Orlando Pride

Orlando Pride Sign Zambia International Midfielder Grace Chanda

The Pride have signed Zambian international midfielder Grace Chanda through the 2025 NWSL season.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride announced today that the club has signed Zambia international midfielder Grace Chanda through the 2025 NWSL season with a mutual option for 2026. Most recently playing for Madrid CFF in Spain’s Liga F, Chanda will join the Pride following Zambia’s participation in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

“Grace had a breakout 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,” Pride Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Haley Carter said in a club press release. “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.” 

Chanda is the second Zambian international to join the Pride after the signing of forward Barbra Banda, who quickly has become the NWSL leader in goals. The Zambian women’s national team has made a significant jump in recent years, making its Olympic debut in 2020 and FIFA Women’s World Cup debut in 2023. The Copper Queens also qualified for the upcoming Olympics in Paris this summer.

“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 in the club’s release. “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.” 

After a successful stint in Zambia’s top division — the FAZ Women’s League — Chanda moved to BIIK Kazgurt of the Kazakhstan Championship in 2022. She netted a hat trick in her UEFA Women’s Champions League debut on Aug. 18, 2022, becoming the first Zambian to play in the competition. A month after the game, she signed with Madrid CFF, one of the most successful teams in the Spanish top division. Her play in 2022 saw Chanda named an African Women’s Footballer of the Year finalist.

During her first season in Spain, Chanda played in 26 games with 11 starts, recording 1,137 minutes, three goals, and two assists. In July 2023, Chanda was ruled out of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup due to an illness, which caused her to also miss the majority of the Liga F season. She only ended up playing the final two games of the season, recording 19 minutes and scoring a goal.

The 26-year-old has been a fixture for Zambia, captaining the team and taking part in the 2018 and 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations. She was the top goal scorer for her team with eight goals at the 2020 CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. She missed the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the beginning of the Olympic qualifying campaign with her illness but returned in April, featuring in the two-legged qualifying tie against Morocco.

What This Means for Orlando

Chanda’s addition to the Pride adds more depth to their attack. Successful acquisitions by the team through signings and the draft have enabled them to take a risk on a player that has seen limited minutes over the past year. Her contract also only runs through next season with a possible option. As a result, it’s a low-risk, high-reward signing for the team.

The attacker can play in the attacking midfield or up top if necessary. Pride Head Coach Seb Hines has used both a 4-2-3-1 formation and a 4-4-2 formation this season, with Chanda being able to contribute in multiple ways in both setups. The club has put an emphasis on versatile players, and Chanda’s ability to play in the midfield or forward continues that trend. Adding more depth to the attack will give Hines the ability to rest important players like Marta, Adriana, and Banda, ensuring they’re fresh for the club’s playoff run.


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