Western United A-League Women 2022/23 Season Preview

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This year the A-League Women welcomed Western United as its newest team. Can they show the rest how it is done in their inaugural season?

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Last season…

A-League Women: N/A

Finals: N/A

They’ll win the league if…

They can master building chemistry in a new team. It’s a big ask to win the league in your debut season, but with so many players with domestic experience, it isn’t impossible. International loans Jessica McDonald, Chloe Logarzo and Hillary Beall may put United in fighting contention for a premiership.

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Another plus point for United is the lack of pressure associated with its starting position. Being the newest side, no one is expecting them to top the table and win the championship. Not having this pressure on them really lets United settle into the season, and hopefully surprise us all.

They’ll be cellar dweller because…

They are so fresh. If anyone is expected to receive the wooden spoon this season it would likely be the league’s newest team. However, I hope that is not the case. I think a respectable top six position is achievable for Western United this season given its experienced signings. Mastering the chemistry of an entirely new team will be a challenge for head coach Mark Torcaso, but if their pre-season friendly against Melbourne Victory is any indication to the outcome of their season, it looks optimistic.

Talk around the water coolers…. look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information

Twins Melissa and Adriana Taranto were the first twins signed to Western United. Will this dynamic duo be the secret weapon for a successful inaugural season?

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The off season brought

Some friendly wins. Torcaso’s leadership was tested in a crucial pre-season friendly against reigning champions Victory. This was his first appearance as head coach against an A-Leagues side. Despite the challenges to overcome with a new team, United managed to secure the win 1-0 thanks to a goal from Hannah Keane. This is a positive start as they debut against Victory in round one later this week. The pre-season friendlies are a good way to iron out any issues within the team. These win’s put United in good stead for the rest of the season. Hopefully their season follows suit.

United’s final friendly before the season kicks off was against Melbourne City. This dominating 3-0 win would definitely ease the nerves of Torcaso. Goals from Keane and McDonald put the green and black ahead at half time. Keane then scored her second early into the second half. United looked comfortable and confident. Doubts abouts their chemistry well and truly put to rest. The pre-season appeared to steady the fresh side.

Key players

Creating a team from scratch would’ve had its challenges for Torcaso and the managerial team. Managing to lock in international signings and experienced players is a positive start. There are a few players which look promising and may have a massive impact for United.

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McDonald is a World Cup winning striker on loan from Racing Louisville. She was in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup winning team with the United States. In the National Women’s Soccer League, she remains 4th on the all-time list with 54 goals and has the most individual assists of any player at 32. This experience will be essential for United. She not only adds skill to the forward line but can also act as a mentor for newer, less experienced, players.

Another loan from Racing Louisville is American keeper Hillary Beall. Her season long loan already looks promising after her strong performance in pre-season friendlies. From her time in Michigan, Beall accrued an 80% save percentage. This will be essential for United as a team still getting to its feet. With a strong presence up front, and Beall in goals, United is looking solid.

A few more to keep an eye on include Matilda’s star Chloe Logarzo, Julia Sardo and Emma Roberts who brings her championship winning experience from her time at Victory. All adding extensive experience to the team. These players will be pivotal to support the new formula. If all of them perform well this season, United could be very dangerous.

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One to watch

I’ve already mentioned several deadly additions to the squad. Another player to keep an eye on is American footballer, and United’s first international signing, Hannah Keane. Through playing for Sporting de Huelva in the Spanish Primera Iberdrola League, Keane has international experience and brings this with her skill into the mix. In both United’s pre-season friendly’s Keane had a dominate presence scoring goals in both. She may just be what United needs to get the ball into the back of the net. You heard it here first. Keep your eyes peeled…

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Full squad list

Goalkeepers: Hillary Beall (on loan Racing Louisville), Alyssa Dall’Oste

Defenders: Tyla-Jay Vlanjnic, Sydney Cummings, Alana Cerne, Julia Sardo, Natasha Dakic, Silver Bell Morris (scholarship)

Midfielders: Emma Roberts, Adriana Taranto, Melissa Taranto, Chloe Logarzo (on loan Kansas City Current), Jaclyn Sawicki

Forwards: Stacey Papadopoulos, Jessica McDonald (guest player, on loan from Racing Louisville), Hannah Keane, Kahli Johnson, Aleksandra Sinclair, Rachuel Deralas (scholarship), Francesca Lermano, Harriet Withers

Feature Image Credit: Western United FC

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Tylah Tully
Tylah Tully
Current journalism student in Perth. Fanatical sports fan. One of two writers covering the Perth Glory men and women’s teams for the 2022/23 season.

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