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The Week in Women's Football: A-League Women's 2021/22 season preview - Part 1

This week we present part 1 of our annual Australian A-League Women's 2021-22 preview, the league's 14th season which starts the first week of December—looking this week at the top five teams from last season: Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory, Brisbane Roar, Canberra United and Adelaide United, with the Reds just missing the playoff semifinals in their best season ever.

In two week's time, we will look at the prospects for the other five teams: Western Sydney Wanderers, Melbourne City, Newcastle United, Perth Glory, and expansion franchise Wellington Phoenix. This week we also review the Matildas and U.S. National Team Friendlies this past week in New South Wales, including the rosters of both teams.



Australian A-League Women 2021/22 Regular Season Preview

This week, we present part one of our annual 2021/22 Australian A-League Women season preview (previously known as the Westfield W-League in a move to present consistent branding within the Australian professional football scene) ahead of its 14th season. The men's, women's and youth leagues will all be identified as "A-Leagues," in order to signify the partnership and have unified social media channels for men's and women's football on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

The 2020/21 campaign saw Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory repeating in the playoffs from the previous season—Sydney FC has never missed the playoffs in their 13 A-League Women seasons—while Canberra United and Brisbane Roar replaced 2019/20 Champions Melbourne City and debutants Western Sydney Wanderers for 2020/21.

The big news for this season is that the Australian Professional Leagues (APL)—which now oversees the women's A-League Women and men's A-League in Australia (and New Zealand for these two leagues)—announced in September that they would expand the A-League Women by three new teams by 2023: Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand for the 2021/22 campaign and New South Wales side Central Coast Mariners and Victoria Team Western United FC are both targeted for the 2022/23 season. This will provide more league games and more roster opportunities for players and is the A-League Women's first expansion since Melbourne City FC joined for the 2015/2016 season and before that WSW in 2012/13. The playoffs—previously two semifinals leading to a Grand Final—will add a Preliminary Final Series and expand to six teams; the Prelim series is a uniquely Australia sports approach that allows teams who finish first or second a second opportunity to make the Grand Final—a loser's bracket approach is used in American in sports such as baseball and softball via a double elimination tournament (with two losses and the team is eliminated).

Melbourne City assistant coach Melissa Barbieri —who stepped back into goal in an emergency basis last season—and an ex-Matilda (who played in the first year of the league in 2008/09) said about the expansion into New Zealand, "When the W-League [now A-League Women] was first set up it was for a certain purpose, to fit in between seasons elsewhere in the world, and so allow players to come here to play. In the short term it was fit for purpose. But now the more games being played by as many players as possible, the better for them and the better for the national team as some of them will be Matildas of the future. When you have high-quality games week in, week out, it makes you feel professional and most able to fulfill your potential. From an individual point of view, the NPL [the state-run leagues during the A-League Women's off-season] is a great avenue, but it doesn't compare with the W-League [A-League Women] for the opportunity to show what you can do. Having more clubs and more opportunities will be fantastic for the level of players who came through the youth national teams but have dropped away because of the lack of opportunities."

In other news, the five-year CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement] sets the foundation required to re-launch the professional leagues following a period of significant uncertainty, while providing flexibility to continue to enhance the CBA through an annual review for the A-League Women and a mid-term review for the A-League following the 2023/24 season. Key highlights of the agreement include:

  • significantly enhanced high performance standards, including training venues, travel and accommodation, high performance staffing and player workloads, with gender equality embedded;
  • 61% increase in the A-League Women Salary Cap Floor over the course of the agreement, with capacity to increase through annual reviews.

There are also four women head coaches for the ten teams this season—a strong sign to see which we hope will continue to increase in future years. In the inaugural season of 2008/09, Nicola Williams was the league's first ever and only female head coach with Perth Glory as a 26-year-old. She left the club the next season and there were no women head coaches in the league. In 2021/22 the four women coaches in charge are: Vicki Linton (Canberra United), Ash Wilson (Newcastle Jets), Catherine Cannuli (Western Sydney Wanderers) and Gemma Lewis (Wellington Phoenix—see more in our part 2 league preview in two weeks), who will guide the New Zealand side in the club's maiden A-League Women campaign.

The A-League Women's league kicks off on December 3, almost a month earlier than last year and more in line from previous years. Preseason training started in late September.

Note: The teams are presented below in order of their 2020/21 table position in the league.



Sydney FC (9-1-2—28 points—First)

Sydney FC won the Premiership (Regular Season) title last year but lost the Grand Final 1-0 to Melbourne Victory in the last minute of extra time. A key new signing for Sydney FC is Chilean international forward Maria Jose Rojas (33), who played to great acclaim last season with Adelaide United. She had one goal and one assist but was very creative and brought the other forwards into the game for an Adelaide side that set a club all-time record for goals scored, wins and points in a season. She previously spent a season at Canberra United in 2018/19, scoring once in 8 games. Rojas has made 44 appearances for Chile, scoring 11 times and appeared in both 2019 Women's World Cup and the 2018 Copa America. Rojas (33) played at the University of Texas-San Antonio and with the Gulf Coast Texas of the WPSL before playing in the German Frauen-Bundesliga, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Chile and Japan's Nadeshiko Division Two. Rojas should complement a Sydney attack featuring dynamic forwards Remy Siemsen, Princess Ibini and Cortnee Vine.

Other new signings include Jessika Nash (16) and Sarah Hunter (17) from Canberra United and Western Sydney Wanderers, respectively. Nash is one of the most highly acclaimed youth players in the country, nominated as a Young Footballer of the Year in 2020/21 with semifinalists Canberra. Nash captained the Junior Matildas at the 2019 AFC U16 Women's Championship in Thailand, while Hunter scored a brace in just her third league appearance. Nash was capped for the first time at the full level and started on November 27 in Sydney in the Matilda's 3-0 loss to the U.S. (see more below).

Returnees include Cortnee Vine, who was outstanding last season with four goals and three assists in 11 games but missed the Grand Final due to a torn medial collateral ligament. Charlotte Mclean, meanwhile, enjoyed a consistent season in 2020/21 in which she started all 14 Sky Blues fixtures in her debut national league campaign. Jada Whyman (22) is back in goal for her second season with the Sky Blues after four seasons with cross-town rival WSW.

Central defender Natalie Tobin had planned to move to Perth Glory for 2021/22 but will stay in Sydney to captain the side, after former skipper and midfielder Teresa Polias announced she would not play this season to focus on starting a family.



Brisbane Roar (7-4-1—25 points—Second)

The Roar signed head coach Garrath McPherson to a multi-year deal ahead of the 2021/22 campaign. McPherson returns to the Roar after serving as assistant coach to Mel Andreatta for three seasons, helping to guide Brisbane to the 2017/18 League Premiership. McPherson has helped to develop young, local talent in Queensland in recent years, having led the state's National Training Centre program while coaching Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) in the Women's National Premier League [state league].

Experienced midfielder Ayesha Norrie has returned for her third stint at Brisbane Roar. Norrie's initial three-season run with the club came between 2013 and 2016. She moved to Melbourne Victory before coming back for Brisbane's Premiership-winning campaign in 2017/18. Norrie last played in the A-League Women for Perth Glory in 2018/19. She scored six goals for NPL Queensland side Gold Coast United this past season.

The Brazilian-born forward Mariel Hecher started every game and scored four goals in a successful first A-League Women last season with the Roar, moving up from the NPL Queensland level. Jamilla Rankin (18) earned one of three end-of-season Young Footballer of the Year nominations for her strong performances at full-back for the Roar throughout the 2020/21 campaign. She also played one game for the club in 2019/20, is a U-17 international for Australia and participated in a Federation-led Women's Identification Camp last season.

Katrina Gorry returns in midfield for her tenth season with the Roar. The 78-cap Commonwealth Bank Matildas midfielder should become the third woman to achieve a decade of appearances for the Roar, sitting currently on 92, behind Clare Polkinghorne with 152 games (now at Vittsjo in Sweden) and Tameka Yallop with 129 matches (now at West Ham United in England). She has won two titles and three Premierships (regular season titles) with the Roar. Gorry has been completing preliminary strength and conditioning work in recent weeks after giving birth to her first child, daughter Harper, in August. She has won two league titles and three Premierships with the club.

Natalie Tathem (25) also returns to the Roar for her fifth season with her hometown side, after winning a league title last season with Melbourne Victory. The versatile defender/midfielder enjoyed Premiership success in Brisbane in 2017/18 when she played for now head coach Garrath McPherson.

New players this season include Japanese midfielder Rie Kitano (29), who played for Okayama Yunogo Belle in Japan's Nadeshiko League before relocating to Australia in early 2019, joining Gold Coast United in the NPL Queensland. Kitano moved to Souths United this year and faced her new A-League Women side as part of the NPL All-Stars team that took on the Roar in an exhibition match last December.

Emily Gielnik and Clair Polkinghorne, two of the few veteran Matildas in the league last season, went to Vittsjo in Sweden and then the Olympic Games Finals this summer and are still in Europe, with Gielnik moving to Aston Villa in September and "Polks" remaining with the continual overachieving Swedish village side.




Melbourne Victory (7-2-3—23 points—Third)

A true loss for the Melbourne Victory and Australian football is Lisa De Vanna's decision to leave the game. Lisa De Vanna (37) scored the Westfield W-League [now A-League Women] 2020/21 Goal of the Year for her strike against Melbourne City in Round 3. She has stated that she felt severely rebuffed by new national team coach Tony Gustavsson when he took over and he later dropped her from his plans for the Olympic Games. She explained, "Tony told me I wasn't playing with enough intensity…does he know that's what I run on?...I just think I'm at the point where I can't recover from what I've been through. It's very hard to put that jersey on when you don't have the support or you don't feel like you're respected….They've made it a lot easier for me to walk away. At this stage of my life, I don't want to.... I'm two caps away from breaking Cheryl's Salisbury record [for international caps]. I get an email and my name isn't on the list. No one even called me." DeVanna is number two all-time among Matilda goal scorers with 47 from 150 games; she was just recently surpassed by Chelsea's Sam Kerr during this summer's Olympics on the national team goal scoring list. De Vanna has won 5 W-League Grand Finals and a Julie Dolan Medal for Player of the Season in her career in the league. We do hope that she comes back to the A-League Women though she has hinted that she might try playing in the AFLW (Australian Football League Women). Before the latest COVID lockdown in the state, De Vanna had been training with an Australian Rules club in Melbourne, explaining that, "I'm unemployed now. I reckon I'd be good at it. I wouldn't mind tackling a few people. I'd probably give that a good go."

I will fondly remember De Vanna's goal scoring and attacking forays to help Australia make the 2007 Women's World Cup quarterfinals, her goals playing in the U.S. leagues and in Sweden, and finally her wonder goal last season against Melbourne City, where she flummoxed Australian international defender Jenna McCormick and then steamed 70 yards to goal before firing the ball home; it was her only goal of the season.

Former Melbourne City striker Harriet Withers has signed with Melbourne Victory ahead of the 2021/22 A-League Women season. The 25-year-old joins the champions after making eight appearances for City in 2020/21, scoring one goal—a Melbourne Derby winner in a 3-2 triumph over Victory.

Melbourne Victory sighed Matildas starlet Courtney Nevin for the 2021/22 A-League Women season. The 19-year-old joins the Club after three seasons with Western Sydney Wanderers, where she made 28 appearances for the Club, after having made her A-League Women's debut as a 16-year-old. The full-back has represented her country at U-17 and U-20 level, making her full senior Matildas debut in June 2021 against Denmark alongside Victory teammate Kyra Cooney Cross. Nevin then went on to represent Australia at the 2020 Olympic Games as part of Tony Gustavsson's 22-player squad that finished fourth in Tokyo. Nevin played once against the United States. She most recently featured for Australia in their September Republic of Ireland match and against the U.S. again in Sydney late in November (see more below).

Midfielder Kyra Cooney Cross—the goal-scoring hero for the Victory in the last minute of overtime in the Grand Final directly from her corner kick—is back, which is still a surprise as she is much talked about in European club scouting and coaching circles; she played in all six games for the Matildas in their fourth place Olympic Games Final finish this past summer. She also won the end of season 2020/21 women's league Young Footballer of the Year Award. Also back in midfielder is Amy Jackson (1 goal and 3 assists) and Melinda Barbieri (21), the latter who had one goal and three assists in 14 games.


Champions <a href='/clubs/melbourne-victory'>Melbourne Victory</a> are out to defend their crown in 2021/22

Champions Melbourne Victory is out to defend their crown in 2021/22. (Picture courtesy of A-League Women/Melbourne Victory.)


The league still has an American presence despite the second season without many NWSL imports, and no club displays that more than the Victory. Catherine Zimmerman (6 goals in 10 games) is back for the attack along with young Australian Lia Privitelli and Melina Ayers. Also returning is American defender Kayla Morrison (last season's club's Player's Player of the Year). Claudia Bunge (22) who played for New Zealand at the Olympic Games is back for her second season.

Jeff Hopkins was named the Coach of the Year for the second time after winning the 2020/21 Grand Final, his third Grand Final victory after two with the Roar in the early years of the league.

Some key losses include left-back Angela Beard, who moved to Denmark this summer to play with Fortuna Hjorring this past June. She has since been capped at the full international level by Australia. In goal, American-born Argentinian international Gaby Garton is not coming back, but the Victory should be strong in the last line of defense as they bring back Casey Dumont and Melissa Maizels. Dumont will be starting her eleventh A-League Women's season, having first made her debut in the inaugural season of the W-League. Since then, she has made 103 top flight appearances, earning 35 clean sheets in the process. Dumont missed the 2020-21 season after rupturing her Achilles tendon. Dumont had been with Victory for three seasons prior to last year. She had been a critical part of Melbourne Victory's premiership winning season in 2018-19. She previously spent league seasons with Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar, where she made her debut. She also won the W-League Premiership in 2008-09 and the Championship in 2008-09 and 2010-11 with the Roar.

Like Dumont, Melissa Maizels has a long history in the A-League Women. She was with Melbourne Victory from 2012 to 2014 before joining Canberra United for two seasons. While at Canberra, Maizels made her W-League debut in 2014. She then spent two years at Perth Glory before returning to Canberra for a season before returning home to Melbourne Victory in 2017-18.



Canberra United (6-4-2—22 points—Tied for Fourth)

Two Americans have signed with Canberra in November for their first A-League Women season. Orlando Pride midfielder Chelsee Washington came on loan until April 3, 2022 while defender Ally Haran was a permanent transfer. Selected at No. 30 overall in the 2020 NWSL College Draft out of Bowling Green State University in Northwestern Ohio, Washington has made 15 appearances for the Pride through all competitions since inking a contract ahead of the Fall Series a year ago. Through the 2021 campaign, the 23-year-old has appeared 10 times, with one assist to her credit. Haran, 25, joined the Pride via a one-year contract ahead of the 2021 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) season after featuring for the Pride on a short-term contract the year prior. The Wake Forest University product has appeared four times for the Pride across all competitions, most notably scoring her first professional goal in second half stoppage time against North Carolina, overcoming a 3-0 deficit to tie the Courage 3-3 late in the 2020 Fall Series (a four game set of games for each club during the first year of the COVID pandemic).

United signed Mikayla Vidmar, one of their academy school graduates, who is the daughter of former national team player Tony Vidmar. She has been playing in the NPLW SA for Adelaide City and won a league title in 2019.

Sydney striker Allira Toby joins Canberra for the 2021-22 season and made 14 total appearances for Sydney last season to help the club lift the Premiers Plate and progress to the Grand Final. Toby led the Brisbane Roar in scoring during their 2017/18 Premiership-winning campaign. Midfielder Chloe Middleton has joined the Greens from WSW on a one year deal and played five games last season for the Wanderers.

Margot Robinne has 210 games of French National League experience, scoring 128 goals between stints at Montigny le Bretonneux, FC Rouen and Toulouse FC since debuting in the league at the age of 15. Robinne (30) joins Canberra after a one-season spell at Melbourne City.

Returnees for the Greens include Grace Maher for her sixth A-League Women campaign (with two seasons with the Melbourne Victory) after debuting as a 15-year-old in 2014; she has 59 league appearances. Last season with Canberra she had 2 goals and 2 assists in 13 games for Vicki Linton's club. Maher said, "I am proud and excited to be back in green this season. We had a successful campaign to get back into finals football last year and I cannot wait to be here to help build on that. Canberra is my home and the feeling of playing for United is something I don't get at other clubs. This season is set to be exciting and I think building off what we created last year and improving those finer details will be key for us this year."

Matilda veteran forward Michelle Heyman re-upped for the 2021/22 campaign; she won the Julie Dolan medal as the Player-of-the-Year for 2020-21—after returning to the game following her retirement after the 2018-19 season—and was outstanding last season and the Dolan award was well-deserved, after firing her side to their first playoff berth in four seasons. Michelle Heyman received 19 points and was followed by Emily Gielnik (Brisbane Roar FC) and Kyra Cooney-Cross (Melbourne Victory)—both on 17 points—and Cortnee Vine (Sydney FC) and Emily Condon (Adelaide United)—both with 12 points). During the season, she passed now Chelsea-based Sam Kerr as the league's all-time leading scorer (73). In her first game back last year she scored a hat trick and Heyman finished with 10 goals on the season.

Unfortunately, forward Nicki Flannery is expected to be out all season after tearing an ACL in May at a federation-run national team talent identification camp in Sydney. She missed all of her state NPLW season with APIA Leichhardt in Sydney, where she goes to school. The camp, which involved a number of players still in college—like Flannery—and primarily amateurs, has pointed out a gap in the Federation's pay/insurance for those participating in these sorts of activities.



Adelaide United (7-1-4—22 points—Tied for Fourth)

The Reds had a record-setting year in 2020-21 and it was sad that they narrowly missed a first-ever playoff spot on a single goal differential compared with Canberra (+4 vs. +5), when their point total would have qualified for the postseason in each of the previous six seasons. Adrian Stenta, in his first season as head coach, directed Adelaide's club record-setting season in wins (7) and points (22) and returns as coach after signing a two-year contract extension to 2022/23. Head of Women's Football, Ivan Karlović, has made the decision to end his tenure with the Reds. Karlović joined Adelaide United in 2016 as the Youth Team Assistant Coach. In 2017, Karlović was appointed the women's team head coach, a role which he held for three seasons prior to stepping into an administrative role in August 2020.

New signings for 2020/21 include forward Shadeene (Shay) Evans (20), who has played with Sydney FC and Melbourne Victor and spent the off-season in the NSW Women's National Premier League with Northern Tigers, where she has netted five goals in 12 matches.

The Reds signed Sydney-born attacker Paige Hayward, who played in Austria's Frauen Bundesliga at FFC Vorderland in 2021, scoring once in five appearances. The forward came through the United States college system, spending five years with the University of Texas and at Texas Southern University, scoring 25 goals with the latter in three seasons.

The news that Adelaide was chosen just after last season ended as a WWC host city in 2023 will help galvanize the support for United and women's football in general in the state of South Australia.

Australia Finishes with a Defeat and Deadlock against the United States in Two Friendlies in New South Wales

Two high-profile friendlies were held in Australia during the November FIFA -international window between Australia and the U.S.—two sides that should be in the hunt for a medal in the 2023 Women's World Cup, which Australia will co-host with New Zealand. The two sides met twice at the Olympic Games Finals in Japan this summer, tying 0-0 in the Group Stage, with the Americans winning the Third/Fourth Place match 4-3 to capture a Bronze Medal.

The first friendly match was held at Stadium Australia in Sydney on November 27 in front of a record crowd of 36,109 to see the Matildas at home. Stadium Australia will also host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Final match. Ashley Hatch scored her first international goal in only her third appearance and first since 2018 after only 24 seconds while Rose Lavelle and Lindsay Horan (from the penalty spot) both scored second half goals in the American's 3-0 win. Australia did have the advantage in the run of play—61% vs. 39% in possession—and also out passed the Americans 506 to 335 and had 7 corners to only 2 for the U.S. The key difference was that goalkeeper Casey Murphy was outstanding in her international debut, finishing with a shutout and made eight saves—some of the jaw-dropping variety—and became only the seventh U.S. goalkeeper to record a shutout in her inaugural full national team appearance. Morgan Weaver, Bethany Balcer and Ashley Sanchez also won their first caps. Sophia Smith was with the team but didn't play because she was in concussion protocol. Catarina Macario, who suffered a minor groin strain in training, returned to her club side Olympique Lyon in France ahead of the second match.

For Australia, Tameka Yallop won her 100th cap for the Matildas while teenager Jessika Nash (17) made her debut and started in defense, along with Courtney Nevin (19) as veteran backs Clare Polkinghorne and Alanna Kennedy were rested. It was a difficult night for the two young defenders and head coach Tony Gustavsson was forced to explain himself for the odd move against the number 1 team in the world, "Normally all the teams that have been successful when it comes to defending have had consistent line-ups when it comes to cohesion. I think we have to look at every aspect and the other aspect we have to look at is tactics. We need depth in the backline and we need to look at players and be brave enough to actually get them into these type of games."

In the second match on November 30, at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle before another tremendous crowd of 20,495, the two sides tied 1-1. Ashley Hatch again scored an early goal (4th minute) to give the Americans the lead. Lynn Williams found Meg Purce with a telling pass and Purce took it towards the end line on the right side of the penalty area before sliding it across to meet Hatch's run. Melbourne Victory star Kyra Cooney-Cross (19), who readers of this column will know is so proficient with her long-range shooting in the A-League Women, had a powerful volley in the 20th minute that Casey Murphy saved by pushing the ball off of the post from a full dive. Australia would not get another shot on goal until their equalizer in the 88th minute, when Sam Kerr settled the ball at the top of the box and found forward Kyah Simon with a short pass for the tying goal. Simon fired a shot and which deflected off of a U.S. defender that wrong-footed Murphy and settled into the net. The United States continued to press for the remainder of the match and almost found the game-winning goal in the second minute of stoppage time as Horan put the ball in the net on a sliding volley, but she was correctly ruled offside. The U.S. posed a threat in the attack for the entire match, outshooting the Matildas 16-8 and tallying seven shots on target to two for Australia and possession was evenly shared between the two sides (50% vs. 50%). Defender Imani Dorsey won her first cap for the Americans while goalkeeper Bella Bixby was on the substitute's bench but will hope to get her first cap in 2022. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn earned her 199th cap and could hit 200 at the 2021 SheBelieves Cup, which will be the U.S.'s next international event. The U.S. improves to 28-5-1 (W-D-L) vs. Australia all-time. In Newcastle, Australia's Clare Wheeler (23) came on as a substitute; she grew up in the city a few hours north of Sydney as did Emily Van Egmond, whose father used to coach the men's Newcastle Jets side for a number of years. Emily Gielnik won her 50th cap for the Matildas in the Newcastle match as a 71st minute sub for starting forward Haley Raso.

The second game's result was better for the hosts but Gustavsson still must be feeling the pressure and the team must perform well in next month's Asian Cup Finals in India, which doubles as the region's WWC qualifiers, though they are already qualified for the Finals as hosts, or Gustavsson could see himself dismissed. COVID not withstanding, the record of the Matildas in 2021—aside from the 4th place finish in Tokyo, their best ever finish in a world tournament—was disheartening, with a number of painful losses to top European sides before the Olympics.

For host side Australia, Captain Sam Kerr and vice-captain Steph Catley led 21 players returning from October's Brazil series. Experienced England-based duo Hayley Raso and Emily Gielnik were recalled following recovery from injury. Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas center back, Jessika Nash won her first cap in the first match—playing the first half before being substituted—while forward Charlize Rule did not play in either game and is still waiting for her full international debut.


Australia Roster for November Friendlies vs. United States

Name

Position

Club

Caps (goals)

Junior Club / Member Fed

Mackenzie Arnold

Goalkeeper

West Ham United

27 (0)

Burleigh / Football QLD

Angela Beard

Back

Fortuna Hjørring

2 (0)

Bethania Rams / Football QLD

Ellie Carpenter

Back

Lyon

52 (1)

Cowra and District / Football NSW

Steph Catley

Back

Arsenal WFC

94 (3)

East Bentleigh, SE Cougars / Football Victoria

Kyra Cooney-Cross

Midfielder

Melbourne Victory

12 (0)

Ballarat City / Football Victoria

Caitlin Foord

Forward

Arsenal WFC

94 (21)

Warilla Wanderers / Football NSW

Mary Fowler

Forward

Montpellier

18 (5)

Leichhardt / Football QLD

Emily Gielnik

Forward

Aston Villa

49 (11)

Redlands United / Football QLD

Charlotte Grant

Back

FC RosengĂĄrd

2 (0)

Cumberland United Women's FC / Football SA

Bryleeh Henry

Forward

Western Sydney Wanderers

2 (0)

Penrith FC / Football NSW

Alanna Kennedy

Back

Manchester City

101 (8)

Campbelltown Cobras / Football NSW

Sam Kerr

Forward

Chelsea

102 (49)

Western Knights / Football West

Teagan Micah

Goalkeeper

FC RosengĂĄrd

7 (0)

Brisbane Blue, Brisbane Central / Football QLD

Jessika Nash

Back

Sydney FC

0 (0)

Doonside Hawks / Football NSW

Courtney Nevin

Back

Melbourne Victory

5 (0)

Oakville Ravens / Football NSW

Clare Polkinghorne

Back

Vittsjö GIK

138 (13)

Wynnum Wolves, Capalaba / Football QLD

Hayley Raso

Forward

Manchester City

56 (6)

Banora Point / Football QLD

Karly Roestbakken

Back

LSK Kvinner

7 (0)

Monaro Panthers / Capital Football

Charlize Rule

Forward

Sydney FC

0 (0)

Queens Park FC / Football NSW

Remy Siemsen

Forward

Sydney FC

1 (0)

Manly United / Football NSW

Kyah Simon

Forward

Tottenham Hotspur

103 (26)

Quakers Hill, Hills Brumbies / Football NSW

Emily van Egmond

Midfielder

Orlando Pride

110 (23)

Dudley-Redhead / Northern NSW Football

Clare Wheeler

Midfielder

Fortuna Hjørring

3 (0)

Adamstown Rosebud / Northern NSW Football

Lydia Williams

Goalkeeper

Arsenal WFC

94 (0)

Tuggeranong, Woden Valley / Capital Football

Tameka Yallop

Midfielder

West Ham United

99 (11)

Mudgeeraba / Football Queensland


For the Americans, NJ/NY Gotham FC defender Imani Dorsey, who was the NWSL Rookie of the Year in 2018, was a late addition to the camp roster in order to add to depth to the group of outside backs and brings the U.S. roster to 23 players. The roster now includes the three of the four most recent NWSL Rookie of the Year winners: Ashley Hatch (2017), Dorsey (2018) and Bethany Balcer (2019).


Of the 11 players ages 30 or older on this summer's Olympic team, only Kristie Mewis (30) and Sauerbrunn (36) were called into the Australia camp. U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski said Kelley O'Hara (32) might have been called up but was unavailable because of other obligations (family wedding). Andonovski said two of the NWSL top young players opted out of the trip. Mallory Pugh scored the winning goal for the Chicago Red Stars in their 1-0 win over Gotham FC in the quarterfinals, while Trinity Rodman, who plays for Washington, won the 2021 NWSL Rookie of the Year award. Rodman is expected to be invited to the next camp in January.


U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals) – November matches vs. Australia:


GOALKEEPERS (3): Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns FC; 0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 7), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 0)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (OL Reign; 2/0), Abby Dahlkemper (Houston Dash; 77/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 43/1), Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 0/0), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC; 6/0), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign; 7/0), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 197/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 61/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 106/24), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 66/17), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 12/3), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 31/4), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit; 0/0), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 20/2)
FORWARDS (6): Bethany Balcer (OL Reign; 0/0), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2/0), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 7/2), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 10/1), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 43/13), Morgan Weaver (Portland


Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get yours copy today.

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey



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Tim Grainey
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Tim Grainey

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