2018 Algarve Cup: Six Brisbane Roar players named in Matildas squad

By @saihoops on
Matildas squad, Algarve Cup, Hayley Raso
Aug 3, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Australia forward Hayley Raso (16) and Brazil midfielder Debinha (9) battle for the ball during the second half at StubHub Center. Australia won 6-1. USA TODAY Sports / Kelvin Kuo

Six Brisbane Roar players have been named in a preliminary 25-woman Matildas squad for the 2018 Algarve Cup in Portugal. At end of training camp, Matildas coach Alen Stajcic will reportedly reduce the size of the squad to 22 players.

Besides stalwart goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold and forward Hayley Raso, the likes of Clare Polkinghorne, Katrina Gorry, Emily Gielnik and Tameka Butt were part of the Brisbane Roar team that was knocked out of the W-League Finals series last weekend. The six Roar players will now head to Sydney for a four-day training camp which gets underway on Saturday. 

Australia will play its Group Match against Norway (March 1), Portugal (March 3) and China (March 6). The Algarve Cup, hosted by the Portuguese Football Federation, is an annual event featuring international teams in women's soccer. The Matildas, the women's equivalent to the Socceroos, finished in fourth place during last year's event.

“With less than two weeks to go until we play Norway in Portugal, every moment together is precious and the team will take full advantage to ensure we hit the ground running at Algarve,” coach Alen Stajcic told reporters on Wednesday, via The Courier Mail.

“After being apart for the last three months, this camp will give all the players an opportunity to re-familiarise themselves with our team culture, playing style, and most importantly commence the battle for selection into our squad for the upcoming major tournaments," added Stajcic.

The Matildas will be trying to better last year's fourth-place finish, their best-ever effort in the 24-year history of the women's soccer tournament. While the USA have won the event a record 10 occasions, Norway (4), Germany (3) and Sweden (3) have enjoyed considerable success at the Algarve Cup. Spain (2017) and China (2016) have won the previous two editions of the tournament. Will the Matildas make history at the 2018 Algarve Cup? 

Matildas squad:
Laura Alleway, Mackenzie Arnold, Hannah Brewer, Tameka Butt, Eliza Campbell, Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Alex Chidiac, Emily Condon, Caitlin Cooper, Larissa Crummer, Lisa De Vanna. Emily Gielnik, Katrina Gorry, Michelle Heyman, Elise Kellond-Knight, Alanna Kennedy, Samantha Kerr, Chloe Logarzo, Clare Polkinghorne, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon, Emily van Egmond, Lydia Williams, Georgia Yeoman-Dale.