Soccer: Newcastle's Emily van Egmond signs with US club Orlando Pride as Matildas push to 2019 World Cup

OVERSEAS: Newcastle's Emily van Egmond has signed with the Orlando Pride and will join the US club in late April after Australian representative duties. Picture: AAP
OVERSEAS: Newcastle's Emily van Egmond has signed with the Orlando Pride and will join the US club in late April after Australian representative duties. Picture: AAP

Emily van Egmond reckons another US stint will help what shapes as a massive 18 months leading into next year’s World Cup.

Fresh from a drought-breaking W-League finals effort with the Newcastle Jets, the 24-year-old Novocastrian has signed with the Orlando Pride for the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League season.  

The globe-trotting midfielder will join her new club in the coming months after representing Australia at the Algarve Cup in Portugal from March 1 and the all-important Asian Cup in Jordan from April 7.  

The latter will double as qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup in France and van Egmond wants to ensure she’s at the top of her game to ensure the Matildas are best placed come next June.

“To be able to play football for the whole year as opposed to only three or four months in the W-league is vital for my development and the national team as well,” van Egmond told the Newcastle Herald. “And the fact I’m going to such a big club in America is good.”

The official announcement was made via social media on Thursday with van Egmond confirming her fourth US club following previous links with the Chicago Red Stars (2014), Seattle Reign (2013) and Western New York Flash (2012). 

“I’ve played there previously before and I’m excited to go back,” she said. “I think it’s the best league in the world at the moment for women’s football.”

Van Egmond was also pleased to be teaming up again with Orlando coach Tom Sermanni, who mentored the Australian women’s team from 2005 to 2012 when she made the first of 68 international appearances. 

“I know when he [Sermanni] coached the Matildas I really enjoyed my time under him,” she said. “I value and respect him as a coach and human being.”

Van Egmond, who hopes to rejoin the Jets in 2018-2019 after going down to Sydney in extra-time of Saturday’s semi-final, assembles with the Matildas this weekend.