Six NWSL players called up for Australia's series against China

The players, who are currently playing in the Westfield W-League in Australia, will compete in two matches against China on November 22nd and 26th.

Six NWSL players called up for Australia's series against China
Australian forward Sam Kerr celebrates the second goal of a friendly match against Brazil in Sydney, Australia | Photo: Zak Kaczmarek - Getty Images

The Australian Women's National Team, lovingly referred to as the Westfield Matildas, will face off against the People's Republic of China in two matches to close out the month of November. The Australian squad is looking to finalize a productive 2017 that included a 1-0 victory over the United States Women's National Team during the Tournament of Nations on their way to winning that competition. The team started out the year sluggishly, losing to Sweden and Denmark at the 2017 Algarve Cup before racking up five straight wins against top-10 ranked international opponents. Six players from the National Women's Soccer League were called up for the November camp. The Matildas are currently ranked sixth in the world while China is ranked 13th. 

During summer in the Southern Hemisphere, nearly all of the Australian players play in the Westfield W-League in their home country, but during their off-season seven of the players called into camp make their way to the United States to play in the NWSL. Those seven players are spread across four different teams: defenders Alanna Kennedy and Steph Catley play for the Orlando Pride, forward Hayley Raso plays for the NWSL Champion Portland Thorns, goalkeeper Lydia Williams and forward Larissa Crummer play for Seattle Reign FC, and NWSL 2017 Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr plays for Sky Blue FC. Forward Ashleigh Sykes is an Australian national who plays for the Thorns, but she was not called up for these friendlies. Laura Alleway, who will play in the friendlies, played for Orlando until the middle of the NWSL season before she was waived.

Samantha Kerr (Australia) battles with Wang Shanshan (China) for a header in the 2-1 Australia victory at the 2017 Algarve Cup | Photo: Octavio Passos - Getty Images
Samantha Kerr (Australia) battles with Wang Shanshan (China) for a header in the 2-1 Australia victory at the 2017 Algarve Cup | Photo: Octavio Passos - Getty Images

Both Australia and China compete in the Asian Football Confederation for Women's World Cup and Olympic qualifying. The two teams are automatic qualifiers for the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup finals which will be held in Jordan from April 7th through 22nd, 2018. Australia finished second and China finished third in the 2014 running of the competition. While Australia won't be playing any more matches in 2017, China will be participating in the 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship in Japan in December. On the whole, 2017 has been a busy but unimpressive campaign for the Chinese team. They have earned a record of 7W-2D-5L thus far, with five very difficult games remaining in their schedule.