Australian roster named for 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup
Australian Roster Named for 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup | Photo: Westfield Matildas Twitter

The Westfield Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic has named the 23-player roster for the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup that will serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The tournament kicks off in early April in Jordan.

Familiar Faces Return

After finishing fourth at the Algarve Cup this month, some players that were not included on that roster due to injury are making a return. Houston Dash forward Kyah Simon, Portland Thorns forward Hayley Raso and Seattle Reign defender Steph Catley were all named to the squad along with forward Emily Gielnik.

Another player returning to the roster is Melbourne City’s Aivi Luik, who hasn’t seen international action since 2015. The 33-year-old has six caps with the Matildas and helped Melbourne City win the W-league championships for the third straight season.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Looking to keep momentum

The Matildas are looking to qualify for the world cup for the world cup for the seventh straight cycle. After being eliminated after the group stage in the first three world cups, the team made it to the quarterfinals for the last three cycles.

After finishing first in the inaugural Tournament of Nations, the Australians moved up the rankings to the fourth, their highest ranking ever. The rise of striker Sam Kerr, the reigning NWSL MVP and golden boot-winner, has helped the squad win nine of their last 11 matches, including a 10-game unbeaten streak from July 2017 to March.

Along with Kerr, co-captains Lisa De Vanna and Clare Polkinghorne as well as veteran goalkeeper Lydia Williams and midfielder Emily van Egmond as well as the rest of the squad will be hungry to qualify for the World Cup in France where they look to make a run to claim their first-ever world title.

After a friendly against Thailand on March 26, the Matildas open the group stage of the Asian Cup on April 7 against South Korea followed by matches against Vietnam and Japan on April 10 and 13, respectively. The full roster is listed below.

Jersey Number Player Name (Position) Club/Country International Caps (Goals)
1 Lydia Williams (GK) Seattle Reign FC, United States 65 (0)
2 Caitlin Cooper (DF) Sydney FC, Australia 9 (2)
3 Aivi Luik (MF) Melbourne City FC, Australia 16 (0)
4 Clare Polkinghorne (DF) Brisbane Roar FC, Australia 101 (8)
5 Laura Alleway (DF) Melbourne Victory, Australia 52 (2)
6 Chloe Logarzo (MF) Sydney FC, Australia 24 (3)
7 Steph Catley (DF) Seattle Reign FC, United States 63 (2)
8 Elise Kellond-Knight (MF) 90 (1)
9 Alex Chidiac (MF) Adelaide United, Australia 7 (0)
10 Emily Van Egmond (MF) Orlando Pride, United States 69 (14)
11 Lisa De Vanna (FW) Sydney FC, Australia 132 (43)
12 Casey Dumont (GK) Melbourne Victory, Australia 3 (0)
13 Tameka Butt (MF) Klepp Il, Norway 64 (9)
14 Alanna Kennedy (DF) Orlando Pride, United States 63 (3)
15 Emily Gielnik (FW) Brisbane Roar FC, Australia 15 (4)
16 Hayley Raso (FW) Portland Thorns, United States 22 (1)
17 Kyah Simon (FW) Houston Dash, United States 78 (22)
18 Mackenzie Arnold (GK) Arna Bjornar FC, Norway 17 (0)
19 Katrina Gorry (MF) Utah Royals FC, United States 63 (14)
20 Sam Kerr (FW) Chicago Red Stars, United States 61 (21)
21 Ellie Carpenter (DF) Portland Thorns, United States 16 (1)
22 Larissa Crummer (FW) Melbourne City FC, Australia 19 (3)
23 Michelle Heyman (FW) Canberra United, Australia 59 (20)