Roster Round-Up: March 2020 International Window

The first full international window of 2020 is upon us. Most active women’s national teams will be participating in friendly tournaments, such as the SheBelieves Cup, the Algarve Cup the noveau Tournoi de France, and others.  Meanwhile, six national teams, including the Matildas of Australia, will be playing in Olympic qualifying play-offs.  Over in UEFA, some teams will continue their qualifying campaigns for the 2021 Women’s Euro.

Here is a special extended edition Roster Round-Up, organized by friendly tournament.  The usual teams are covered in summary detail, while links are provided to the rosters of other notable teams.

If you’re looking for information about this year’s SheBelieves Cup, see 2020 SheBelieves Cup: Updated Rosters, USA TV Schedule, and News Updates.

Table of Contents


Previous Round-Ups:  November 2019, October 2019


Notable Matches

AFC – Olympic Qualifying Play-Offs:  Four teams, paired off for home-and-home play-off matches, are left:  #7 Australia and #32 Vietnam plus #15 China PR and #20 Korea Republic. The first matches, hosted by Australia and Korea Republic, respectively, will be played on March 6th, with the return matches scheduled for the 11th.  While Australia looks to be safe bet, the other match-up is a definite toss-up.  Australia’s roster (matildas.com.au) is unchanged from qualifying, though Chelsea striker Sam Kerr is more match-fit, as she played the full 90 in Saturday’s Continental Cup final (Guardian live blog).

CAF – Olympic Qualifying Play-Offs:  Cameroon and Zambia are the remaining teams from Africa.  They will face-off on March 5th and 10th in a home-and-home play-off, with the winner qualifying directly for Tokyo, while the loser faces Chile in a home-and-home intercontinental play-off for the final slot in April.

UEFA – Qualifying for the 2021 Women’s Euro:  No top-tier teams are in action this window.  #24 Russia, #30 Poland, and #32 Republic of Ireland (roster) are the highest-ranked teams with matches in this window.  Former Stanford (profile) / Georgetown (profile) striker Kyra Carusa recently changed her association to Ireland. (fai.ie) Carusa attended two U-23 USWNT camps in 2018.  For more on Women’s Euro qualifying, see the Women’s Euro tag and this updated 24-page PDF guide.

SheBelieves Cup:  All three USWNT matches involve opponents who will ask important questions of the USA’s defense and its passing profiency.   All three matches will also have a rivalry angle to them, as the USWNT defeated #13 Spain and #6 England on its way to its fourth star at last year’s WWC.  Though, the only true rivalry match-up will be against the USA’s last opponent #10 Japan.  Of the non-USA matches, #10 Japan vs. #13 Spain presents a tasty match-up between two associations with successful and technical youth national teams.  For more on the SheBelieves Cup, see 2020 SheBelieves Cup: Updated Rosters, USA TV Schedule, and News Updates.

Tournoi de France:  France versus any top team would be notable.  Though, with France not in the Olympics this year, the more significant matches are those between the other three teams, who all have tickets to Tokyo.  That said, #3 Netherlands vs. #4 France is the marquee match of this tournament.  Meanwhile, with #8 Canada’s recent struggles, getting a result against any of their opponents this window would be viewed as a positive development.  Canada recently played Brazil last November, losing 0:4  (CanadaSoccer.com), and lost to the Netherlands 1:2 in the group stage of last year’s WWC (FIFA).

Algarve Cup:  Instead of the normal format of a group stage and placement matches, the eight teams will play a series of knockout matches, with losers’ brackets.   On the first day, #2 Germany vs. #5 Sweden is the marquee match, while #12 Norway vs. #16 Denmark also presents an intriguing match-up.  Of the possible later match-ups, #14 Italy vs. #16 Denmark would be the most significant, as both teams are in the same Women’s Euro qualifying group, Group B, and have yet to face each other.


Tournoi de France

Teams:  Netherlands, France, Canada, Brazil

In the USA, beIN Sports (which has rights for home friendlies involving the France WNT and MNT) will air and/or stream all six matches.  Canada’s match on Saturday will only be available on beIN’s streaming platform beIN Connect (cable/satellite/fiber login required).  Follow @WSoccerExpress on Twitter for TV schedule updates.)

Match Schedule:

  • Wednesday, March 4th
    • France vs. Canada (11:00 a.m. ET – beIN Sports, Live)
    • Netherlands vs. Brazil (1:00 p.m. ET – beIN Sports, Live)
  • Saturday, March 7th
    • Netherlands vs. Canada (1:00 p.m. ET beIN Connect, Live)
    • France vs. Brazil (3:00 p.m. ET – beIN Sports, Live)
  • Tuesday, March 10th:
    • Canada vs. Brazil (2:00 p.m. ET – beIN Sports, Live)
    • France vs. Netherlands (4:00 p.m. ET – beIN Sports, Live)

France

Roster Announcement, Roster List (archive version)

Notables: 

  • Returning (Short-Term):  Eugénie Le Sommer, Amandine Henry, Kadidiatou Diani, Solène Durand
  • Returning (Long-Term):  Estelle Cascarino (last cap:  23-Oct-2017), Ouleymata Sarr (last cap: 09-Apr-2018)
  • Uncapped:  Perle Morroni
  • Not Called In:  Gaëtane Thiney, Elisa De Almeida

The only notable absence this go-around for France is 34 year-old midfielder/forward Gaëtane Thiney.  This omission has a bit of drama surrounding it:  In November, head coach Corinne Diacre reportedly told Thiney that she may not be called up for future camps.  Last month, Thiney gave interviews with Canal+ and the AFP (via Le Télégramme) discussing France’s lack of success in recent tournaments while indirectly criticizing Diacre.  Further reading:  Article about Thiney’s comments on sofoot.com, another article on Thiney’s interviews on Le Parisien, AFP article on roster via Eurosport.fr.

Diacre discussing Thiney, from Le Equipe (translated):

“I had met Gaëtane at the end of November to tell her that in the future I could do without her services. I had not been firm and categorical, only the weekend competitions guiding me in my choices,” justified the coach on Wednesday. “I found that after the World Cup, her performance was below what she had shown before. “

Midfielder Amandine Henry returns for the first time since the August/September window after an Achilles tendon injury caused her to miss the October window.  She was called in for the November window, but was a late scratch.  Other late scratches from that last window – forwards Eugénie Le Sommer and Kadidiatou Diani plus back-up goalkeeper Solène Durand – are all back for this window.

Defender Estelle Cascarino (twin sister of striker Delphine Cascarino) and forward Ouleymata Sarr both return for the first time since March 2019.

Netherlands

Roster Announcement, Roster List (archive version)

Notables:

  • Returning:  Lieke Martens (lingering toe injury), Stefanie van der Gragt (meniscus tear), Lize Kop, Lynn Wilms
  • Uncapped:  Joëlle Smits
  • Not Available:  Liza van der Most
  • Recent International Retirement:  Desiree van Lunteren

At the WWC, unused substitute Victoria Pelova (born 03-Jun-1999) was the youngest player on the Netherlands’ squad.  This current roster has three players younger than her:  Lynn Wilms (03-Oct-2000), the uncapped Joëlle Smits (07-Feb-2000), and Ashleigh Weerden (07-Jun-1999).

Stefanie van der Gragt suffered a tear of her right knee’s meniscus in late September (nu.nl).  After recovery from a knee operation, she was back training with FC Barcelona in mid-December. (ad.nl)

In November, one month before turning 27 years-old, WWC starting right outside back Desiree van Lunteren announced her retirement from international soccer (Twitter, nu.nl article on her retirement).  Van Lunteren played every minute of the last WWC.

Unused WWC substitute Liza van der Most suffered a season-ending knee injury on February 14th. (ajax.nl)

Brazil

Roster Announcement

Notables:

  • Returning:  Thaisa (de Moraes Rosa Moreno), Jucinara (Thaís Soares Paz)
  • Uncapped:  Natascha (Honegger)
  • Not Called In:  see the Brazil WNT Wikipedia page for other players’ last call-up

Swiss-born goalkeeper Natasha Honegger, currently with Paris FC, was a member of Switzerland’s U-19 WNT, but did not appear in any qualifying matches. In February 2019, she attended a Brazil training camp (2019 CBF write-up).  Later that month, Natascha was called up by Switzerland for last year’s Algarve Cup (football.ch), but she declined.

Cristiane missed the October and November international windows due to an injury suffered during the WWC, but returned in December for Brazil’s pair of home friendlies versus Mexico.  (Brazil’s December roster – CBFMarta was absent from those friendlies, which were outside of an official FIFA window.

Further Reading:  CBF write-up on Jucinara (outside back; first call-up under Sundhage), CBF write-up on Natascha

Canada

Roster Announcement, Roster List

Notables:

  • Returning:  Diana Matheson (extended injury recovery) and Vanessa Gilles
  • Not Called In:  Evelyne Viens

Every player from Olympic qualifying is back.  Veteran midfielder Diana Matheson makes her return after an extended injury recovery period.

At this point, it appears that Kenneth Heiner-Møller does not consider the recently graduated Evelyne Viens to be an option worth formally exploring for his Olympic squad.


Algarve Cup

Teams:  Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark (update), Italy, New Zealand, Portugal

Denmark’s Nadia Nadim is a late scratch due to an unspecified injury.   Sofie Junge, who plays in Italy, is also a late scratch, though only for corona virus prevention reasons.

Germany

Roster Announcement, Roster List (archive version)

Notables:

  • Returning:  Lena Petermann, Svenja Huth, Johanna Elsig, Giulia Gwinn, Sydney Lohmann
  • Uncapped:  Laura Freigang, Ann-Katrin Berger
  • Not Available:  Almuth Schult (pregnancy, shoulder surgery recovery), Sara Däbritz (ACL injury)

Svenja Huth is back for the first time since the WWC.  Meanwhile, Johanna Elsig and debutante WWC goal-scorer Giulia Gwinn return after missing the November window.

Lena Petermann, who played one year for  UCF (profile) before turning professional, is back after being unavailable for the 2019 WWC due to a foot injury suffered before mid-January 2019.  Petermann signed with HSC Montpellier over the summer and has played in every league match since the start of the season in late August. (FBref.com)

Former Nittany Lion Laura Freigang (PSU profile) is the lone uncapped field player on Germany’s roster.  Her first senior call-up was apparently in January 2019 (DFBFrauen on Facebook).  For the last two windows of 2019, Freigang was listed as an “auf Abruf” (“on call” or standby) player.

The 1990-born Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea FC) is the only other uncapped player.  Berger takes the place of 1992-born HSC Montpellier goalkeeper Lisa Schmitz, who has 2 caps.

Sara Däbritz suffered an ACL tear in December (PSG.fr) and is thus out for several months.  Starting goalkeeper Almuth Schult, who underwent shoulder surgery in July (vfl-wolfsburg.de), announced her pregnancy in mid-November (dfb.de)

Sweden

Roster Announcement (with updated list)

Notables:

  • Returning: Caroline Seger, Fridolina Rolfö, Amanda Ilestedt, Mimmi Larsson, Rebecka Blomqvist
  • Uncapped:  Jennifer Falk, Lotta Ökvist
  • Late Scratches:  Linda Sembrant (corona virus precaution, SvFF #1), Elin Rubensson (concussion protocol, SvFF #2, GoteborgFC.se), Julia Zigiotti Olme
  • Late Additions:   Lotta Ökvist (replaces Sembrant), Julia Karlernäs (replaces Rubensson), Filippa Angeldal (replaces Zigiotti Olme)
  • Not (Quite) Available:  Nilla Fischer (ankle injury)
  • Not Called In:  Olivia Schough

Veteran midfielder Caroline Seger is back after missing the October window and being a late scratch in November.

Two other experienced players from Sweden’s WWC squad return after missing just the last window:  Fridolina Rolfö (unspecified injury; 43 caps, 10 goals) and Amanda Ilestedt (30 caps, 3 goals).  Also back for the first time since the WWC is Mimmi Larsson.

Corona virus prevention is the reason for centurion Linda Sembrant being a a late scratch.  Like Denmark’s Junge, she plays for Juventus in Italy.

Nilla Fischer, who suffered an ankle injury in early August, had been out indefinitely, but is now back to playing limited minutes for her club team Linköping. (svt.se)

See Also:  Write-up on Sweden’s travel roster for their November friendly against the USWNT.

Norway

Roster Announcement (with updated list)

Notables:

  • Returning:  Kristine Minde, Anja Sønstevold
  • First Call-Up:  Emilie Woldvik
  • Also Uncapped:  Oda Maria Hove Bogstad, Aurora Mikalsen (both goalkeepers)
  • Late Scratches:  Stine Hovland, Synne Hansen
  • Late Additions:  Stine Reinås, Therese Sessy Åsland

Centurion Kristine Minde is back after missing the November window due to a minor injury.

The only uncapped field player on the roster is first-time call-up Emilie Woldvik, who was born in 1999.  Her birth-year cohort, Frida Maanum has been integrated into Norway’s senior WNT since 2017, making their Women’s Euro roster that year (and played in two matches during that competition).  The only player younger than Woldvik and Maanum is the 2000-born Rikke Nygard, who earned her first cap last November.

The two scratches/additions were announced on February 28th (NFF).


Pinatar Cup

Teams:  Scotland, Iceland (update #1, update #2), Ukraine, Northern Ireland

Scotland is without Kim Little, who underwent surgery on her foot in mid-February.  (Arsenal.com)  She is “expected to be back and available for selection later in the [FA WSL] season.” So, if all goes well, she should be back with Scotland in the June international window, if not sooner.  And, if she is match-fit in June, then she should be in the mix for a spot on Great Britain’s Olympic squad.


Cyprus Cup

Teams:  Mexico, Czech Republic (update), Finland (update), Slovakia, and Croatia

On February 26th, Thailand’s FA announced on Facebook that its WNT will not be traveling to Cyprus, citing concerns over the corona virus (COVID-19).  This resulted in changes to the match schedule.

Mexico

Roster Announcement

With Mexico failing to qualify for the Olympics, head coach Christopher Cuellar has opted not to call in a majority of players from his roster for Olympic qualifying.

Just five players return from that tournament:  Goalkeepers Celia Santiago and Itzel González, defenders Jimena López and Kenti Robles, and forward Kiana Palacios.

Besides Texas A&M’s Jimena López (profile), two other players, both born in the United States, are currently attached to NCAA teams:  Oklahoma State’s Kimberly Rodriguez (profile) and Alexia Delgado of Arizona State (profile).  All three players were born in 1999.

A few other USA-born players have been recalled, including Arianna Romero, Amanda Pérez (younger sister of Veronica), and Briana Campos.


Turkish Women’s Cup

Group A:  Chile, Ghana, Kenya, Northern Ireland “B” (U-19)

Group B:  Venezuela, Hungary, Romania, Hong Kong

Northern Ireland’s U-19 WNT has one USA-based player:  The 2003-born Grainne Casey, who plays for FC Dallas Academy (DA profile).