This week Lisa De Vanna, a former Orlando Pride forward, has been at training and it's causing quite a stir. While the Australian Women's National Team captain is probably just gearing up for the upcoming Tournament of Nations, it made us want to take a look back at her time here in Orlando.
It all started back in 2016, on August 29th, when the team announced that they were signing one of the world's best strikers. "We're delighted to sign a player of Lisa's quality to add to the depth of our team and our attacking presence," Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said after the announcement. "Lisa is a world-class player, a game-changer and I'm looking forward to coaching her again." De Vanna played under Sermanni during his tenure as Australia's head coach from 2005-2012. Additionally, this was not her first appearance in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) either. During her two previous seasons in the league, she made appearances for Sky Blue FC, Boston Breakers, and Washington Spirit.
Wednesday, September 7th, marked the debut for the newly-acquired forward, who came in at the 88th minute against Sky Blue FC in New Jersey. Lisa looked to find the game-winner in her first shot in purple, but the ball was just off target. She earned her first start of the season on Saturday, September 10th, playing 62 minutes at home, then Camping World Stadium, also against Sky Blue FC. On only her third game available, Orlando Pride closed it's inaugural season, on September 24th, in front of a home crowd against Kansas City with De Vanna getting a full 90 minutes. With 154 minutes over three games, Orlando fans never had the chance to see De Vanna's true potential impact on the team.
On October 19th, 2016 the team announced that they had exercised contract options for the 2017 NWSL season on ten players, including Lisa De Vanna. As offseason set in, everything was quiet until January 2nd. This time the Pride were announcing they were loaning the forward to Canberra United in the W-League. She was one of six Orlando players getting some time in Australia. The club stated, "De Vanna will be available to return to the Pride for the start of the 2017 NWSL season."
Unfortunately, on March 7th, 2017 Orlando Pride announced that they were waiving from the roster. "I'd like to thank Lisa for her contribution during her short time at the Club. Despite the fact that she was only here for a brief time, she made a big impact with our team and with the fans," Sermanni said at that time. "She is a very special player and we hope to see her back in the league in the future."
While her performance was short lived in Orlando, Lisa De Vanna is a star on the International soccer stage. We look forward to seeing more things from her over the next two years, as she competes later this month in the 2018 Tournament of Nations and next year in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.