It’s been a long off-season for the Orlando Pride and the wait has been made even longer thanks to the delay of the season due to the coronavirus. Despite it being the off-season, many Pride players have been playing throughout the world. While most fans probably kept up with those playing internationally, some players went to Australia to continue playing.
This past weekend featured the W-League Grand Final between Melbourne City FC and Sydney FC, with three Pride players taking part in the league’s marquee event. Emily van Egmond and Claire Emslie took a winner’s medal home as Melbourne City beat Alanna Kennedy’s Sydney FC, 1-0.
With the W-League now over, here is how each Orlando Pride player did in Australia this season.
Carson Pickett — Brisbane Roar
The Pride’s starting left back, Carson Pickett, traveled to Australia this winter to join the Brisbane Roar for the 2019-20 W-League season. Pickett started and played every minute in 11 of the team’s 12 games this year. Defensively, the 26-year-old made 25 clearances, two blocks, and 23 interceptions. She won six out of nine tackles, 30 of 63 duels, and two out of three aerial duels. Going forward, Pickett completed 403 of 559 passes, for a 72.1% completion rate. When it came to long balls, which she plays more frequently as an outside back, she completed 39 of 92 for a 42.4% completion rate. Pickett also finished second in the league in crosses, with an impressive 79, and third in created chances, with 26. The Florida State alumna scored three goals this off-season — one with each foot and a header.
Camila — Canberra United
The 2019-20 W-League season was a difficult one for Camila and a scary one for Pride fans. The midfielder started 10 games and played 855 minutes before her season ended prematurely. On Feb. 11, the Brazilian went down with a left knee injury during training. Tests showed it was an MCL injury, ending her season. While it ended her W-League season early, she should be ready for the start of the NWSL after a six-week recovery period. Before her injury, Camila completed 251 of 344 passes, a pass completion percentage of 73%. She took 13 shots, with five on target, but was unable to find the back of the net. She did win 21 fouls for Canberra, creating opportunities in the attacking end for her team.
Emily van Egmond — Melbourne City FC
Returning to her home country for the W-League season, van Egmond started all 14 games this season, playing 1,187 minutes. The 26-year-old was clinical in Melbourne City’s strong attack, with the ball often going through her for opportunities. She completed 656 of 846 passes for a completion percentage of 77.5% and made 25 key passes in the attacking half. She finished the year with six goals, one assist, and 25 created chances. Her six goals were tied with Kyah Simon for the team lead and just one shy of tying four others for the Golden Boot.
Claire Emslie — Melbourne City FC
One of the Pride’s newest arrivals, Emslie joined van Egmond as a W-League champion this year. She played in 12 of the team’s 14 games, starting each game she played, and finished with 963 total minutes. Playing mostly on the outside, Emslie completed 241 of 320 passes for a 75.3% completion percentage and successfully completed seven of 19 crosses. Her support in the buildup resulted in three assists. She finished third on the team in goals this year, with five from 35 total shots. Of those 35 shots, 21 were on target. Emslie’s biggest contribution came in the semifinal against the Western Sydney Wanderers, where she recorded a goal and an assist in the 5-1 win.
Alanna Kennedy — Sydney FC
A versatile Australian defender and midfielder, Kennedy played another season with Sydney FC. She played in 10 of her teams 14 games, starting nine, and finished with 854 minutes. Defensively, she made 38 clearances and 23 interceptions. She only won 20 of 41 aerial duels, but won 17 of her 20 tackles. The 25-year-old was also effective in the attack, completing 344 of 460 pass attempts for a 74.8% completion percentage.
Now that the 2019-20 W-League season is complete, the five players who took part in it will likely return to Central Florida to join their teammates in preparation for the upcoming 2020 NWSL season.