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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald
Renee Valentine

Emily van Egmond, Clare Wheeler named for US series

STAYING FIT: Emily van Egmond, having a run at Jets training on Tuesday, will play in the Matildas' series with US. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Long-serving Matildas midfielder Emily van Egmond and newcomer Clare Wheeler are likely to feature against the world No.1 ranked US in their home town of Newcastle on November 30 after Tony Gustavsson announced his squad on Wednesday.

The Matildas are set to play the back-to-back world champions in a two-match series this month.

Football Australia hope to break the national record of 33,000 people at a Matildas match when they play the Americans at Stadium Australia on November 27.

Organisers are also hopeful of a sell-out crowd of around 26,000 spectators for the second game at Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium three days later.

Gustavsson continues to embrace a combination of experience and youth.

Matildas captain Sam Kerr headlines Gustavsson's 21-player squad.

She is just one goal away from equalling Tim Cahill's Australian record of 50 international goals and two away from passing it.

Experienced England-based pair Hayley Raso and Emily Gielnik have been recalled.

Neither were used for the recent two-match series with Brazil in Sydney due to injury.

Tireless midfielder Tameka Yallop is on the cusp of her 100th international appearance with 99 caps for the Matildas. She is set to become the 12th Australian woman to reach the milestone.

Van Egmond (110), Kyah Simon (103), Alanna Kennedy (101) and Kerr (102) have all passed the mark this year.

Van Egmond has been in Newcastle since her commitments with Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League in the US ended recently after they failed to make finals.

She told the Newcastle Herald last week she was looking to play again in America and has been training with the Newcastle Jets to stay fit ahead of the US series.

Young Matildas centre-back Jessika Nash and forward Charlize Rule will receive their first senior team introduction after gaining selection.

The pair join a growing cohort of players to be provided with the opportunity this year.

Wheeler is one of those. The Adamstown junior and former long-serving Newcastle Jets midfielder was given her international senior debut when the Matildas played Republic of Ireland in September.

The 23-year-old, who is playing in Europe for Danish big guns Fortuna Hjorring, then came off the bench in both matches against Brazil and has her sights set on being part of Australia's 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup squad.

"In selecting the squad, balance was at the heart of the decision-making," Gustavsson said.

"We know that this is our final occasion to see the group together before announcing the squad for the AFC Women's Asian Cup next year, and our focus remains on this crucial preparation."

Australia have only once beaten the US and lost 4-3 to them in the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal match in August.

"We're definitely going to go for the win, but we're going to go for the win in our way," Gustavsson said.


Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold, Teagan Micah, Lydia Williams

Defenders: Angela Beard, Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Charlotte Grant, Alanna Kennedy, Jessika Nash, Courtney Nevin, Clare Polkinghorne, Karly Roestbakken

Midfielders: Kyra Cooney-Cross, Emily van Egmond, Clare Wheeler, Tameka Yallop

Forwards: Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Emily Gielnik, Bryleeh Henry, Sam Kerr, Hayley Raso, Charlize Rule, Remy Siemsen, Kyah Simon

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