Football Federation Australia (FFA) is on dangerous ground.
Matildas coach Ante Milicic has named the 23-player squad that he’ll take to the USA for a friendly next month.
With this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup coming soon, Australia is doing everything in its power to prepare. Milicic considers playing the world’s No.1 ranked nation in a friendly as the best way to do so.
The match is set to be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on April 5 (AEDT), in Colorado.
Milicic has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to see as many players as possible in action ahead of the final squad selection for France. Staying true to this idea he has added some fresh talent to the lineup, including two debutants.
This new blood includes two players making their international debut. Elizabeth Ralston is one who showcased her consistent ability to perform in Champions Sydney FC in the Westfield W-League. She will be joined by UCLA goalkeeper Teagan Micahand.
In addition to the rookies, experienced pair Katrina Gorry and Chloe Logarzo are back after missing the Cup of Nations through injury. Australia’s performance in the Cup of Nations despite missing two of their key players illustrates the side’s depth.
Apart from the fresh legs on the team, the majority of the squad have been well established in international football, compared to their relative inexperience during the last world cup.
Fifteen members of the squad have played at least 30 times for the Matildas. Having well-established players such as Clare Polkinghorne, Lisa De Vanna, and Elise Kellond-Knight to go alongside the attacking threat of Caitlin Foord, Sam Kerr, and Emily van Egmond should help the fresh faces cope with the upcoming pressure.
Australia have played the USA 28 times in international matches since their first face-off in 1987. The 1-0 win at the Tournament of Nations in 2017 was Australia’s first victory over the USA in 28 attempts. Only a last-minute goal by US midfielder Lindsey Horan denied the team a second victory last year.
Apart from this match-up, Milicic says that the team will “expect to play a further five or six matches prior to the start of this year’s World Cup.”
The match against USA is important for a few reasons. It will be a chance for the individual players to prove they deserve a spot in France, for the World Cup in June. On top of this, playing the No.1 ranked team is an excellent way to prepare for the tournament, and possibly get a mental edge on the reigning champs.
|Player||Club, Country||Caps (Goals)|
|Teigen ALLEN||Melbourne Victory FC, Australia||40 (0)|
|Laura ALLEWAY||Melbourne Victory FC, Australia||60 (2)|
|Mackenzie ARNOLD (Gk)||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia||23 (0)|
|Tameka BUTT||Klepp IL, Norway||77 (10)|
|Ellie CARPENTER||Portland Thorns, USA||30 (1)|
|Steph CATLEY||Seattle Reign, USA||71 (2)|
|Lisa DE VANNA||Sydney FC, Australia||146 (46)|
|Caitlin FOORD||Portland Thorns, USA||70 (15)|
|Mary FOWLER||Bankstown City Lions FC, Australia||3 (0)|
|Emily GIELNIK||Melbourne Victory FC, Australia||27 (7)|
|Katrina GORRY||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia||72 (14)|
|Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT||Seattle Reign, USA||105 (1)|
|Alanna KENNEDY||Orlando Pride, USA||76 (7)|
|Samantha KERR||Chicago Red Stars, USA||75 (30)|
|Chloe LOGARZO||Washington Spirit, USA||37 (6)|
|Aivi LUIK||Levante UD, Spain||21 (0)|
|Teagan MICAH (Gk)||UCLA, USA||0 (0)|
|Clare POLKINGHORNE||Houston Dash, USA||115 (9)|
|Elizabeth RALSTON||Sydney FC, Australia||0 (0)|
|Hayley RASO||Portland Thorns, USA||33 (3)|
|Gema SIMON||Newcastle Jets FC, Australia||10 (0)|
|Emily VAN EGMOND||Orlando Pride, USA||84 (18)|
|Lydia WILLIAMS (Gk)||Seattle Reign, USA||76 (0)|