Following this weekend’s game against Portland Thorns FC, Washington Spirit midfielders Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison are off to France for the 2019 World Cup, as Australia head coach Ante Milicic named both players to his squad. The Matildas will begin their preparations for the tournament in Europe, playing a tune-up game against the Netherlands in Eindhoven on June 1.
“I’m thrilled for both Chloe and Amy and pleased that their time at the Spirit has served to help each of them in the selection process,” said Spirit head coach Richie Burke via a team release. “Both players have made improvements over the course of the last few months at our club, with increased fitness levels, some tactical growth and certainly higher levels of confidence.”
Logarzo has been a fixture within the Australia set-up for years now, and has 37 caps and 6 goals to show for her time with the Matildas. She was one of Australia’s last cuts ahead of the 2015 World Cup, but was a starter during their 2016 Olympics campaign in Rio de Janeiro. After making her Spirit debut just over a week ago as a substitute, she played 66 minutes as a starter in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Sky Blue FC.
Harrison, who has 10 caps, was perhaps less sure of her place in Milicic’s selection of 23 players, as two separate ACL tears in 2016 and 2017 left her with a huge battle against time. However, a solid season with W-League champions Sydney FC (where she played with Logarzo and Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe) boosted her hopes just in time. Harrison made her first start with the Spirit last month in a 1-0 loss to Utah Royals FC, and had an assist in this weekend’s win in New Jersey.
Australia’s squad includes 12 players in the National Women’s Soccer League, and another playing NCAA soccer for UCLA. It includes veteran forward Lisa de Vanna, who spent the 2014 season with the Spirit, and winger Hayley Raso, who played for the club in 2015.
Australia will be considered favorites in Group C, but it is a potentially tricky set of games. Brazil still has Marta, while Italy has made great strides over the past two years. Logarzo and Harrison will see a familiar face in their group finale on June 18, as Spirit forward Cheyna Matthews is a sure bet to make Jamaica’s final roster.
The Matildas are expected to make a deep run next month, and it would be a fairly major surprise if they failed to make it to at least a quarterfinal. After this weekend’s game against Portland, the Spirit will be without both players through at least the end of June, and most likely well into July.
The full roster is as follows:
Goalkeepers (3): Lydia Williams, Tegan Micah, Mackenzie Arnold
Defenders (7): Gema Simon, Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Ellie Carpenter, Teigen Allen
Midfielders (7): Aivi Luik, Chloe Logarzo, Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond, Tameka Yallop, Katrina Gorry, Amy Harrison
Forwards (6): Caitlin Foord, Lisa de Vanna, Emily Gielnik, Hayley Raso, Mary Fowler, Sam Kerr