Saturday, July 13, 2024

Official; Grace Chanda joins Orlando Pride 

Orlando Pride have confirmed the acquisition of Copper Queens midfielder Grace Chanda on a two year deal. 

The club took to social media to confirm the development. Chanda becomes the second Zambian international on the NWSL log leaders roster after skipper Barbra Banda. 

Chanda will join the club in July after the expiration of her contract at Spanish Liga F outfit Madrid CFF. 

BELOW IS FULL STATEMENT FROM THE CLUB 

The Orlando Pride and Zambian international Grace Chanda have agreed to a contract through the 2025 season, with a mutual option for 2026, it was announced today. 

Chanda most recently played for Madrid CFF in Spain’s top-division Liga F and was one of three players shortlisted for African Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2022. The midfielder will join the Pride following Zambia’s participation in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“Grace had a break-out year in 2022, proving what she is capable of, and we’ve had our eye on her since the buildup to the Women’s World Cup last summer,” said Orlando Pride VP of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter. “While she navigated tremendous adversity this past year off the field, she has come out of it even stronger and is ready to make an impact. We are excited to bring her to Orlando and are confident in the quality and depth she will add to our midfield and attack. Grace offers added versatility, speed, and technical skill and is tenacity and joy personified on the pitch. We look forward to her arrival and getting her settled in the City Beautiful and can’t wait to see her in purple!”

“I am extremely excited to join Orlando. It is a great club, where I will be able to play alongside amazing players, like Marta and Barbra,” Chanda said. 

“This is a very important step in my life because I have always wanted to play in the NWSL, one of the best leagues in the world. I hope I can adapt quickly so that I can help my teammates and the club achieve greater things together. I’m looking forward to this amazing journey of my life.”

In 2022, Chanda signed with BIIK Kazygurt of the Kazakhstan Championship and scored a hat-trick in her UEFA Women’s Champions League debut to lift the club to a 5–1 victory on August 18, 2022. She was the first Zambian women’s footballer to appear in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Just a month later she signed with Madrid CFF in Spain’s top division Liga F on a two-year contract. She finished the 2022-23 season playing in 26 matches, scoring three goals and providing two assists helping Madrid finish fifth in the standings.

On an international level, Chanda has represented Zambia at the 2018 and 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations. Chanda was one of three players shortlisted for African Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2022 after helping Zambia qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a tournament she would unfortunately be ruled out of due to illness.

Chanda made her return to club play with Madrid on May 12, 2024, scoring a goal just 11 minutes into her return in a 6-1 win over Valencia.

Prior to that, the midfielder was the top goal scorer for Zambia with eight goals at the 2020 CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament and helped Zambia book a ticket to their first Olympics. She made her return to the Zambian Women’s National Team this April, when she featured in both Olympic qualifying matches against Morocco. Zambia went on to qualify for the 2024 Olympics beating Morocco 3-2 in aggregate.

TRANSACTION: Orlando Pride signs midfielder Grace Chanda to a two-year contract through the 2025 season, with a mutual option for 2026.

Grace Chanda (Chan-DUH)

Position: Midfielder

Number: 23

Height: 5-3

Born: June 11, 1997 in Kasama, Zambia

Hometown: Lusaka, Zambia

Citizenship: ZAM

Aaron Mubanga
Aaron Mubangahttps://zambianfootball.co.zm
Aaron Mubanga is a qualified Environmental Health Technologist| Editor in Chief of Zambia's biggest all local football website ZamFoot| Player manager for Copper Queens duo of Barbra Banda and Evarine Susan Katongo |Brand Ambassador for Betway|Talent Scout| Women's Football Ambassador| Blogger | Football Writer|

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