At the end of May, Everton announced that they would not be renewing midfielder Olivia Chance’s contract and that she would be departing the club. The 2018/2019 season had been a rough one for Chance, having been injured for most of the season and only getting a few game time minutes in the last Everton match against Liverpool.
Chance, however, has been crucial to helping New Zealand’s World Cup campaign. In a friendly right before the tournament, New Zealand shocked the world by beating England 1-0.
But today, the Ferns showed the world that they are a much more serious contender in the World Cup than anyone had expected — and Chance played a big part in the match against Netherlands after earning a start.
In the 12th minute, Chance came close to scoring against the 8th ranked team in the world, but the ball hit the cross bar and the follow-up header from her teammate was saved by the Netherlands goalkeeper.
⚽️ | De spanning stijgt! 0⃣-0⃣ bij rust, kunnen de @oranjevrouwen in de 2⃣e helft het verschil maken tegen @NZ_Football ?— Emma Coolen, FIFA (@FIFAWWC_NED) June 11, 2019
Volg onze Live Blog hier! ➡️ https://t.co/id6preMqJT#FIFAWWC | #DareToShine | #NZLNED | #NED pic.twitter.com/GCsGp4Yjmy
Chance was relentless, helping on defense and on attack. She made it easy to forget that she had been out for an entire year on injury. In the 51st minute, Chance had a cross that her New Zealand teammate nearly scored on.
Chance has not yet announced her next club but she sure is making a case for herself on the world stage. Many former Everton players have gone on to thrive after leaving the club. Here’s a few examples:
- Mollie Green made 9 starts and 4 subs for Everton in 2017/2018 and scored 2 goals before leaving for Manchester United in the summer of 2018. Green was one of Casey Stoney’s first signings at the club and in 2018/2019, she went on to score 13 goals with the Red Devils.
- With Everton in 2017/2018, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored 4 goals in 18 appearances. The next season with Liverpool, she netted over twice as many goals in around the same amount of games: 10 goals in 19 appearances.
- Not to mention former Everton players Lucy Bronze, Toni Duggan, and Jill Scott, who all left for Manchester City and then even bigger horizons with Bronze ending up at UEFA Champions Lyon and Duggan at Barcelona.
Former Orlando Pride coach and new boss for the Ferns, Tom Sermanni, has helped to revive this New Zealand squad. Look for Chance to continue to stun crowds in her upcoming match against Canada on Saturday.
Everton midfielder Inessa Kaagman served as an unused substitute for Netherlands so let’s hope that she gets some more game time in their upcoming game against Cameroon on Saturday! She was the top goalscorer for the Blues during an especially tough season plagued by goal droughts.