Western United hits the road for the second week running in the Liberty A-League Women, heading north to face Brisbane Roar in Round 5 on Sunday.
Liberty A-League Women Round 5
Brisbane Roar vs Western United
Sunday, 19 November
Kick-off: 4:00pm AEDT (3:00pm local time)
Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10Play, and on Paramount+
Melissa Taranto is poised to make her return from injury after she missed last week’s clash against Wellington Phoenix with an ankle knock.
Mark Torcaso has named an unchanged 20-player extended squad, meaning Hillary Beall is once again included and hoping for a first start since returning to the Club.
Chloe Logarzo got through 90 minutes last week and will be ready to go again with competition for places aplenty across the pitch.
Western United squad: 1. Alyssa DALL’OSTE (gk), 2. Stacey PAPADOPOULOS, 4. Jaclyn SAWICKI, 6. Chloe LOGARZO, 7. Kiara DE DOMIZIO, 9. Hannah KEANE, 10. Kahli JOHNSON, 11. Emma ROBERS, 12. Lucy RICHARDS, 13. Avaani PRAKASH, 14. Natasha DAKIC, 15. Adriana TARANTO, 16. Melissa TARANTO, 18. Grace MAHER, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Keiwa HIEDA, 21. Hillary BEALL (gk), 22. Alana CERNE, 24. Julia SARDO, 26. Natalie PICAK (gk)
Last time out
For the second week in a row, Western United was made to feel a little hard done by in the Liberty A-League with a 3-1 defeat to Wellington Phoenix last time out.
Despite creating a number of clear cut chances and putting the Phoenix under serious pressure throughout the contest, United couldn’t convert and fell to a second defeat of the season.
Brisbane Roar have made a strong start to the Liberty A-League season but will be a different proposition this week after undergoing a coaching chance.
Garrath McPherson was sacked during the week and Alex Smith has come in as his replacement, pledging an attacking style of football that will create for an exciting spectacle against United.
It was a surprising move given Brisbane’s 2-1-1 start to the season, which included big wins against Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC in the first two rounds.
Matildas midfielder Tameka Yallop has returned to the club and is patrolling the midfield with Jenna McCormick and Chelsea Blissett at the back and American import Mia Corbin leading the line up front.
Key Matchup: Chloe Logarzo vs Tameka Yallop
The key battle in this one will come in the heart of midfield with Matildas stars Logarzo and Yallop going head-to-head.
United’s co-captain Logarzo has returned to full fitness and is increasing her sharpness with each match, starting in all three of her appearances so far this season.
The No.6 scored a brilliant goal from long range last week to open her account for the season and has been crucial for United with her quality on the ball, her intelligence and tenacity off it and her leadership across the entire team.
The same could well be said of Yallop who is bringing her quality to bear in the Liberty A-League and at the club that introduced her to professional football.
An all-rounder in midfield, Yallop has the ability to impact a game offensively and defensively and if she can assert her dominance in midfield, she can help her side win any game.
Logarzo will keen to ensure that doesn’t happen for Yallop while taking control of things herself in order to guide United to the three points.
Player to Watch: Kahli Johnson
Kahli Johnson has made an electric start to the new season as she looks to take a leap forward in her development and become a dominant force for the Green and Black.
Already with a goal to her name after her long-range stunner against Melbourne City, Johnson has brought a direct attacking threat every time she has stepped onto the pitch this season.
Through four matches, Johnson ranks second in the competition in carries into the penalty area and third in total progressive carries and total shots attempted.
Using her pace and athleticism, Johnson is getting at defenders and looking to create shooting opportunities for either herself or her teammates, and she will be one to watch on Sunday as she hopes to continue her early-season form.
Words from Mark Torcaso
On the team’s shape, particularly in regards to Chloe Logarzo and Hannah Keane’s positions
“It’s been about managing Chloe’s load in games and Hannah’s load in games. Both of them are building towards playing maximum minutes in their natural positions.
“We’ve got to that point where we’re pretty comfortable now, both those girls are firing and looking good.”
On Brisbane as an opponent and how to view their challenge with the coaching change
“It was surprising, but they’re a good side, they’re well organised. They’ve only lost one game but won a couple of good games too.
“We’re ready to go there and get a result, and basically rectify and fix what we missed last week in Wellington. I’m pretty confident the girls will go out there and give a really, really good showing and get the three points that we need.”