Here’s all the latest Matildas team news for the Women’s World Cup.
After months of anticipation, the 2023 Women’s World Cup is just around the corner. The squad has now officially been announced, too.
Fans from Broome to Brookvale are eagerly chasing Matildas news and important updates; information to help us all piece together how Australia’s path to glory on home soil is tracking.
Not since the 2015 Asian Cup has there been an event on these shores and it’s certainly capturing the imagination of the Australian football fandom. The Matildas will be hoping they can emulate the success of Ange Postecolgou’s men 8 years ago and hoist the trophy high into the Sydney sky come August 20.
The nation is flooded with excitement for the tournament; tickets flew off the shelf when initially made available late last year and the Australia’s opening fixture against Ireland at Stadium Australia on 20 July has sold out.
The path between Gustavsson’s Matildas and World Cup glory is long and treacherous. Australia currently sit 10th in FIFA’s world rankings. They are one of the best national sides in the women’s game and enter the tournament in red-hot form, having beaten three sides – Spain, England, and Sweden – ranked higher than them in their previous eight outings.
It bodes well for the Aussies, but strong adversaries remain, including the current reigning champions, the USA, the ever-reliable Dutch, France – who Australia play in a friendly on July 14 – and Canada.
Matildas’ WWC current starting XI
GK: Mackenzie Arnold
DEF: Ellie Carpenter, Clare Hunt, Clare Polkinghorne, Steph Catley
MID: Hayley Raso, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry, Caitlin Foord
FWD: Mary Fowler, Sam Kerr
Matildas news: Squad of 23 announced
Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold, Teagan Micah, Lydia Williams
Defenders: Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Charlotte Grant, Clare Hunt, Alanna Kennedy, Aivi Luik, Courtney Nevin, Clare Polkinghorne
Midfielders: Alex Chidiac, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry, Emily van Egmond, Clare Wheeler, Tameka Yallop
Forwards: Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Sam Kerr, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon, Cortnee Vine.
Gustavsson, who’s led the Matildas since 2020, has named a final 23-strong squad, cutting six from the extended group. All the big names are present, including Kyah Simon, who is on track to make a swift recovery from an ACL tear in October.
The Swede revealed the time in preparation on the Gold Coast would provide the team with “the chance to fine tune and solidify our game plan ahead of a phenomenally exciting couple of weeks.”
So while Gustavsson now has 23 names on his board, we’ve taken it further and broken the preliminary squad down into our predicted starting XI.
Clearly, we’ll know more once the France Friendly arrives. Stay tuned and click back — we’ll update this story as information comes to hand.
Matildas pre-WWC predicted starting 11
Predicted XI: Mackenzie Arnold, Steph Catley, Claire Polkinghorne, Alanna Kennedy, Ellie Carpenter, Hayley Raso, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry, Mary Fowler, Caitlin Foord, Sam Kerr
GOALKEEPER | Mackenzie Arnold
Late last year Teagan Micah looked to have this spot sewn up, but in recent months it’s been West Ham’s Mackenzie Arnold between the sticks for the Matildas. The 29-year-old has started every game for this side this year.
DEFENCE | Steph Catley, Claire Polkinghorne, Alanna Kennedy, Ellie Carpenter
Vice-captain Catley, who missed April’s clash with England through injury, will resume her place at left-back. Polkinghorne and Kennedy are two of Australia’s most experienced players and Carpenter is indispensable at right-back.
MIDFIELD | Hayley Raso, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry, Mary Fowler, Caitlin Foord
A 5-strong midfield should see Raso and Foord operate on the left and right wings respectively. Cooney-Cross and Gorry have been the central midfield pairing for every Matildas game this year – expect that to continue. Manchester City’s Fowler is Australia’s x-factor in the number 10.
STRIKER | Sam Kerr
Who else would it be? Kerr is the nation’s captain. Her place in the side is about as guaranteed as the sun rising each day. Fresh from a league and cup double, the Chelsea striker will be looking to translate her rich club form onto the international stage.
The Matildas’ World Cup games
POOL | Australia 1-0 Ireland | 20 July, Stadium Australia
POOL | Australia 2-3 Nigeria | 27 July, Suncorp Stadium
POOL | Australia 4-0 Canada | 31 July, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
R16 | Australia 2-0 Denmark | 7 August, Stadium Australia
QF | Australia 0-0 (7-6 pen) France | 12 August, Suncorp Stadium
SF | Australia 1-3 England | 16 August, Stadium Australia
3PP | Australia v Sweden | 20 August, 6:00pm AEST, Suncorp Stadium
How to watch Women’s World Cup
Optus Sport will be fans’ home of live coverage for all 64 matches of the FIFA Women’s World Cup; streamable coverage via the platform.
A sub-licensing agreement means the more casual fans and viewers will be able to watch 15 key matches on Channel 7 — all Matildas games, plus all the knockout and finals games. Alternatively, the network’s streaming service 7Plus will also have those games.
Matildas chase history on home soil
Make no mistake, a Matilda’s World Cup victory on home soil would instantly become one of this nation’s greatest sporting achievements, rivalling the 1983 America’s Cup victory, Cathy Freeman’s Olympic 400m Gold medal in 2000, and the Socceroos’ victory over Uruguay in 2005.
The mountain looming on the Matildas’ horizon is monumental. But in front of a nation flooded by fervent support for the girls, and with a side populated by stars of the European game – none shining brighter than Sam Kerr, this feels like Australia’s best chance at securing World Cup glory.