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Orlando Pride Re-Sign Midfielder Emily van Egmond

Pride also ink Kaylie Collins through the end of the 2021 season.

SOCCER: JUL 20 NWSL - Sky Blue FC at Orlando Pride Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Orlando Pride announced today that the team has signed midfielder Emily van Egmond and goalkeeper Kaylie Collins through the end of the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. Per the team, both signings were made prior to the NWSL roster freeze date of Sept. 30. Van Egmond will begin her second stint with the Pride as soon as her P-1 visa is received.

“We are all very pleased to have Emily returning to our club and greatly look forward to her arrival,” Orlando Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said in a club press release. “Emily is a proven talent in this league, already familiar with our environment, and has all the necessary abilities to slot into, reinforce, and make a strong positive impact upon our squad. As we work through the visa process, which has unfortunately been delayed due to COVID, we’re hopeful Emily is able to get to Orlando in the coming weeks to provide our team additional talent to close out the season and this important playoff push.”

Van Egmond, 28, last played in the FA Women’s Super League with West Ham United during the 2020-2021 season, where she was originally acquired via a loan from the Pride. With the Hammers, van Egmond made 21 total appearances, scoring four goals. Prior to joining West Ham, van Egmond signed with the Pride on Feb. 14, 2018 via the league’s Discovery mechanism. In more than two seasons in Orlando, van Egmond surprisingly failed to find the net and only registered two assists. The Pride re-signed van Egmond prior to the 2020 season and she then went on loan to West Ham when the NWSL season was lost to the pandemic. The Hammers announced on Jan. 8 that they had signed her to a “permanent transfer” through the end of the season. The Pride retained her NWSL rights and now have indeed brought her back.

Before joining Orlando the first time, van Egmond spent a season with Newcastle Jets in Australia’s Westfield W-League, playing all but two minutes, scoring four goals and adding five assists. Van Egmond spent the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons in Germany, playing for Frankfurt and later WfL Wolfsburg. During her time with the two German sides, she participated in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Van Egmond scored six goals in 12 appearances with Wolfsburg, leading the club to the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal titles, Germany’s top two championship competitions. In her season with Frankfurt, van Egmond scored once in 17 appearances.

Before playing in Germany, van Egmond spent several season in the W-League, starting her professional career with Newcastle in 2008 before moving to Canberra United, Western Sydney Wanderers FC, and eventually back to Newcastle over eight seasons. She played her first professional season in Europe in 2011, with Danish side Fortuna Hjørring.

On the international stage, van Egmond has been part of Australia’s national team setup since she was 15. The Matildas’ co-captain has 106 caps with Australia, 23 international goals since her 2010 debut. She was a part of Australia’s Olympic squad earlier this year, playing every minute in her team’s Olympic matches as the Aussies reached the bronze medal match, before losing to Alex Morgan and the USWNT.

Collins, 23, was selected with the Pride’s final selection in the 2021 NWSL Draft (No. 34 overall) out of USC and was signed on June 4 of this season as a National Team Replacement Player for the Pride when Erin McLeod left for the Olympics with Team Canada.

“Kaylie has been with the club since the conclusion of her final college season this past spring, and we’re thrilled to have her under contract moving forward,” Fleming added. “Kaylie’s talent, professionalism, and natural leadership ability have more than earned her this opportunity, and I am greatly looking forward to watching her continued development as a member of the Pride.”

Collins helped USC in the team’s successful spring season. Collins’ play helped lead the Trojans to the NCAA tournament with a first-round bye as the No. 8 seed. USC fought Ole Miss to a 2-2 draw before falling 3-2 in penalty kicks.

As a junior, Collins finished ranked third in the Pac-12 with 13 goals against, was eighth in the conference with a 1.13 goals-against average, and was ninth with a .755 save percentage. She only started 11 games, as she missed the first half of the season due to injury.

As a sophomore, Collins was named the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year. She led the conference in shutouts through the regular season and had the ninth-best goals-against average (0.51) in the country. This impressive year earned her United Soccer Coaches All-American second-team and Top Drawer Soccer Best XI second-team honors. Collins was also named to the All-Pac-12 first team and All-Region first team.

Collins also did well as a freshman. She was on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team following the 2017 season, after appearing in 19 games and making 53 saves. Her seven shutouts ranked seventh among Pac-12 goalkeepers.

Before attending USC, Collins was a four-year starter at Carondelet High School, where she was named a second-team Top Drawer Soccer High School All-American in 2015.

What It Means for Orlando

The return of van Egmond can only help with the midfield depth, although Fleming’s remarks about being “hopeful Emily is able to get to Orlando in the coming weeks” doesn’t exactly fill one with optimism about her having time to make much of an impact. The team has been improved in the midfield this season but the loss of Jade Moore early in the year hasn’t helped. If van Egmond can provide an extra quality midfield down the stretch and perhaps in the playoffs, it can only help Orlando.

Collins’ addition means depth at the goalkeeper position. McLeod has been nursing an injury in recent weeks, but the Pride still have Ashlyn Harris and Brittany Wilson. Fleming, interim coach Becky Burleigh, and goalkeeping coach Lloyd Yaxley will be able to continue to assess Collins’ progress and development as a possible goalkeeper of the future for the Pride.