Western United returns home in the Liberty A-League Women for the first time since Round 1, welcoming Wellington Phoenix to City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field on Saturday.
Liberty A-League Women Round 9
Western United vs Wellington Phoenix
Saturday, 7 January
Kick-off: 3:00pm AEDT
City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field, Plumpton
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10Play, and on Paramount+
Western United will welcome back Tyla Jay Vlajnic for this weekend’s clash after the left-back was a late out for last weekend’s win over Perth Glory.
Mark Torcaso’s extended squad is unchanged from the trip to Western Australia but Vlajnic will be in contention to play again.
Western United squad: 1. Alyssa DALL’OSTE (gk), 2. Stacey PAPADOPOULOS, 5. Aimee MEDWIN, 6. Chloe LOGARZO, 7. Francesca IERMANO, 8. Jessica McDONALD, 9. Hannah KEANE, 10. Kahli JOHNSON, 11. Emma ROBERS, 14. Natasha DAKIC, 15. Adriana TARANTO, 16. Melissa TARANTO, 18. Aleksandra SINCLAIR, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Sydney CUMMINGS, 21. Hillary BEALL (gk), 22. Alana CERNE, 24. Julia SARDO
Last time out
Western United secured a dramatic 3-2 win over Perth Glory last week, making it five wins from five to commence the Club’s inaugural Liberty A-League season.
The Green and Black came from behind twice to secure the win thanks to goals from Hannah Keane and Chloe Logarzo as well as a late own goal that proved to be the winning moment.
Wellington picked up their first point of the season last week with a 1-1 home draw against Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Phoenix will be the first side that United has played twice so far this season with United winning the reverse fixture 4-1 in Round 2 but Wellington will remain a threat with plenty of pace and firepower up front.
Key Matchup: Hannah Keane vs Marisa van der Meer
After scoring a brace in the last meeting between the two sides, Keane will be one to watch yet again in this one.
United’s No.9 has scored three goals through the first five games of the season and Wellington’s defence will have their hands full trying to stop her from adding to that.
Marisa van der Meer has started every game so far and will lead Wellington’s defence against Keane and try to limit her threat in the final third.
Player to Watch: Sydney Cummings
Fresh from receiving a nomination for the Liberty Player of the Month for December, Sydney Cummings will look to continue her strong start to the 2022/23 season.
The centre-back has played every minute of United’s campaign so far and will look to continue her strong performances in defence and in attack, where she has chipped in with two goals.
Words from Mark Torcaso
On the prospect of facing Wellington and ensuring there is no complacency from his side
“I actually think the Phoenix side is quite good. I think in four of their five or six games they’ve played, they’ve been in games in the first half.
“We can’t rely on just being a second half side so we want to perform really well in the first half and hopefully we can really put that pressure on them straight away.”
On new signing Danielle Steer and what fans can expect from her
“She can move between the outside areas to the middle, as a 7, 9 or 11. She can also drop in as a 10 as well. Very, very talented player, she can finish, I’m surprised she hasn’t been snapped up and it worked out perfectly that she’s an Aussie as well.
“We were keen to get her straight in, she knows how to find the back of the net and I’m sure she’ll feature in the next games being such a heavy week.”
Words from the playing squad – Sydney Cummings
On this being the first reverse fixture for Western United this season
“I think it’ll be an interesting test for us to see how we do against a team that we have played already.
“I think this will be really good for us in understanding how we learn from people that we’ve played before and how we can capitalise on things maybe we didn’t the first time.”
On the group looking forward to returning home after two months on the road
“Everyone’s really excited, I don’t think we realised how many games we had away, so it’s really nice to be home.
“We’re really excited to have a packed stadium and I’m really looking forward to that. Training has been fun, we have a lot of games coming up so it’s just been about keeping energy high.”