond made just 20 clearances, so her 15 in half the amount of games is a significant increase.
Van Egmond’s best match was her first game back from the World Cup. The game was delayed for 50 minutes but was filled with goals once it got going. The Pride beat the Washington Spirit, 4-3.
In the 26th minute, Rachel Hill intercepted a pass in Washington’s half. Hill headed it to van Egmond, who used one touch to pass it back to Kennedy. Kennedy gave it back to van Egmond, who showed excellent vision and passing ability as she perfectly fed Hill behind the Spirit’s back line. Hill scored, and van Egmond got her only assist on the year.
It was that type of vision, play, and overall performance that brought her to Orlando in the first place. She finished the match with the third-most touches for Orlando (50), second-most passes (41), and a 71% passing accuracy.
2019 Final Grade
The Mane Land staff gave van Egmond a composite grade of 5. She was never poor, but she also did not do anything fantastic. She got a 4.5 last season, so the Aussie was just better than her 2018 season. The expectations are very high for van Egmond because of her play for Australia. The now-26-year-old played in every game for Australia during the World Cup, and her 386 minutes were the fifth highest on the team. She was a vital part of the Matildas’ midfield but never reached that same level for the Pride.
With the Olympics coming up, 2020 is going to be another year where international call-ups profoundly impact the NWSL season. Marc Skinner has been adamant all season about bringing in quality, experienced players not on their respective national teams. This undoubtedly means that some international players will have to make way, and van Egmond will likely be one of them. She has yet to be a vital part of Orlando’s midfield, an area where the team has struggled.
If van Egmond remains on the team, she will again miss a large portion of the season because of the Olympics. She will also have to fight for a starting spot as many of the younger players performed just as well, or better than van Egmond.