By Celia Balf
Westfield Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic has named the 23-player roster for Australia’s upcoming 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup (April 7-22) in Jordan.
The Matildas will start the tournament against Korea Republic on Saturday, April 7. They will then play Vietnam on Tuesday, April 10 before wrapping up the group stage against Japan on Friday, April 13.
Chicago Red Stars’ Sam Kerr, Seattle Reign FC’s Lydia Williams and Steph Catley, Orlando Pride’s Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy, Portland’s Hayley Raso and Ellie Carpenter, Utah Royals FC’s Katrina Gory and Houston Dash’s Kyah Simon have all been named to the squad.
Of note on the roster, Thorns FC confirmed 17-year old Carpenter’s contract begins on April 28 (her 18th birthday) and she will join the team following the tournament. Carpenter made her first international debut at the age of 15 during the 2016 Olympic qualifying.
During the NWSL offseason, Utah Royals FC signed midfielder Katrina Gory who previously played for FC Kansas City in 2014. There were other moves made, as midfielder Emily Van Egmond also re-signed in the NWSL, inking a contract with the Orlando Pride. Van Egmond last played for the Chicago Red Stars in 2014.
The Matildas get the chance to hit the ground running before the tournament officially begins when they host Thailand in Perth on Monday, March 26. This game will also be a homecoming of sorts for Kerr who plays for Perth Glory in the Australian W-League. Kerr, along with eight other Matildas named to the roster, are simultaneously gearing up for the 2018 NWSL season, but will be representing yellow and green until the AFC Women’s Asian Cup concludes on April 22.
The best show in women's football is coming to Perth for the first time ever!
Don't miss the Westfield Matildas when they take on Thailand.
— Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) March 19, 2018
One player who not be representing the Matildas for the upcoming games is Portland Thorns FC forward Caitlin Foord. Foord, who previously played for Sky Blue FC was acquired by Portland during the offseason. Foord was injured during the 2017 W-League semifinals for Sydney FC and underwent surgery to repair a ruptured lisfranc ligament in her foot. While she has been left off the roster, Foord has made a splash pumping fans up, particularly Perth fans, to come out for the clash on Monday.
“I’m excited to see the turnout as well and the girls are definitely going to enjoy that match.” https://t.co/mv3NqVwfBW
— Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) March 15, 2018
The Westfield Matildas had an impressive 2017 rising to No. 4 in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings and will look to win their second AFC Women’s Asian Cup having previously done so in 2010.
Australia roster for AFC Women’s Asian Cup
Lydia Williams (Melbourne City FC/ Seattle Reign FC), Caitlin Cooper (Sydney FC), Aivi Luik (Melbourne City FC), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar FC), Laura Alleway (Melbourne Victory), Chloe Logarzo (Sydney FC), Steph Catley (Melbourne City FC/Seattle Reign FC), Elise Kellond-Knight (uncontracted), Alex Chidiac (Adelaide United), Emily Van Egmond (Newcastle Jets/Orlando Pride), Lisa De Vanna (Sydney FC), Casey Dumont (Melbourne Victory), Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar FC), Alanna Kennedy (Melbourne City FC/Orlando Pride), Emily Gielnik (Brisbane Roar FC), Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar FC/ Portland Thorns FC), Kyah Simon (Melbourne City FC/Houston Dash), Mackenzie Arnold (Brisbane Roar FC), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar FC/Utah Royals FC), Samantha Kerr (Perth Glory/Chicago Red Stars), Ellie Carpenter (Canberra United/Portland Thorns FC), Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City FC), Michelle Heyman (Canberra United.)