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Zambian international Barbra Banda has needed little time to adjust to the National Women's Soccer League. She signed with Orlando during the preseason from Shanghai Shengli, and after just seven games with the team, she's co-leader of the NWSL Golden Boot race with eight goals alongside U.S. women's national team forward Sophia Smith -- and she's showing no signs of slowing down.

Her eight goals have come in a variety of ways, and nearly even with four header goals and her other four goals split between her left and right foot. It makes her a difficult defensive mark, and opposing teams have yet to figure out how to slow her down. Banda's 32-shot attempts are fourth-best in the league, and she has two assists for the Pride.Β 

"Actually, I'm unpredictable," Banda said on Attacking Third about her goal scoring. "I feel when I'm given a chance, I have to utilize my chances very well. So when I get a spot, I think I have a chance to score. I just have to put it [in the back] of the net. So for me, I'm very unpredictable and more especially during training and when it's the game time, we get instructions from the coach, but it's time [when] a player has to have their own personal knowledge. It's not that everything that you're going to use, what you practice in the pitch, but there is that element of your own that you need to apply during the game."

Zambia qualified for the upcoming Olympics and the team will compete in Group B with the United States, Germany, and Australia. Banda's utilizing her time with the Pride as crucial prep, as the Zambia federation failed to schedule friendlies for the team during the upcoming June international window. There are differences between playing for both squads, and she'll have to balance those inequities very soon with the games in Paris rapidly approaching.

"I think there is a very big difference because when you look at Orlando, the team, the way we are playing, I think it's a team that loves knocking the ball. And I think it's just a team that everyone now is enjoying watching. It's so amazing the way we are keeping the ball, the position and everything," she said.

"When coming to Zambia, you know, lacking a lot of experience. We have a lot of young players coming [into] the team, fitting in, but while they are fitting in so well, but, you know, I still want to achieve as a team, you need experience. So we are growing up together with the young kids that are coming in. So I think it's just a matter of the experience that's the difference."

There were plenty of things that piqued her interest in playing in the United States, and her relentless efforts started before she ever got to Orlando by studying the team shortly after a call with her agent about interest from the Pride.

"I was able to watch their team and everything, what they are doing, and I've adjusted so quickly because I think the most important thing is the way we interact as a team, and if everyone welcomes you very well, you always feel at home and feel comfortable with each and everyone," she explained.Β 

She mentioned getting to play alongside Brazilian legend Marta was once a childhood dream. Banda has previously mentioned to Zambia media that it would be her lifelong goal to get to play with or against the football icon. Now a reality, she's checked that off her bucket list and is using her time as a teammate to become an even better attacker.

"I'm always learning something from her. She's been an inspiration to me since I was a kid. I think I always come up with something during training. I always want to learn something different and come up with something new. So she's one of the [people] that has been inspiring me for quite some time," she said.

Prior perceptions of internationals new to NWSL meant that a grace period may be needed to adapt to the differences in playing levels. Whether the physicality or transitional play, sometimes coaching staffs took a measured approach with their internationals and then weaved them into starting lineups.Β 

While she's building a case for NWSL Golden Boot, it's now impossible to ignore her in MVP discussions, and Banda's also smashing long-time league narrative around international players who arrive at NWSL. But her arrival is not only breaking old ways of thinking, she's quickly writing her way into NWSL lore as possibly the greatest-ever international signing in the league.