Kyah Simon Selected in Matildas Squad


The 20-strong list also features 15 members of the squad that reached the quarter finals at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.  

Simon, who hails from Sydney’s west, has made rapid progress through the ranks of the Australian U-17 team early in 2007, to the Young Matildas (u-20) before making her only appearance for the senior team in an Olympic qualifier against Hong Kong last August.

The other players with an opportunity to impress are Canberra’s Amy Chapman and Novocastrian Amber Neilson, with defenders Karla Reuter and Kim Carroll completing the list of those who missed the World Cup.

“There are five changes from our World Cup squad for this tour so to some degree we are rebuilding the depth across the squad,” says Sermanni.

“This is another opportunity for some of the fringe players of the last few years to cement their place in the team.  It is important that we continually improve and refine our play whilst at the same time continue to build towards our next World Cup campaign.”

“Kyah is a promising talent who has come into recent camps and basically got herself selected with her displays.  She has a great ability to unsettle defences and also possesses a natural football ability and game awareness.”

Midfielder Heather Garriock currently playing professionally with Danish club Fortuna Hjorring, will be looking to become the youngest Australian to reach 100 caps in the first match against the United States.  The 25-year-old Sydneysider set to join the century club alongside team-mates Cheryl Salisbury and Joanne Peters, as well as retired defender Anissa Tann.

The Australian team will face up to the perennial superpower of women’s football, and current Olympic champions on April 27 in Cary, North Carolina, and May 3 in Birmingham, Alabama. 

Australia are yet to defeat the United States in 18 encounters losing 16 of those matches, however there have been two draws in the last three meetings between the two nations.

The Matildas squad for their United States tour is:

Goalkeepers ? Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne), Lydia Williams (Canberra)

Defenders ? Di Alagich (Sydney), Kim Carroll (Brisbane), Lauren Colthorpe (Brisbane), Kate McShea (Brisbane), Karla Reuter (Brisbane), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane)

Midfielders ? Joanne Burgess (Brisbane), Amy Chapman (Canberra), Heather Garriock (Sydney), Collette McCallum (Perth), Amber Neilson (Newcastle), Joanne Peters (Newcastle), Sally Shipard (Brisbane)

Forwards ? Kate Gill (Newcastle), Caitlin Munoz (Canberra), Kyah Simon (Sydney), Sarah Walsh (Sydney)
(current home city)

The Matildas are preparing for the 2008 AFC Women’s Asian Cup to be held from May 28 ? June 8, 2008, in a venue yet to be announced.

The United States will be looking to utilise the matches as further fine-tuning of their Olympic title defence in Beijing, after their victory in the final of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Mexico on Saturday.

Tour Fixtures:
Sunday, April 27
USA v Australia
WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, Nth Carolina, 7pm local time (9am AEST Monday) 

Tuesday, April 29
Australia v Carolina Railhawks – Cary, kick-off TBC

Saturday, May 3
USA v Australia 
Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama, 4pm local time (7am AEST Sunday)

The Matildas moved to an all-time high world ranking of 12 following the FIFA Women’s World Cup, while the United States last month reclaimed their world number one ranking after their win in the 12-nation Algarve Cup.