ORLANDO, Fla. - Following the Club’s fourth National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season, five Orlando Pride players are headed to Australia to play in the Westfield W-League, the country’s top-flight women’s professional league. The W-League begins play this weekend, with the full match schedule available here.
Defender Carson Pickett will return to play for Brisbane Roar FC, while defender Alanna Kennedy will spend another W-League campaign with Sydney FC. Forward Claire Emslie and midfielder Emily van Egmond will both feature for Melbourne City FC, with forward Camila rounding out the Pride in the W-League, heading to Canberra United.
As they are in option years with the Pride, Emslie, Kennedy and Camila will each join their respective clubs on loan. Pickett and van Egmond, who are both between contracts with Orlando, will sign one-season agreements with the W-League sides.
Pickett, 26, returns to Brisbane Roar for her third season in the W-League. The Pride defender has appeared in every match for the Roar in her last two seasons with the club, with three goals to her credit in that span. Pickett helped lead Brisbane to a semifinal appearance for the second-straight year in 2018, where they fell to eventual champions Sydney FC. The Florida State product appeared in 20 games for the Pride this season with 19 starts, registering one assist in 2019.
Emslie, 25, will make her W-League debut this summer for Melbourne City FC after signing with the Pride this past May. The Scottish international played in 11 matches for the Pride this season, with nine starts, recording one assist. Prior to coming to Orlando, Emslie spent two seasons with Manchester City Women of England’s FA Women’s Super League. On the international stage, Emslie has recorded 25 appearances for the Scottish Women’s National Team, scoring five goals, including the nation’s first in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this past summer in France.
Emslie will be joined at Melbourne by Pride teammate van Egmond. This season will mark the 26-year-old’s 10th in the W-League and her first with City after spending the last six seasons with her hometown club Newcastle Jets. In her last season with the Jets, van Egmond appeared in seven matches. The Matildas midfielder appeared in eight matches for the Pride this season, seven of which were starts, adding one assist before her season was cut short to undergo ankle surgery.
Kennedy, 24, returns for her sixth season with Sydney FC and her ninth in the W-League. The Matildas defender helped lead Sydney FC to win the W-League Grand Final last season, now having won back-to-back years after doing the same while with Melbourne the previous year. Kennedy played in 12 matches for Sydney last season, scoring three goals. The Australian international appeared in 15 matches for the Pride in 2019, scoring one goal off a bicycle kick finish against Reign on April 21.
Brazilian international Camila, 25, is set to make her debut in the Australian league for Canberra United. Camila appeared in 16 matches for the Pride this season with four starts, scoring one goal. She spent her last offseason on loan with Iranduba in Brazil, where she played in all five of the club’s Copa Libertadores matches.
Pride fans will be able to keep up with players competing overseas during the offseason by following the Pride on Twitter at @ORLPride.
The Orlando Pride contributed to this report.