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.
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)|