In the hype around a big tournament, it’s easy to build a narrative that begins and ends with a team’s biggest star. But the players who make or break a squad are often further down the depth chart. Their success or failure will dictate a team’s tournament. These are The Influencers.
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Date of birth: 21 January 1995
Place of birth: Campbelltown, Australia
Australia, entering this World Cup as a seeded team for the first time ever, has crept onto the lists of many as potential favorites to win it all. No longer the “dark horse” as they were tagged before the 2016 Olympics, yet not quite a proven contender, the Matildas could go either way: an ignominious early exit, or a run deeper than ever before with hardware to prove it.
Their X-factor? Probably surprising to some, it’s not star forward Sam Kerr. No, instead it’s NWSL and W-League champion and young veteran Alanna Kennedy. The defender’s performance could make or break Australia’s tournament. No pressure, right?
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