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Thursday Roundup: Ireland squad named for 2019 WCQ against Northern Ireland

Also in today’s roundup, Argentina returns for first international match in two years

Denise O’Sullivan just locked in the first NWSL playoff spot with the North Carolina Courage last night. This morning, she was named to Ireland’s qualifying roster.

Colin Bell announced his 20-player roster that will represent the Republic of Ireland in their upcoming FIFA 2019 World Cup qualifying match against Northern Ireland set to take place on Tuesday, September 19.

Stephanie Roche, current Sunderland midfielder with 50 caps for the Republic of Ireland, will be returning to the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury. She had a brief stint with the Houston Dash of the NWSL, making 2 appearances. Denise O’Sullivan, who currently plays with the North Carolina Courage and has 51 caps with her national team, was also named to the roster. Claire Walsh, Tyler Toland, and Amber Barrett are being called up to the senior team for the first time.

Bell mentioned Roche’s return as well as his excitement in getting World Cup qualifying under way. “It’s great to have Stephanie Roche back and fit for selection ahead of a crucial game,” he said in the FA’s official press release. “It’s imperative we start the campaign on a positive note and I’m really looking to getting the squad in on Wednesday, September 13th.”

The squad is notably without veteran goalkeeper Emma Byrne. She retired earlier this month after 21 years playing for her country. Megan Connolly, Florida State midfielder, will also miss the call-up due to educational commitments at FSU.

IRELAND FULL ROSTER BY POSITION

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Manchester City), Amanda Budden (Cork City WFC), Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne Ladies).
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading WFC), Megan Campbell (Manchester City), Sophie Perry (Brighton and Hove Albion), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire Walsh (UCD Waves).
Midfielders: Niamh Fahey (Bordeaux), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Stephanie Roche (Sunderland), Roma McLaughlin (Shelbourne Ladies), Tyler Toland (Maiden City).
Forwards: Katie McCabe (Glasgow City), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne Ladies), Heather Payne (Peamount United), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Aine O’Gorman (UCD Waves).

Argentina edges Uruguay 3-0 in first international match in two years

Estefania Banini is one of Argentina’s most notable players who’s currently playing with the Washington Spirit (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Carlos Borrello’s Argentina squad defeated Uruguay, 3-0, with goals from midfielders Florencia Bonsegundo (2) and Micaela Cabrera in the country’s first international match in two years.

The last game that the senior team played was a 2-0 defeat by Colombia at the Pan American Games in Toronto two years ago. Now head coach Carlos Borello was appointed officially on July 12, a full 722 days after the team’s last match, as he returned to take the helm of the team. He acknowledged the issues with the lack of competition over two years but also sees it as an obstacle to overcome.

“It’s dangerous to go two years without playing,” Borello said according to FIFA.com. “The biggest problem is that the training process has been interrupted. But’ that’s also the beauty of the challenge ahead: we have to rebuild everything from scratch.”

During his first tenure as coach between 2003 and 2012, he led Argentina to two FIFA Women’s World Cup appearances in 2003 and 2007, as well as one Olympic appearance in 2008. As far as what’s ahead for his squad, he’s looking to the Copa America set to take place in Chile next April where Argentina will compete for a spot in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Despite challenges, he believes his team is ready to work.

“I have faith in the capacity of our footballers to close the gap that has opened up. I said as much to the group, and they understood. They want to make up for these two lost years, even if they know it won’t be easy.”

Washington Spirit and Argentine international forward Estefania Banini will be one of those players that Borrello looks to as World Cup qualifying approaches. She made her first appearance for her country in 2010 and has since played for Colo-Colo in Chile before heading to DC to compete with the Washington Spirit.

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