Sydney FC 2018/19 W-League Season Preview

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The Sky Blues have lost five players to rivals Western Sydney Wanderers… but with new American signings and a number of up-and-coming stars, this squad still has the potential to go one better than last season.

Last season…

W-League: 2nd
Finals: Grand Finalists

They’ll win the league because…

There’s a mix of old and young, Aussies and internationals: the diversity within the team might just be the thing that sets them apart. American trio Sofia Huerta, Danielle Colaprico and Aubrey Bledsoe are sure to make a big difference to the side, adding quality and experience. Although there’s a number of young players in this squad (genuine teenagers), many of them have played for Sydney FC before.

After losing the first three games last season, Sydney FC went on an undefeated streak all the way until they lost the big dance against Melbourne City. Coming back from an early losing streak to make this much of an impact on the league shows some serious talent and resilience. Finishing second last season may just give this squad the motivation they need to do one better this year.

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

A number of experienced Sydney FC players have left the club and, to make matters worse for the Sky Blues, they haven’t just moved anywhere. Out of the eight players who have departed, FIVE have moved to the opposition, the fiercest rivalry: Western Sydney Wanderers. The arch rivals not only took Caitlin Cooper, Remy Siemsen and Georgia Yeoman-Dale but also foundation players Leena Khamis and Kylie Ledbrook. With the spine of last season’s starting eleven moving on, it’s going to be a tough year for the Sky Blues. Will they still be the powerhouse of the league?

Talk around the water cooler… look smart around your colleagues with this valuable piece of information

A number of young guns are a part of this squad – Ally Green, Taylor Ray, Angelique Hristodoulou, Amy Sayer, Princess Ibini and Julia Vignes – and although they’re barely old enough to drive, these youngsters are bound to make a big difference to Sydney FC. With manager Ante Juric also having been part of the senior and youth Matildas, the ex-Socceroo has an eye for young talent which he has brought into his W-League squad. These Young Matildas are the future stars of the game and are sure to flourish under Juric’s watchful eye.

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The off season brought

With sisters Sham and Leena Khamis both departing the club, Juric has been forced to make some changes. The manager has brought in internationals for the loss of Aussie greats – striker Sofia Huerta to replace Leena and Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe to replace Sham. Bledsoe is on loan from Washington Spirit and has been signed to Sydney FC for the next two seasons.

Key player

Sophia Huerta. With forwards Leena Khamis and Remy Siemsen moving on, Ante Juric is looking to make up for lost strike power with this American international. The 25-year-old has had experience in the W-League before, playing for Adelaide United in the 2016/17 season where she scored eight goals and finished third in the Julie Dolan Medal. Playing for Houston Dash in the NWSL, the striker scored eight times and clocked six assists throughout her 2018 season. Huerta has also accumulated caps for the USA the Mexican national team and is the first player to play both for and against the USA. Huerta’s international experience and goal-scoring ability is sure to make an impression.

One to watch…

Taylor Ray. This 17-year-old midfielder is full of potential, full of hard-work and full of discipline: just some of the reasons for her recent naming in the Young Matildas squad. The Westfields Sports High School prodigy scored her first goal last season in her debut game against Melbourne Victory and she’s keen to start this season in the same fashion. In her second year at Sydney FC, the youngster is hoping to get a few more games under her belt and consolidate her position in the squad. Will Taylor bring a ‘ray’ of sunshine to the Sky Blues?

Full squad list

Goalkeepers: Aubrey Bledsoe
Defenders: Ally Green, Elizabeth Ralston, Taylor Ray, Rachael Soutar, Amy Harrison, Alanna Kennedy
Midfielders: Amy Harrison, Angelique Hristodoulou, Chloe Logarzo, Teresa Polias, Amy Sayer, Caitlin Foord, Sofia Huerta, Danielle Colaprico
Forwards: Princess Ibini, Julia Vignes, Lisa De Vanna

INS
Alanna Kennedy (Melbourne City), Amy Sayer (Canberra United), Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit), Sophia Huerta (Houston Dash), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars)

OUTS
Caitlin Cooper, Sham Khamis, Remy Siemsen, Kylie Ledbrook, Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Emma Rolston, Emily Sonnett, Leena Khamis

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Lani Johnson
Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.