The Orlando Pride announced on Monday the signing of Australia forward Lisa De Vanna.
The news was first reported by The Equalizer’s Dan Lauletta. The Equalizer confirms that the signing is for the rest of the season with an option for 2017.
“I am incredibly happy to be joining the Orlando Pride and keen to be working with Tommy again,” De Vanna said. “I’m looking forward to joining the team. It’s exciting to be a part of a new team and will do my best to help the squad for the rest of the season.”
De Vanna, 31, joins the Pride after leading Australia to its first Olympic quarterfinal appearance since 2004. Australia played Brazil to a 0-0 draw in the quarterfinal before falling on penalty kicks. The Matildas captain previously played in the NWSL for Sky Blue FC, the Boston Breakers and the Washington Spirit over the course of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, falling out of favor with then Spirit head coach Mark Parsons ahead of the 2014 playoffs. She tallied six goals and seven assists over those two seasons.
De Vanna is the third Aussie on the Pride roster, joining Steph Catley (out for the season) and Laura Alleway.
Pride coach Tom Sermanni will hope De Vanna gives his team a scoring spark. Orlando has scored 15 goals in 16 games. Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Washington Spirit essentially eliminated the Pride’s longshot playoff hopes, though Orlando is not yet mathematically eliminated.
Sermanni previously coached De Vanna as coach of the Australia national team.
“We’re delighted to sign a player of Lisa’s quality to add to the depth of the team and our attacking presence,” Sermanni said. “Lisa is a world-class player, a game-changer and I’m looking forward to coaching her again.”