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Monday Roundup: Stajcic names 21-player Matildas roster for Tournament of Nations

Also in today’s Roundup, Swedish international Magdalena Eriksson signs with Chelsea.

NWSL Player of the Month Sam Kerr and her Australian side will take on Brazil this fall in a two-game international friendly series. (photo copyright Katie Cahalin for The Equalizer)

Sam Kerr is among the forwards listed for Matildas ahead of Tournament of Nations set to take place in the United States in a few weeks. (photo copyright Katie Cahalin for The Equalizer)

Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic named his 21-player squad that will represent Australia at the Tournament of Nations in the United States later this month. There they are set to face off against three of the top six teams in the world in the USWNT, Japan, and Brazil.

All of Australia’s overseas stars have been named to Stajcic’s squad, notably including Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr, who was named NWSL Player of the Week last week after scoring a hat trick in 12 minutes and who has been performing at a high level for the New Jersey side this season in the NWSL. Kerr, among other Matildas who have been finding success in overseas club play, has been duly noted by Stajcic.

“We monitor the overseas-based players daily and have contact with them weekly, so we keep tabs on them pretty closely and make sure the communication lines are always open between us and them,” Stajcic said in the federation’s official release. “Sam’s exploits over in the NWSL this season are a great confidence booster for the team.”

Five of the 21 players are currently playing in the NWSL: Kerr (Sky Blue FC), Lydia Williams (Houston Dash), Steph Catley (Orlando Pride), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride), and Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns).  Raso most recently scored the winning goal for Portland this past weekend to give them a 1-0 victory over first-place North Carolina Courage. Laura Alleway, recently released by the Orlando Pride, is also on the tournament roster.

The first match of the tournament for Australia will be against the USWNT who the Matildas have yet to beat in 26 attempts. Stajcic thinks that this type of competition will be great for his side as they prepare for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2018 and beyond.

“Being in the preparation phase for next year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup, these are exactly the kind of matches we want and the opposition we want to test ourselves against,” he said. “It gives us a chance to look at things we are doing well and things we need to improve on to become a dominant force at the 2018 Women’s Asian Cup and the Women’s World Cup in 2019.”

Australia Tournament of Nations Roster by Position

Goalkeepers (2): Lydia Williams, Mackenzie Arnold
Defenders (7): Gema Simon, Caitlin Cooper, Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Ellie Carpenter
Midfielders (8): Chloe Logarzo, Elise Kellond-Knight, Caitlin Foord, Emily van Egmond, Tameka Butt, Hayley Raso, Katrina Gorry, Alex Chidiac
Forwards (4): Lisa De Vanna, Emily Gielnik, Princess Ibini, Sam Kerr

Swedish international Magdalena Eriksson signs with Chelsea

Over the weekend, Chelsea announced the signing of Swedish international defender Magdalena Eriksson on a deal that will keep her with the club until the end of the 2018-2019 season.

Prior to Chelsea, Eriksson spent significant time with Linkopings FC of the Damallsvenskan where she recorded 77 appearances in her four years with the Swedish club. In 2016, she captained the team to a league title. Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes is excited about adding versatile youth to her roster.

“Magdalena is a top young defender who can play anywhere on the left-hand side at the back. She bring fantastic experience from her four seasons at Linkopings, two of which were as captain,” said Hayes in the club’s official release. “At the age of 23, she has already won a league title and is on the cusp of becoming a regular for the Sweden national side,” she added.

The 23-year old first appeared for Pia Sundhage’s squad in a friendly against France in February 2014. She then went on to then be part of the Olympic silver-medal winning team in Rio last summer and was named to represent Sweden at the 2017 UEFA EUROs. Today, Eriksson and Sweden battled to a 0-0 tie against Germany in Group B action of the EUROs, though Eriksson only saw a few minutes of action. Next up, they take on Russia on Friday on Day 2 of group play.

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