W-League mid-season report card: Canberra United

-

It’s the time of the year when clubs look towards the home stretch of the season and The Football Sack critiques each club’s progress so far.

Semester summary: The first half of the season has been a bit of a mixed bag for the team from the capital. Five games in and it is an even split in terms of results, with two wins, two losses and a draw.

Embed from Getty Images

Canberra started the season at home with a dominant two-goal win over Perth Glory, with American Simone Charley announcing herself to the rest of the league with a stunning brace in the opening 11 minutes.

The following games would include two home losses to Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar, their first away win in two years against the Newcastle Jets and a draw away to Perth Glory.

They sit fourth on the ladder, having scored eight goals and conceded seven but with talent throughout their squad they should be challenging the big teams and end the season near the summit.

You can watch the A-League live for only $25 a month. Click here to read our review of Kayo Sports and to start your 14-day free trial.

Areas of excellence: Despite sitting in fourth, United is tied for second best attack with Brisbane. They have four internationals in attack who have been causing problems for every defence they come up against.

Embed from Getty Images

Simone Charley is equal second in the golden boot standings early on in her debut W-League season and Elise Thorsnes is equal seventh.

Brazilian midfielder Camila is causing problems all over for those she comes up against. Her fancy footwork and quick pace have launched her side into many counter attacks.

When called upon, American Katie Stengel has caused her own problems. The forward often holds up play to allow her attacking partners to wreak havoc on the opposing defence.

Canberra also leads the league with a total of 73 shots on goal and with plenty of young guns on the bench, they have no shortage of attacking options and will continue to cause problems.

Areas in need of improvement: If there is something Canberra can improve, then it would likely be their defence. While they do have plenty of quality in the backline, they have conceded almost as much as they have scored.

Embed from Getty Images

There are two other slight issues they currently have: the first is the fact they gave away three penalties in the space of two games. One in injury time against Melbourne City stopped them from walking away with any points as they went on to lose by two goals to one.

The following week they gave away two penalties to the Jets and both were in the first half. Whilst they ended up winning, conceding that many penalties in such a short time is cause for concern.

Top student: Charley arrived in Australia from the Portland Thorns and quickly made herself known. Her blistering start against Perth Glory in round one has only been backed up by more solid performances.

Against City, Charley had a moment of individual brilliance running from the halfway line straight through the heart of the City midfield and defence. Although she did not score, what Charley did do was further show the quality she has and sent a warning to the rest of the league.

Embed from Getty Images

Class clown: Jessie Rasschaert is brand new to professional football and has not looked totally out of place, but there have been instances when her lack of experience has shown.

In just her second game in the W-League, Rasschaert gave away a crucial penalty against City that cost Canberra a point. It’s cruel to say but you have to wonder if someone with more experience would have dived in the way Rasschaert did.

Grade: A-

Outlook: Despite late goals costing Canberra on numerous occasions, the side has shown to be more than a handful when at their best.

Coach Heather Garriock has assembled a squad that is not only full of quality all over the park but one that gets along and wants to work for each other.

Embed from Getty Images

Garriock took full advantage of the allowed international players, bringing in quality upfront with Camila, Stengel, Charley and Thorsnes. She also brought in Kaleigh Kurtz, who has so far shown herself to be equal to the task against some of the best in Australia.

However it’s not just the internationals showing their quality with Sham Khamis, Olivia Price and Karly Roestbakken showing their importance to the squad.

Canberra is a squad full of quality and if they can continue to perform to the best of their abilities, their confidence can only grow.

If Garriock can keep her players fit and firing, then they will surely be looking at a return to finals football.

Featured image credit: Canberra United

Latest Articles

The six biggest A-League stories of the pre-season

Bankwest Stadium will host the launch of a brand-new era for the competition (how many times have we heard that?) on Sunday 27 December. It...

How to Combine a Passion for Football with Education

Football is one of the most entertaining and influential sports globally. Research has shown that both men and women profit immensely from watching and playing...
Declan Smith
Current Sports Media student at University of Canberra. Average footballer