Overnight, Australia announced their 25 player squad for their doubleheader against the USA at the end of this month. Head coach Tony Gustavsson revealed the reasons behind his selections
Above: The Matildas face the World Champions twice at the end of this month with their all-time attendance record set to be smashed. Photo: Football Australia.
Australia have revealed their squad for the upcoming two-match international series against the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Head Coach Tony Gustavsson has continued to embrace a combination of experience and youth as the Matildas prepare to face the current FIFA Women’s World Cup champions at Stadium Australia in Sydney (27th November) and McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle (30th November).
This will be the first time the Matildas have played at Stadium Australia as they look to break their attendance record of 33,600 set against Sweden at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium has become a regular host to Australia in recent years with this being the fourth game held there in five years. The last time they played in the Hunter, 14,014 supporters saw Australia defeat Vietnam 5-0 in the first leg of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Qualifier play-offs.
Having met on 31 previous occasions, the U.S. Women’s National Team are the Australia’s third most regular opponent. While the United States leads the head-to-head, clashes in recent years have produced some world-class football and goal-filled matches.
“There truly is no more exciting challenge for the team than to be taking on the world number one team, in front of thousands of passionate fans, in the stadium where the FIFA Women’s World Cup final will be played in 2023,” said Gustavsson.
“This could not be a better dress rehearsal for a World Cup final and we are going to treat it in the same way. From when we arrive, to those match days with what we hope will be record crowds, this is our chance to prepare for the big moments that want to be a part of in 2023.”
Captain Sam Kerr and vice-captain Steph Catley headline the 21 players returning from October’s Brazil series. While experienced England-based duo Hayley Raso and Emily Gielnik are recalled following recovery from injury, with the latter in line to record her 50th international appearance for the Matildas.
At the other end of the spectrum, Young Matildas centre-back, Jessika Nash, and forward Charlize Rule will receive their first senior team introduction as they join the significant cohort of players in 2021 to be provided with the opportunity to experience the national team training environment.
“In selecting the squad, balance was at the heart of the decision making,” said Gustavsson. “We know that this is our final occasion to see the group together before announcing the squad for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup next year, and our focus remains on this crucial preparation.”
“However, with another camp at home, we didn’t want to miss the chance to expose another two young players to our standards and team philosophy, and to find out whether they can be a part of the building of depth towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.”
|Mackenzie Arnold||Goalkeeper||West Ham United||27 (0)|
|Angela Beard||Back||Fortuna Hjørring||2 (0)|
|Ellie Carpenter||Back||Lyon||52 (1)|
|Steph Catley||Back||Arsenal WFC||94 (3)|
|Kyra Cooney-Cross||Midfielder||Melbourne Victory||12 (0)|
|Caitlin Foord||Forward||Arsenal WFC||94 (21)|
|Mary Fowler||Forward||Montpellier||18 (5)|
|Emily Gielnik||Forward||Aston Villa||49 (11)|
|Charlotte Grant||Back||FC Rosengård||2 (0)|
|Bryleeh Henry||Forward||Western Sydney Wanderers||2 (0)|
|Alanna Kennedy||Back||Manchester City||101 (8)|
|Sam Kerr||Forward||Chelsea||102 (49)|
|Teagan Micah||Goalkeeper||FC Rosengård||7 (0)|
|Jessika Nash||Back||Sydney FC||0 (0)|
|Courtney Nevin||Back||Melbourne Victory||5 (0)|
|Clare Polkinghorne||Back||Vittsjö GIK||138 (13)|
|Hayley Raso||Forward||Manchester City||56 (6)|
|Karly Roestbakken||Back||LSK Kvinner||7 (0)|
|Charlize Rule||Forward||Sydney FC||0 (0)|
|Remy Siemsen||Forward||Sydney FC||1 (0)|
|Kyah Simon||Forward||Tottenham Hotspur||103 (26)|
|Emily van Egmond||Midfielder||Orlando Pride||110 (23)|
|Clare Wheeler||Midfielder||Fortuna Hjørring||3 (0)|
|Lydia Williams||Goalkeeper||Arsenal WFC||94 (0)|
|Tameka Yallop||Midfielder||West Ham United||99 (11)|
For the third match in a row, a Matilda is set to hit their century with midfielder Tameka Yallop on the cusp of the milestone. Yallop would be the fifth player this year to record 100 international appearances and the 12th Australian woman in history. The West Ham United star would join Emily van Egmond (110), Kyah Simon (103), Sam Kerr (102) and Kennedy (101) as the Matildas 2021 centurions.
Another potential milestone could be reached by Sam Kerr over the two games. The Western Australian is just one goal away from equalling the Australian goalscoring record and two goals away from passing Tim Cahill (50) on the leader board for international goals.
Charlize Rule and Jessika Nash are the latest players to make the leap from the Women’s Talent ID camps, with the teens looking to build on that introduction to senior high performance. Instituted off the back of the findings of the women’s Performance Gap report, the Women’s Talent ID camps have resulted in 16 players being identified and provided with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the international level.