Tag Archives: Sam Kerr

Womens FA Cup quarter Final Preview

2019/2020 FA Cup Resumes

As strange as its sounds to talk about FA Cup Quarter Finals in September, with all that’s going on in the world credit to the FA for finishing last season Women’s FA Cup.

FA Director of the women’s professional game Kelly Simmons said:

“A significant amount of work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure the Women’s FA Cup can be completed and I am delighted that we have received the necessary approval for its conclusion”.

Simmons continued:

“The Women’s FA Cup is a showpiece fixture in the football calendar and because of that there was a huge appetite for the remaining rounds to be played”.

The show piece final will take place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 31st of October. But before that we have the quarter and semi finals to be played.

The quarter finals will take place this weekend starting with the north London derby on Saturday (Kick off 17:15). The winners of this will face the winners of Leicester City v Manchester City who met on Sunday at 14:00. Also on Sunday Everton host Chelsea at 13:00 with the winners facing Brighton or Birmingham who will face off at 14:00.

All games will be played behind closed doors. Arsenal’s game with Tottenham will be shown on BBC2 from 5pm on Saturday. While Everton v Chelsea will be streamed on the FA Player.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal head into this derby fixture having gotten off to a flying start in the WSL. With 9-1 and 6-1 wins over West ham and Reading respectively. The gunners have been on fire in front of goal. Tottenham however have suffered defeat to Everton 1-0 and drew with West ham 1-1.

New Arsenal player Steph Catley spoke to the clubs website about the competition:

“Its a brand new experience for me. the reason you play football is to win trophies, so to come in at such a late stage and be really close to winning one is really exciting”

Arsenal boast a wealth of international talent within their squad. Dutch midfielder Jill Roord has had a great start with six goals in two games. While fellow Netherlands international Vivianne Miedema has scored four goals so far. The Gunners also boast the likes of England stars Beth Mead and Jordan Nobbs, Dutch attacker Danielle Van de Donk and Scotland international Kim Little. Joe Montemurro’s side, therefore, must be considered heavy favourites.

Tottenham will be no push over’s, however, after recently signing US legend and World Cup winner Alex Morgan. Alex spoke to the club website about coming to play in England:

“I’ve heard so many great things about the WSL and some of my team-mates from the national team have come over and signed with other clubs in the WSL”. “I wanted to challenge myself and play in a different league”.

Players To Watch

For Arsenal Jill Roord and Vivianne Miedema have been scoring for fun. Jordan Nobbs and Danielle Van de Donk will also play an important part for Arsenal. As for Tottenham Australia defender Alanna Kennedy will need to be at her best. Anna Filbey will be looking to continue her good form, after Wales’ narrow 1-0 defeat to Norway. But there could be a staring role for Alex Morgan who may make her first appearance.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham

Everton V Chelsea

Everton host Chelsea in Sundays early game Kick off 13:00. The game will be streamed live on the FA Player.

Everton head into this game on the back of two wins in the WSL. A 1-0 victory over Tottenham and a 4-0 win over Bristol City. Lucy Graham scored twice in the win over Bristol while Isobel Christiansen got the winner against Tottenham.

Chelsea opened the WSL with at draw away to Manchester United (1-1) with a goal from Sam Kerr. In their second game they hammered Bristol City by nine goals. Kirby, Mjelde, Leupolz, Cuthbert, Bright, England, Charles, Harder and Kerr all getting on the scoresheet.

In the last five meeting between these side Chelsea have won four and there has been one draw. Everton’s last win was in 2013 when they won 3-2.

Players To Watch

For Everton Ingrid Wold the Norwegian international helped Norway to a 1-0 win over Wales on Tuesday will be key to stopping Chelsea’s So-Yun Ji, Fran kirby and Beth England. Scotland international Lucy Graham has two goals for the season and will be looking to add more.

For Chelsea they have world stars right across the squad. Norwegian trio Maren Mjelde, Maria Thorisdottir and Guro Reiten. Sophie Ingle, So-Yon Ji, Fran Kirby can all change games. While Sam Kerr is one of the best strikers in the world.

Prediction: Everton 0-4 Chelsea

Brighton V Birmingham City

These sides met each other on the opening day of the WSL season. Brighton won the game by two goals to nil, with stikes from Megan Connolly and Inessa Kaagman. The score flattered the Blues as Brighton hit fifteen attempts to their four.

Brighton’s second game saw them hold Man City to a goalless draw. They sit in sixth place after two games. After finishing ninth at the early end of last season Brighton will want to push on this season.

Birmingham’s poor start continued with a 5-2 defeat to Manchester United. They did lead in the match after conceding early. A Claudia Walker equaliser and an own goal from Abbie McManus giving them a brief lead. United leveled before the break, then hit three without reply in the second half.

Players to Watch

For Brighton Inessa Kaagman and Kayleigh Green will be important. Also 18 year old english defender Maya Le Tissier has looked a great talent in the first two rounds of the WSL. Birmingham will be looking for more goals from Claudia Walker.

Prediction: Brighton 2-0 Birmingham City

Leicester City v Manchester City

Leicester enter the quarter finals as the only Championship side remaining in the competition. They have begun their season with a 3-0 win over Blackburn and a 2-2 draw with Sheffield United. They sit second in the championship on goal difference.

FA Cup holders Manchester City have a win and draw in their opening WSL fixtures. City boss Gareth Taylor spoke to clubs website ahead of this game saying:

“The girls are under no illusions that we need to be better in the final third with our decision-making and final action where it matters”.

Taylor continued:

“Goals are important and of course, we don’t want to concede any. Its a positive in that respect- we’ve had two clean sheets”.

Aoife Mannion, Megan Campbell and Lauren Hemp are all confirmed to be out of contention though injuries. In positive news though Rose Lavelle may get her first start.

Players to Watch

For Leicester Natasha Flint has three goals in two games for the season. Millie Farrow has one goal in one and is another Leicester player to watch. Manchester City have an outstanding squad of international players, however, keep an eye on American pair Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis.

Prediction: Leicester City 0-3 Manchester City

WSL RoundUp Week One: Jill Roord Hat-Trick inspires the Gunners To Victory

This past weekend marked the return of the FA Women Super League, where remarkably the last League matches concluded at the end of February. 

Joe Montemurro’s Arsenal, however, put the disappointment of last month’s Champions League exit to PSG successfully behind them with a resounding 6-1 victory over Kelly Chambers’ Reading, who had not played a game since February.

Indeed, the Royals new midfielder, Jess Fishlock did not have the dream debut, as the Gunners were ruthless in front of goal. Scottish international Kim Little gave Montemurro’s side the early lead with a composed finish from Leah Williamson’s pinpoint cross in the fifteenth minute.  While last season’s Football Writers’ Player of the Year, Vivianne Miedema, subsequently doubled the North London team’s advantage before Jill Roord was able to add a third just before half-time. 

Things did not improve for Chamber’s side in the second half as Little was able to successfully set up Roord for Arsenal’s fourth of the day.  Last season’s golden boot winner, Miedema then made up for an uncharacteristic miss by adding a fifth with a terrifically struck shot. 

Ten minutes from time, Roord was able to round off scoring for the Gunners by completing her hat trick after a lovely flowing team move. Ex- Arsenal striker, Danielle Carter managed to grab a late consolation for the Royals but by then the game itself was over as a contest.  

Last season’s WSL champions Chelsea, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw at Manchester United’s Leigh Sports Village stadium.  The Blues took the lead in the 25thminute through Australian International striker Sam Kerr after she had managed to successfully convert a cross from Fran Kirby.  

Casey Stoney’s United, however, were always in the game and saw Leah Galton’s header hit the bar just before half-time.  The Red Devils were, however, able to grab an equaliser ten minutes from time when Galton was able to convert substitute Jackie Groenen’s cross.  

There was still time for Chelsea’s record signing and the most expensive player in women’s football history, Pernille Harder to make her much-anticipated debut, however, she was unable to find that break through as the game ended 1-1.  

Gareth Taylor’s first WSL in charge of Manchester City ended with a 2-0 victory over newly promoted Aston Villa.  England striker Georgia Stanway scored both goals in the first 21 minutes, which were created by two defensive mix-ups at the back by Villa’s defence.  Overall, Taylor would be encouraged by new signing Chloe Kelly’s performance, through out the game she was able to cause the Villa defence a number of problems. While the American, Sam Mewis also grew impressively into her midfield role as the game went on.  

Two goals from club captain Lucy Graham helped Everton get off to an impressive start as they secured a 4-0 away win against Bristol City, while two second half goals from Megan Connolly and Inessa Kaagman helped Hope Powell’s Brighton on the way to a 2-0 victory over Birmingham City.  

Finally West Ham’s Adriana Leon scored a brilliant goal in the WSL’s first London derby of the season as the Hammers kicked off their season with a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.  

What next?

This weekend’s round of fixtures kicks-off with West Ham hosting Arsenal, in a match that will be played in front of roughly 1,000 supporters. This is part of the Government’s latest pilot scheme of allowing people to attend sport.  The game will be due to kick-off at 5:20pm on Saturday 12thSeptember at Dagenham and Redbridge’s Victoria Road. 

On Sunday 13thSeptember sees the rest of week two’s WSL ties as Champions Chelsea will be looking to get their first win of the campaign at home to Bristol City.  While, Everton will look to build on their impressive start as they are at home to Tottenham Hotspur.  

Elsewhere, Manchester United travel to face Birmingham City, Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City host Brighton and Reading will be looking to bounce back from their heavy opening day defeat as they play newly promoted Aston Villa. 

September 12th

West Ham United vs Arsenal 5:20pm 

September 13th

Chelsea vs Bristol City 12:30pm

Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur 1pm

Birmingham City vs Manchester United 2pm

Manchester City vs Brighton & Hove Albion 2pm

Reading vs Aston Villa 2pm

Pernille Harder signs for Chelsea Women from VfL Wolfsburg in world record deal

Pernille Harder has officially joined Emma Hayes’ Chelsea side on a three-year deal from VfL Wolfsburg ahead of the 2020/21 FA WSL kick-off this weekend.

The Danish striker played her final game for the club last weekend when VfL Wolfsburg lost 3-1 in the Champions League Final against Olympique Lyon. She is widely considered to be one of the best players in the women’s game.

Following her record move to the WSL, which is believed to be around £300,000, Harder said:

“I’m excited to play for such a big club, to play with so many amazing players and to also be playing in the Women’s Super League.”

Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes, meanwhile, added:

“Pernille is one of the best players in the world. Her record for Wolfsburg and Linkopings as well as internationally with Denmark shows how valuable she has been to her team.”

 

Who is Pernille Harder?

Harder began her career by playing in her native Denmark for first Team Viborg and then IK Skovbakken in the Elitedivisonen before moving to Swedish club Linkopings FC in 2012.

It was there that Harder began to make her name for herself, spending four years at the Swedish side, making 87 appearances.  In the 2015 campaign the striker managed to score an impressive 17 goals in 22 appearances, which resulted in a number of personal accolades including Danish Footballer of the Year for 2015 and the most valuable player of the Damallsvenskan.

During her time with Linkopings FC, Harder also helped her team win the Damallsvenskan in 2016 and also back to back Svenska Cuper’s in 2014 and 2015.

Following her success in Sweden, Harder signed for Frauen Bundesliga Champions and two-times Champions League winners, VfL Wolfsburg on a two and half year contract in 2017.

On the international stage meanwhile, Harder has now made well over 100 appearances and inspired her Danish side to the final of the 2017 European Championships where she ended up scoring in a 4-2 defeat to Holland in the final. She has been named the country’s Player of the Year on six occasions, including each of the past five years.

Harder’s career, meanwhile, continued to go from strength to strength during her four-year stay in the Frauen Bundesliga as she won four league titles and German Cups. The Danish attacker twice ended up as the leading scorer of the division.

One title, however, that continues to allude her is the Women’s Champions League having twice finished a runner-up during her time with the German Club.  Harder was named the UEFA Player of the Year for 2018 and during the disrupted 2019/20 campaign she was the Champions League’s top scorer.

What does this signing mean for Chelsea?

This latest acquisition for the Blues is just the latest in a number of leading players’ joining the side as another of the world’s leading players, Sam Kerr, joined Chelsea back in January after finishing the NWSL season with Chicago Red Stars.

Emma Hayes’ attacking options also include the likes of England international Beth England, who enjoyed another impressive campaign for Chelsea last season, managing 14 goals in just 15 games.

The West London club, meanwhile, have also made further impressive additions to their title winning squad, bringing in the likes of former Bayern Munich captain Melanie Leupolz and Canadian international Jessie Fleming from UCLA Bruins.

There is certainly no doubt, however, that following this latest high profile signing that Emma Hayes’ team will be much fancied to lift the WSL crown once again.

When does the season start?

Harder’s arrival comes just in time for the WSL kick-off this weekend, where the Blues begin their title defence with a trip to Casey Stoney’s Manchester United on Sunday.

https://247-football.com/2020/08/08/the-football-association-announces-opening-two-rounds-of-fixtures-for-2020-21-barclays-women-super-league-season/

Houston Dash defeat Chicago Red Stars in NWSL Challenge Cup final

After being the first professional sports league to return in the United States, the NWSL concluded the Challenge Cup today with the Houston Dash defeating the Chicago Red Stars 2-0.

The Dash got off to quick start when Kristie Mewie drew a penalty after being fouled by Kayla Sharples in the fourth minute. Sophie Schmidt capitalised from the spot to help them take an early lead. That would end up being the only goal in the first half.

 

For much of the second half, both teams were not able to add to the scoresheet. However, in the first minute of extra-time, the Dash were on a breakaway and Shea Groom received a through ball from Rachel Daly, where she was able to put the ball past U.S. national team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. The goal would end up clinching the title for Houston.

 

The club is owned by several prominent athletes such as boxer Oscar de la Hoya and NBA superstar James Harden  but the Dash have never been able to compete in the NWSL. In fact, since the club was founded on December 11, 2013, they have never qualified for the playoffs. This makes the Challenge Cup the franchise’s first piece of silverware in its history.

 

On the other side, the Chicago Red Stars lost a key player in Sam Kerr. The Australian international departed the NWSL for Chelsea after winning the Golden Boot three years in a row. However, they were able to succeed without the goal-scoring machine and were able to finish up as runners-up in the tournament. 

These two teams were not supposed to make the finals. The fourth and sixth place finishers were not considered to be serious threats for the tournament, compare to favourites such as the North Carolina Courage or the Washington Spirit. However, both of these clubs ignored where the critics and made some noise in Utah.

The NWSL had the privilege of being the first pro sports league to return in America, and the tournament featured many great stories from upsets to underdog stories. This tournament was a great kickstart to sports in the country and should be a catalyst in the expanding coverage in not only women’s soccer but sports in general.

Australia and New Zealand Awarded 2023 Women’s World Cup

Australia and New Zealand will host the next edition of the Women’s World Cup in 2023, FIFA announced yesterday, after a long day of deliberation.

The two countries united to launch the ‘As One’ bid to host the tournament and they saw off a counter bid from Colombia to win the right to stage the tournament, the first which will be held over two continents, as Australia are in the Asia confederation whilst New Zealand are part of the Oceania confederation.

Australia and New Zealand’s ‘As One’ bid won 22 of the 35 votes cast by FIFA Council Members, as Colombia won 13. The South American country was the only rival for hosting the tournament after Japan and Brazil had pulled out of the race.

FIFA’s technical evaluation of Australia and New Zealand’s bid marked at 4.1 out of 5 compared to Colombia’s score of just 2.8.

The 2023 edition of the Women’s World Cup will be the first tournament to feature 32 countries, an increase from the current 24 sides, and in line with the format of the Men’s World Cup.

Australia and New Zealand have put forward the stadiums they plan to use for the tournament, which runs from July-August 2023, with eight grounds in Australia and five in New Zealand touted, in a total of twelve cities.

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, Launceston to be the Australian hosts whilst Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin will be used for the fixtures scheduled to take place in New Zealand, alongside Auckland. The first game will take place at Eden Park in Auckland, with the final set to take place in Sydney.

President of Football Federation Australia, Chris Nikou, told the BBC the forthcoming competition will be “ground-breaking”.

Nikou added:

“Not only will it be the first ever co-confederation hosted Fifa World Cup and the first ever Fifa Women’s World Cup in the Asia-Pacific region, but we will unlock the huge potential for growth in women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The president of New Zealand Football, Johanna Wood, said:

“We believe we have been given a treasure, and we will look after that treasure.”

The decision to award Australia and New Zealand represents a huge boost to women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region, and a number of players took to social media to express their joy at the announcement.

Australia Captain and Chelsea star Sam Kerr tweeted:

While, New Zealand defender CJ Bott said:

“The tournament going to be the absolute pinnacle and highlight of our careers.”

Both countries will be looking to better their previous showings at the World Cup now that it will be on home soil. The Matildas were eliminated from last year’s tournament on penalties in their last sixteen tie against Norway but will fancy their chances of winning their first World Cup crown with their hime fans behind them.

New Zealand meanwhile, will looking to progress past the group stage, having failed to make it out of their group in any of their previous World Cup appearances.

With football already Australia’s most popular team sport, the exposure, media attention and investment that hosting a World Cup will bring will certainly boost women’s football and it’s profile Down Under.

It will undoubtedly lead to a spike in the number of girls and women who take up the sport at grassroots level in both Australia and New Zealand and help to put football in Asia, a continent often over looked, on the map once again.

Want to here more about women’s football and the World Cup 2023 bid? Then feel free to have a listen to our new podcast episode by clicking on link here: https://soundcloud.com/adam-stephens-425096853/24-7-football-second-podcast