(Reuters) – The Australian girls’ soccer crew gets an early indication of their World Cup prospects once they face defending champions America in a friendly in Denver on Thursday. The Matildas, underneath new boss Ante Milicic, made brief work of New Zealand, South Korea, and Argentina to win the inaugural Cup of Nations on domestic soil closing month but might be eager to peer how they stack up towards the top-ranked facet in the world. “It’s a fairly daunting task to be concerned to your first camp and be gambling the primary ranked group in the global; however, we’re gambling with a terrific organization of gamers,” rookie defender Liz Ralston stated.
“There’s a huge emphasis on every drill, each session, ensuring you are making the maximum of it.” Ranked 6th inside the international and boasting one of the global’s top strikers in captain Sam Kerr, the Matildas have a miles higher danger of triumphing the World Cup than the Australian men’s team, who are ranked forty seconds and have been removed within the group segment at the worldwide showpiece in Russia ultimate 12 months.
The Matildas reached the quarter-finals on the 2015 match in Canada, their first-rate result, and feature most effective growth in self-assurance because. However, their arrangements for the June 7-July 7 World Cup in France were thrown into chaos with the abrupt sacking of long-serving teacher Alen Stajcic in January. Stajcic changed into dismissed for what the governing Football Federation Australia stated became a “negative culture” around the crew, instead of failing to produce outcomes. Milicic, appointed as a caretaker to influence the crew through the World Cup, has proved a popular replacement and lower back calm to a squad that turned into distracted via reports of dressing room disharmony.
Milicic is keen to give fringe gamers a threat to polish at their camp in Colorado and has made 5 modifications to his Cup of Nations squad, together with the uncapped duo of UCLA goalkeeper Teagan Micah and Sydney FC defender Ralston. Experienced midfielder Katrina Gorry and Washington Spirit attacker Chloe Logarzo go back after accidents, with sixteen-year-vintage striker Mary Fowler lured returned after snubbing a worldwide name-up by way of Stajcic last 12 months. While greater than half the squad play for U.S. Teams, a massive Australia-primarily based contingent has needed to get used to the freezing bloodless in Colorado quick after visiting from balmy situations again domestic. “(It’s) something we’re now not used to, we’re now not used to the chill, and it’s exceptional weather and a special atmosphere here; however, it’s been excellent,” stated Melbourne-primarily based forward Emily Gielnik. Following the pleasant in opposition to Jill Ellis-coached United States, Australia switches to warmer climes in Turkey for a pre-World Cup camp before heading to France where they meet Italy, Brazil, and Jamaica in Group C. (Reporting by way of Ian Ransom; Editing with the aid of Peter Rutherford)