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Meet the Matildas – FIFA Women’s World Cup
Home & Lifestyle Blog | MATE | 29 June 2023
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 just around the corner, the excitement and anticipation is palpable. Jointly brought to us by co-hosts Australia and New Zealand, this monumental event is set to captivate sports enthusiasts and casual viewers alike. This year, the spotlight shines brightly on the Matildas, Australia’s Women’s National Soccer Team, as they take to the challenge on home soil. Today, we delve into the lives and journeys of these incredible women, their strengths, and what we can expect from them in the upcoming games.
The Matildas: Strength in unity and skill
The Matildas’ journey is one that tells a tale of resilience, skill, and unity. With a rich history and a strong team bond, their story is truly inspiring. Before we venture into their individual profiles, let’s take a moment to acknowledge their achievements and strengths as a team.
The Matildas have shown an impressive track record, showcasing their skills and talents on the world stage. Some of their key achievements include:
- reaching the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2007 and 2011
- securing the Asian Cup title in 2010 and runner-up in 2014 and 2018
- making it to the final round of the 2020 Olympic qualifying tournament, only narrowly missing out on a medal.
The strength of the Matildas lies in the unique talents and personalities of each team member. Here’s a look at some key players in the Australian women’s national soccer team.
Sam Kerr needs no introduction in the world of football. Standing at 168cm and with 120 caps for the Matildas, Kerr is a living legend in the game. Born on September 10, 1993, she has been an unstoppable force as a forward, from her early days at Perth Glory and Sydney FC to her current stint with Chelsea FC. With 63 international goals, Kerr holds the record as Australia’s all-time leading scorer and is widely recognised as one of the best forwards of all time in women’s soccer.
Kerr’s accolades speak for themselves. She has been awarded the Golden Boot in three different leagues on three different continents—the W-League, the NWSL, and the FAWSL, highlighting her exceptional consistency. Her brilliance earned her the prestigious Young Australian of the Year title in 2018 and the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2022, becoming only the second Australian female footballer to receive such an honour after Julie Dolan.
Known for her speed, skill, tenacity, and backflip goal celebrations, Sam Kerr is more than a player; she’s a symbol of ambition, resilience, and excellence in women’s football.
Having partnered with MATE in 2019 as our second brand ambassador, we are immensely proud of Sam Kerr and stand behind her and the entire Matildas team as they gear up for the upcoming World Cup. We wish them every success and can’t wait to cheer them on!
Kyra Cooney-Cross, a forward standing at 164cm, made her mark on the international scene with her debut against Denmark in June 2021. Since then, she has accumulated 27 caps. Currently playing for Hammarby Fotboll, her career has also seen her in action for Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers, and Blacktown Spartans. Cooney-Cross was part of the Matildas squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where the team made an impressive run to the quarter-finals. Though still early in her career, Cooney-Cross has demonstrated immense potential. Her agility, control, and scoring ability provide a critical edge to the team’s attack. From her debut year to representing Australia in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India, Cooney-Cross’s journey has shown a promising trajectory.
Blessed with a towering presence at 178cm, Larissa Crummer is an indispensable forward in the Matildas. Debuting in 2015 against Korea DPR, she’s collected an impressive 33 caps with 4 goals under her belt. The SK Brann Kvinner forward has experienced diverse leagues, playing for Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC, Melbourne City, and Seattle Reign FC. From being the youngest player at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup to a triumphant return from a knee injury for the 2016 Olympics, Crummer’s resilience is commendable. Even though she didn’t appear in any games at the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, her contributions off the pitch helped propel Australia to a runner-up finish.
Caitlin Foord, with a remarkable tally of 108 caps and 29 goals, is an integral part of the Matildas as a formidable forward. Making her debut against New Zealand in 2011, Foord has played in some of the biggest tournaments, such as multiple FIFA World Cups and Olympic Games. Currently dazzling at Arsenal FC after stints at Sydney FC, Sky Blue FC, Vegalta Sendai, and Portland Thorns, Foord’s exceptional abilities on the field are widely recognised. Her notable performances include scoring a vital goal at the 2016 Olympics and a memorable hat-trick against Chile in 2018.
As a rising star, Mary Fowler made an impressive debut at just 15 years old and has since grown into a formidable forward for the Matildas. With 36 caps and 9 goals to her name, the Manchester City player has proven her value time and time again. A participant in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics, Fowler showcased her tenacity by scoring a pivotal extra-time goal against Great Britain in the Olympic quarter-finals, further enhancing her glowing reputation.
Standing tall at 178cm, Emily Gielnik has been a powerhouse forward for the Matildas. With 57 caps and 11 goals since her debut against Japan in 2012, Gielnik’s performances are consistently praiseworthy. Now dazzling at Aston Villa after experiences at clubs like Liverpool, Ottawa Fury, and Urawa Reds, Gielnik’s performance at the 2017 Tournament of Nations and the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup played a crucial role in Australia’s success.
Earning the nickname “Raso” due to her blistering speed, Hayley Raso’s influence on the Matildas has been profound. With 70 caps and 12 goals to her credit, Raso has showcased her prowess in major tournaments like the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympic Games. Her time at Manchester City, following stints at Canberra United, Brisbane Roar, and Portland Thorns, has further honed her skills, making Raso an unstoppable force on the field.
Remy Siemsen, an exciting talent in the Matildas, made her mark with an impressive debut against Brazil in 2021. With 6 caps to her name, the Leicester City forward has brought a dynamic energy to the squad. From scoring ten goals in two games during the 2017 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship qualification tournament to representing Australia in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, Siemsen’s performances have been consistently exceptional.
Bursting onto the scene with an impactful debut against the USA in 2022, Cortnee Vine has proven to be a promising addition to the Matildas’ attack. Despite her relatively young international career with 13 caps, Vine has already made a significant impact. Her performances at the 2018 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship, where she was a key player in the Australian squad, are a testament to her potential. Currently plying her trade with Brisbane Roar after a spell at Newcastle Jets, Vine has developed a reputation for her agility and precision in front of goal.
Born on the Gold Coast in 1994, 29-year-old Mackenzie Arnold is an accomplished goalkeeper for both the Matildas and West Ham United. Standing at 181cm, Arnold’s towering frame and quick reflexes have become her signature assets on the field. Arnold’s journey started early with a national team debut at the age of 18, breaking into a position traditionally dominated by experienced veterans. She became the first-choice goalkeeper in 2013, a rapid rise that began with her impressive performance during a tour of the United States in 2012, where she marked her debut with a clean sheet against Chinese Taipei. With over 34 caps under her belt, Arnold has represented Australia in several major tournaments, including the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Born in Western Australia, Lydia Williams has secured her place as a pillar in Australian football. Standing at 175cm, the goalkeeper’s stunning career began at age 15 when she transitioned from the Australian Institute of Sport to the senior national team. With over a century of appearances for the Matildas and having represented Australia in multiple prestigious tournaments, Williams’ extraordinary career spans over 17 years. Her journey in club football took her across the globe, from Canberra United to the English Super League with Arsenal FC. As a proud Noongar woman, Lydia’s inspiring story extends beyond football. She penned ’Saved!!!’ in 2019, a children’s book drawing on her own life experiences as an Aboriginal female football player. Today, she plays for Brighton & Hove Albion, continuing her remarkable journey in football.
Teagan Micah, a fresh yet promising face in the Matildas, is a rising star to watch. Born in the Gippsland town of Moe in regional Victoria, Micah stands at 176cm and is currently the goalkeeper for FC Rosengård in Sweden. Micah started her career young, moving from regional Victoria to Brisbane to nurture her football development. Her tenacity led her across the globe, making 86 appearances over four years for UCLA’s Bruins in the US. This was followed by an impactful move to the Norwegian top-flight team, Arna-Bjørnar. Micah made her debut with the Matildas against Sweden in June 2021. Since then, she’s appeared 14 times and represented Australia in major tournaments, including the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
A young goalkeeper standing tall at 167cm, Jada Mathyssen-Whyman, hailing from Wagga Wagga, has been turning heads with her potential. Despite not having made her senior debut yet, her impressive performances at the U-17 and U-20 level for Australia speak volumes about her talent. A crucial player for Sydney FC, she has also gained experience with Western Sydney Wanderers. Mathyssen-Whyman has already shown the skills to compete at the highest level, and the future looks bright for this young star as she steps up to play for the Matildas.
Ellie Carpenter, a Sydney-born defender standing at 164cm, has made a name for herself as a young powerhouse in football. Her career took off when she was signed by Western Sydney Wanderers at just 15. The young prodigy made her Australian debut during the 2016 Olympic Qualification campaign, marking her as the first international born in the 21st century. Carpenter’s career trajectory has been impressive, playing for clubs across the United States and Europe, including her current club, Olympique Lyonnais. Despite a knee injury in 2022, the resilient fullback remains a key player in the Matildas squad, having featured in numerous major tournaments, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Melbourne-born defender Steph Catley is an essential asset for the Matildas. A versatile player with a commendable work rate, Catley has played in various positions across her more than 100 international appearances since her debut at 18. Her career took off in her home city, winning five A-League Women’s titles with Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. After successful stints in the United States, Catley’s dream came true when she joined Arsenal FC in England. Known for her exceptional transition from defence into attack, she’s a vital player in counter-attacking plays. Catley’s contributions to her national side, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, have solidified her position as a leader in the Australian squad.
At just 20 years old, Charlotte Grant has already made a name for herself on Australia’s national soccer team. Starting her career at her hometown club Adelaide United, Grant’s skills on the pitch quickly led to her joining the CommBank Matildas squad. Her early performances against top-class nations led to her selection for the Asian Cup in India, and she’s since become a staple of the national team’s backline. Grant’s performance in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India was instrumental in the Matildas’ success, establishing her as a key defender for the team. With 18 caps and one goal under her belt, Grant is clearly a rising star in the world of soccer.
Clare Hunt’s career began in Grenfell, New South Wales before she joined the Canberra United Academy at age 15. After impressing head coach Tony Gustavsson, Hunt debuted for the Matildas in a 4-0 victory over Czechia, with Gustavsson praising her mature presence on the field. Now, at age 24 and with 5 caps to her name, Hunt plays as a defender for Western Sydney Wanderers FC. With her career only just beginning, Hunt has already shown she has the potential to become a mainstay in the Australian squad.
Alanna Kennedy’s soccer career is nothing short of impressive. Starting her international journey with a debut against New Zealand in 2012, Kennedy has since earned 108 caps and scored 8 goals. Known for her versatility and technical prowess, she has played in multiple positions and participated in numerous major tournaments. Now at Manchester City, Kennedy has previously played for a number of high-profile clubs across the globe, showcasing her talent and proving herself a vital part of any team she joins. In 2014, Kennedy’s talent was recognised when she was named to the Matildas squad for the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup at just 19 years old, and she has remained an integral part of the team since.
Debuting for the national team in 2010, Aivi Luik was part of Australia’s winning squad for the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. After retiring from the national team in 2021, Luik returned five months later to join the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup squad. Now with 42 caps and a single goal to her name, Luik plays for BK Häcken. Her notable performance in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics highlighted her dedication and skills, proving her retirement was a premature decision. After returning to the national team, she continued her international journey with an appearance in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, further cementing her status as a key player for the Matildas.
Renowned as a fullback, Courtney Nevin is an exceptional young talent in the Matildas lineup. At 21 years old, with a height of 165cm, Nevin has made 22 appearances for Australia since her debut against Denmark in 2021. The defender, with her keen goal-scoring ability and assisting with her left foot, has earned her the nickname “Lethal”. Nevin is currently showcasing her skills at Leicester City, on loan from Hammarby Fotboll, adding to her experience from Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers, and Blacktown Spartans. An essential addition to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, Nevin continues to hold promise for the Matildas.
An experienced force on the field, Clare Polkinghorne, standing at 171cm, made her Matildas debut on 19th June 2006 against China. The defender has had a decorated career, with 156 caps and 16 goals to her name. A significant part of the Australian team in numerous major tournaments, including three FIFA Women’s World Cups and two Olympic Games, she has proven her prowess. Currently plying her trade at Vittsjö GIK, she’s contributed significantly to teams like INAC Kobe Leonessa, Portland Thorns, and Brisbane Roar. Polkinghorne was part of the squad that reached the quarter-finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, showing her unwavering commitment and exceptional talent.
Matilda McNamara is a formidable defender who made her Matildas debut in a friendly against Thailand on November 15, 2022. Playing for AGF in the Danish Women’s League, she brings an added international experience to the Matildas. McNamara has honed her skills in the A-League Women during two stints with Adelaide United, proving her worth on the pitch time and again. Her call-up to the Australian senior national team for friendlies against Spain and Portugal after an impressive season with Adelaide United is evidence of her undeniable talent. With only one cap to her name, McNamara’s international journey is just beginning, but her potential is undeniable.
An integral part of the Matildas’ midfield, Alex Chidiac, made her senior team debut in a friendly against New Zealand on 12th February 2015, at just sixteen years old. With 27 caps and two goals, Chidiac has shown her value in the squad. Her career includes stints at Melbourne Victory, Adelaide United, and Atletico Madrid, with her current position at Racing Louisville in the NWSL. Chidiac’s youthful energy and undeniable talent marked her out as a key player for the Matildas at the 2017 Algarve Cup and continues to serve her well in international matches.
At 154cm, Katrina Gorry is a dynamo in the midfield, with her international debut dating back to 2012 against Japan. Accumulating 93 caps and 17 goals, Gorry has been a part of the Matildas in multiple major tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics. Her club career has seen her at Adelaide United, Kansas City, and currently, the Brisbane Roar. Despite a setback due to an injury in 2019, Gorry bounced back, featuring in key games in the 2019 FIFA World Cup. Post her pregnancy, she has been regularly nominated since April 2022, showing her resilience and determination.
Standing at 173cm, Amy Sayer is a commendable midfielder known for her game-changing creativity and impressive technical skills. Debuting on the international stage against Japan in the 2018 Tournament of Nations, Sayer quickly proved her potential with a total of 6 caps so far. Her current association is with San Francisco Glens, following successful stints at Stanford Cardinal, Sydney FC, and Canberra United. Sayer’s international career includes memorable performances during friendlies against Spain and Portugal in 2022 and a stellar campaign at the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship, where she was a high-scoring force, despite the team not progressing beyond the group stage. As an attacking midfielder, Sayer excels at finding quality forward passes, demonstrating both vision and creativity.
Hailing from Coffs Harbour, with 12 caps to her name, Clare Wheeler is a noteworthy midfielder measuring 162cm. After gaining experience with the Young Matildas in 2015, she made her senior debut in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in 2021. Currently, Wheeler is associated with Everton F.C. after prior tenures with Fortuna Hjørring, Newcastle Jets, and Sydney FC. Apart from her debut, another significant milestone in her career was her participation in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India. Wheeler’s petite stature belies her strong presence on the field, and her play exhibits a strategic understanding of the game, positioning herself effectively in both offensive and defensive plays.
Tameka Yallop, born on June 16, 1991, is a seasoned midfielder standing at 158cm. With her debut as early as 2007 against Hong Kong, Yallop now boasts of an impressive 111 caps, having scored 12 goals. She is currently associated with SK Brann Kvinner, following periods with multiple clubs, including West Ham United, Melbourne City, Brisbane Roar, among others. Yallop has consistently represented Australia in major tournaments, starting with the 2008 AFC Asian Cup and most recently at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India. Yallop’s experience and consistent performances have made her a stalwart of the Matildas, with her presence enhancing the team’s competitive edge at both the continental and global level.
Emily van Egmond
Emily van Egmond, born in Newcastle and standing at 179cm, is a formidable midfielder with an illustrious career. She began her journey in 2010 and has since played in 127 matches for Australia, scoring 30 goals. Van Egmond has a long association with clubs such as San Diego Wave FC, Melbourne City, Newcastle Jets, and a host of others. She made her mark early in her career during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany where she scored a pivotal goal, and she has continued to display consistent performance at subsequent world tournaments, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India.
What to expect during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is set to be a monumental event. It is the first to feature 32 teams, up from the 24 in the previous tournament. This expanded format promises more matches, more drama, and more excitement. Australia’s world cup games will be played in various locations, including Stadium Australia in New South Wales.
The competition begins with a group stage, where teams are divided into groups for round-robin play. Teams will advance to the knockout stage, with the winner match advancing to the quarter-finals. The women’s world cup match schedule is packed with action, culminating in the world cup final time in Australia, along with an additional third-place match.
Remember, you can catch all the action of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, from group play to the semi-finals and finally the final, with a fast and reliable MATE nbn internet plan.
How to watch the Women’s World Cup 2023
Boasting an impressive lineup of 32 nations—from Australia and Costa Rica to Zambia and South Korea—here’s how you can follow along in Australia and ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action.
While Fox Sports has been the traditional go-to for many sports fans in Australia, the Seven Network will be your hub for all the live action of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. They’ve secured the Australian free-to-air rights to the World Cup, which means you’ll be able to enjoy the matches played without any subscription fees.
Seven is committed to broadcasting every match that the Matildas participate in, from their first match against the Republic of Ireland at Sydney Football Stadium to any nail-biting playoff games. Fifteen key matches, including the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final, will be available to stream for free on Seven’s digital platform, 7plus. Optus Sport subscribers will also have the privilege of streaming all games.
So, gear up for an exciting few weeks of football as the Matildas take on the world in the Women’s World Cup 2023. Whether they’re playing their group matches or fighting for the cup in the finals, you’ve got the best seat in the house to cheer them on.
The Matildas’ journey to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is filled with anticipation and excitement. With the strengths of the team and the extraordinary talents of each player, especially our ambassador Sam Kerr, we look forward to seeing the Matildas shine on the global stage.
Join MATE in supporting Sam Kerr and the rest of the Matildas as they represent our nation on the world stage. Make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action, and sign up with MATE today so you can stream every moment of every game. Go Matildas!