ALW Match Preview: Western United vs Melbourne Victory

Hannah Keane Western United

Western United returns home for the first time this Liberty A-League Women season, taking on Melbourne Victory in a mammoth Victorian derby in Round 2.

Match Details

Liberty A-League Women Round 2

Western United vs Melbourne Victory

Sunday, 22 October

Kick-off: 4:00pm AEDT

City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field, Fraser Rise

Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10Play, and on Paramount+


Membership and Liberty Pass

Team News

Mark Torcaso will welcome back Chloe Logarzo in a significant boost to his Western United side this weekend.

The Matildas superstar has returned to complete fitness during pre-season and is ready to bring her quality and influence into the United squad.

The 18-player extended squad is unchanged from last week’s, meaning Lucy Richards will be aiming for an inclusion on matchday and the likes of Grace Maher, Keiwa Hieda and Alyssa Dall’Oste could be in line for their first Western United appearances at City Vista.

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, 14. Natasha DAKIC, 15. Adriana TARANTO, 16. Melissa TARANTO, 18. Grace MAHER, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Keiwa HIEDA, 22. Alana CERNE, 24. Julia SARDO, 26. Natalie PICAK

Full Western United squad

The Opponent

Melbourne Victory remain one of the benchmarks in the Liberty A-League and Jeff Hopkins’ side will provide Western United with one of its toughest tests of the season.

After a preliminary final appearance last season, Victory have strengthened again and will hope to continue their rich history in the competition.

American McKenzie Weinert looks to be a shrewd pick-up with pace and an eye for goal on the right wing, while Rachel Lowe and Kurea Okino have further enforced the attacking options.

Lydia Williams in goal and Emma Checker at centre-back have bolstered the defence, making for an imposing looking Victory squad on paper.

Just like Western United, Victory will be hoping to bounce back from opening day defeat and get their season going, but the Green and Black will be standing in their way and looking to repeat the 1-0 win from Round 1 of last season.

Key Matchup: Kahli Johnson vs Jessika Nash

With very little between the two sides across the pitch, the most important matchup could be in the wide areas with Young Matildas Kahli Johnson and Jessika Nash squaring off against each other.

On the left wing, Johnson is coming off a breakout season with United in the Liberty A-League and is ready to take the next step in her professional career.

Despite a difficult game going forward for United last week, Johnson showed glimpses of her explosiveness and creativity and will hope to bring that to the fore against Victory.

Coming up against her, Nash has continued to build her profile since making her senior Matildas debut in 2021 and remains one of the nation’s best young prospects.

Familiar with each other from their history of youth national team camps, Johnson and Nash will go head to head and the winner of that individual could give their team the platform to chase victory.

Player to Watch: Chloe Logarzo

There is one name that everyone will have their eyes on in the Western United squad this week, and that name is accompanied by the No.6 on the back of the United co-captain’s jersey.

Logarzo has worked tirelessly to return to the pitch over a number of months and having been a leader on the training pitch over that time, she is ready to take it into matchday.

Logarzo’s energy in midfield will be a crucial addition to the United ranks, bringing legs and tenacity through the middle of the pitch both in and out of possession.

Added to that, her eye for a creative pass or a shot on goal will bring increased attacking threat in the final third, whether it be from the start or from the bench.

Logarzo will get the United fans off their seat and bring her x-factor into the contest will all eyes on what she can do.

Words from Mark Torcaso

On his reflections on the opening round defeat to Perth Glory

“I thought we played really well for large chunks of the game, we just lapsed in one or two bits of concentration.

“I was really happy with the way we played, in particular in possession with the way we’re building up a little bit more this year compared to what we were last year.”

On Chloe Logarzo’s readiness and the role she might play

“She’s ready to go, she’s firing at the moment. She’s obviously still not completely match fit, but she’ll have a role to play on Sunday. She’s been excellent with us staff as well, making sure that our standards are very high and the players’ standards are very high too.”