Opponent Watch: Spain’s Roster for the 2020 SheBelieves Cup

With inaugural SheBelieves Cup participants France and Germany once again not returning and last year’s debutante Brazil preferring the allure of France, the Netherlands, and Canada, the United States Women’s National Team needed to find a new participant for its four-team friendly tournament.  Eventually, the USA settled on #13-ranked Spain, who you might remember from that nail-biting Round of 16 match in last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup (official highlights).

While Spain’s players may have revenge on their mind, head coach Jorge Vilda is focused on preparing for the back half of qualifying for the 2021 UEFA Women’s Euro, which will be hosted by fellow SheBelieves Cup team England.  Although Spain easily won its first two qualifying matches last autumn, the Iberian team hit a slight road bump in the form of a nil-nil away draw with Poland.

For this friendly tournament, Vilda has recalled 18 players from his 2019 WWC squad, including FC Barcelona striker Jenni Hermoso who scored Spain’s equalizer against the USA and is tied for most goals in the Primera División’s current season at 20, with Nigerian Asisat Oshoala.


Notable Absences

However, Spain will be without a key cog of their midfield, Vicky Losada, who is still not one-hundred percent after a recent Achilles tendon injury (sport.es #1).  Losada has not played for her national team since the WWC, as she suffered a left hamstring injury in early September and was out until late November (sport.es #2).

Another WWC player, Andrea Falcón, suffered a tear of her left knee’s ACL in mid-December (fcbarcelona.es), and is thus unavailable for the next several months.  Two other players, Silvia Meseguer and Marta Torrejon retired from international soccer (as.com).

The reason for the absence of Spain’s final WWC player, outside back Celia Jiménez of Reign FC (NWSL profile) is somewhat unclear. Jiménez, who is on loan to the Perth Glory (W-League profile), started in the Glory’s most recent match (22-Feb-2020), and thus appears to be fit and available for selection. Jiménez, a native of Andalusia, played NCAA soccer for Alabama (collegiate profile).  One likely explanation is that Vilda needed to make room on the roster to give a trial run to another outside back candidate…


New(er) Additions

Receiving her first senior call-up is 24 year-old (right) outside back Ainhoa Vicente of Athletic Club (Bilbao).  (EuropaPress.es)

Three other players earned their first caps in 2019:  21 year-old forward Sheila García of Rayo Vallecano, who has been recalled for the first time since the Women’s World Cup, plus Levante defender Ona Batlle and Real Sociodad forward Marta Cardona, who have both been regular post-WWC call-ups.  Batlle is a veteran of Spain’s 2018 U-20 WWC and 2016 U-17 WWC squads.

Batlle, a veteran of Spain’s 2018 U-20 WWC and 2016 U-17 WWC squads, and  García both earned their first caps in May 2019, against Cameroon. (es.fifa.com) Cardona got her first cap in October during a Women’s Euro qualifier against Azerbaijan. (eldesmarque.com)

Vilda had this to say about Sheila García – translated from the roster announcement press conference (sefutbol.com):

“She is a player we know from the lower categories and is having an exceptional season with Rayo.  What attracts us the most is her talent…  She has the merits to be with the national team.

The final non-WWC player, 27 year-old Ángela Sosa, was a controversial omission, at least according to her detailed Spanish Wikipedia page.  The Atlético Madrid midfielder  only earned her first senior cap in November 2018.


SPAIN’S ROSTER FOR 2020 SHEBELIEVES CUP 2020

Team name hyperlinks go to the player’s LaLiga.com profiles, which include basic current season statistics.

Goalkeepers (3):
Dolores “Lola” Gallardo (Atlético Madrid)
Sandra Paños (FC Barcelona)
Maria “Mariasun” Quiñones (Real Sociedad)

Defenders (8):
Ivana Andrés (Levante UD)
Ona  Batlle (Levante UD)
Marta Corredera (Levante UD)
María “Mapi” Leon (FC Barcelona)
Leila Ouahabi (FC Barcelona)
Irene Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain F.C.)
Andrea Pereira (FC Barcelona)
Ainhoa Vicente (Athletic Club)

Midfielders (6):
Aitana Bonmati (FC Barcelona)
Patri Guijarro (FC Barcelona)
Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona)
Amanda Sampedro (Atlético Madrid)
Ángela Sosa (Atlético Madrid)
Virginia Torrecilla (Atlético Madrid)

Forwards (6):
Mariona Caldentey (FC Barcelona)
Marta Cardona (Real Sociedad)
Lucía García (Athletic Club)
Nahikari García (Real Sociedad)
Sheila García (Rayo Vallecano)
Jennifer “Jenni” Hermoso (FC Barcelona)


The following table lists basic details (heights, dates of birth, age) for all players, plus international caps and goals tallies for players from Spain’s 2019 Women’s World Cup squad, as of the conclusion of that tournament.

Most dates of birth and heights are pulled from FIFA’s final “List of Players” for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup (PDF, archived link).  For most players not on Spain’s WWC 2019 squad, the player’s LaLiga.com profile was used for height and date of birth. (One player, Ona Batlle was on Spain’s 2018 U-20 WWC roster.)

The Rfef’s website (sefutbol.com) has historical statistics for its men’s national team, but not the women’s.  However, thanks to FIFA requiring teams participating in senior tournaments to submit rosters with caps and goals information, accurate tallies for those stats are readily available for most of Spain’s players, at least through the conclusion of the WWC.  Spain has only played four matches since the WWC (a friendly versus France, plus three Women’s Euro qualifying matches), so it would be possible to calculate up-to-date caps and goals for the WWC squad players, but that would still leave a handful of non-WWC players with incomplete tallies.

Dates of births for Marta Cardona, Sheila García, and Ángela Sosa, and Ainhoa Vicente are pulled from LaLiga.com and may be off by one day (apparently due to a website coding issue).

Ages are calculated, based on the first day of the tournament (5 March 2020).

Table 1:  Spain’s Roster for 2020 SheBelieves Cup – Detailed

                                                           |  Through    Post
                                                  Height   |   WWC'19    WWC
Player                P.     D.O.B.      Age    ft/in  cm  | Caps Goals  Goals
Dolores Gallardo      GK   06/10/1993   26.74   5'7"   171 |  30    0
Sandra Paños          GK   11/04/1992   27.33   5'6"   168 |  34    0
Maria Quiñones        GK   10/29/1996   23.35   5'7"   171 |  3     0
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivana Andrés          DF   07/13/1994   25.65   5'5"   164 |  22    0
Ona Batlle            DF   06/10/1999   20.74   5'5"   165 |
Marta Corredera       DF   08/08/1991   28.57   5'4"   162 |  72    5
María Leon            DF   06/13/1995   24.73   5'7"   169 |  29    1
Leila Ouahabi         DF   03/22/1993   26.95   5'8"   172 |  29    1
Irene Paredes         DF   07/04/1991   28.67   5'10"  178 |  68    8    1
Andrea Pereira        DF   09/19/1993   26.46   5'5"   164 |  26    0
Ainhoa Vicente        DF   08/20/1995   24.54   5'5"   166 |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aitana Bonmati        MF   01/18/1998   22.13   5'4"   162 |  14    1    3
Patri Guijarro        MF   05/17/1998   21.80   5'7"   170 |  22    3    1
Alexia Putellas       MF   02/04/1994   26.08   5'9"   175 |  70   14
Amanda Sampedro       MF   06/26/1993   26.69   5'3"   159 |  49   11
Ángela Sosa           MF   01/16/1993   27.13   5'5"   165 |
Virginia Torrecilla   MF   09/04/1994   25.50   5'8"   173 |  62    6    1
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mariona Caldentey     FW   03/19/1996   23.96   5'5"   164 |  25    2    1
Marta Cardona         FW   05/26/1995   24.78   5'3"   160 |
Lucía García          FW   07/14/1998   21.64   5'4"   163 |  18    1
Nahikari García       FW   03/10/1997   22.99   5'3"   160 |  13    1
Sheila García         FW   03/14/1997   22.98   5'4"   162 |
Jennifer Hermoso      FW   05/09/1990   29.82   5'9"   174 |  73   31    1

Sources:  sefutbol.com (positions), FIFA (dates of births, heights, caps, goals), LaLiga.com (dates of birth, heights), UEFA.com (post-WWC goals)

 

Select current season Primera División statistics for all domestic-based players are included in the next table.  The La Liga website has basic, though incomplete statistics (e.g., a “Fouls” column is listed, but all entries are zero) for players in the women’s top division.  Only one player, Irene Paredes of France’s PSG, is not based in Spain.  Her current French league stats are included at the bottom of the table for reference.

Column Legend:

  • MP:  Matches Played
  • MS:  Matches Started
  • Min.:  Minutes Played
  • G.: Total goals scored (including via penalty kicks)
  • PK: Penalty kicks scored
  • A: Assists
  • YC:  Yellow Cards

Table 2:  Current Season League Stats for Spain’s Players (as of 25-Feb-2020)

Player                P.   MP  MS   Min. | G. PK  A | YC |    Club
Dolores Gallardo      GK   11  11    990 |          |  2 | Atlético Madrid
Sandra Paños          GK   18  18   1620 |          |  0 | FC Barcelona
Maria Quiñones        GK   14  14   1260 |          |  0 | Real Sociedad
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ivana Andrés          DF   20  20   1756 |  0     0 |  1 | Levante UD
Ona Batlle            DF   19  19   1697 |  2     0 |  3 | Levante UD
Marta Corredera       DF   13   8    759 |  2     1 |  1 | Levante UD
María Leon            DF   18  18   1537 |  0     2 |  2 | FC Barcelona
Leila Ouahabi         DF   13  12    819 |  0     1 |  1 | FC Barcelona
Andrea Pereira        DF   16  16   1395 |  0     0 |  0 | FC Barcelona
Ainhoa Vicente        DF   17  16   1272 |  0     1 |  4 | Athletic Club
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aitana Bonmati        MF   19  13   1134 |  5     5 |  0 | FC Barcelona
Patri Guijarro        MF   17  16   1444 |  2     0 |  0 | FC Barcelona
Alexia Putellas       MF   19  18   1484 | 10  3  8 |  2 | FC Barcelona
Amanda Sampedro       MF   17  14   1216 |  1     2 |  1 | Atlético Madrid
Ángela Sosa           MF   20  19   1593 |  9  3  5 |  2 | Atlético Madrid
Virginia Torrecilla   MF   19   9    972 |  0     2 |  4 | Atlético Madrid
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mariona Caldentey     FW   16  14   1253 |  6  1  5 |  0 | FC Barcelona
Marta Cardona         FW   16  13   1116 |  2     2 |  1 | Real Sociedad
Lucía García          FW   17  15   1397 |  9     0 |  2 | Athletic Club
Nahikari García       FW   13  13   1058 | 11  2  1 |  0 | Real Sociedad
Sheila García         FW   19  18   1616 |  3     1 |  3 | Rayo Vallecano
Jennifer Hermoso      FW   18  17   1425 | 20  3  4 |  1 | FC Barcelona
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Irene Paredes         DF   14  14   1260 |  0     1 |  3 | PSG (France)

Sources:  LaLiga.com, FBref.com ( only for Paredes’ stats)


NOTABLES

Domestic Domination:  22 of Spain’s 23 players hail from 6 Spanish Primera División teams, with FC Barcelona continuing to dominate by providing 9 players.   Atlético Madrid is next with 4 players, while Levante and Real Sociedad each have 3 representatives.  Athletic Club (Bilbao) is the only other club with more than one player.  Only one player, Irene Paredes, plays outside Spain, for PSG, in France.

Age Stats:  The median age of the roster is 25.50, with an average age of 25.18.  The youngest player is One Batlle, who will turn 21 in June.  The oldest player is forward Jennifer Hermoso who turns 30 in May.

* * *

For more news about the Spanish Women’s National Team, see the Spain WNT tag, which has recaps of Spain’s recent Women’s Euro qualifying matches as well as notes on recent rosters.

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