The USA have long been a frightening proposition for anyone in the women’s game but Emily van Egmond believes the Westfield Matildas have no reason to fear Jill Ellis’ side.
Indeed, should Australia emerge victorious in Friday’s international friendly against the world number one, it will not be viewed from the same prism of surprise which met the Westfield Matildas’ landmark 1-0 victory in the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
That was Australia’s first triumph against the USA in 27 attempts, and after a 1-1 draw between the two sides in the 2018 Tournament of Nations, Newcastle Jets skipper van Egmond is ready to take another shot at toppling the reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup champions.
“You obviously respect the best nation in the world, but there’s a fine line with that,” van Egmond said.
“You speak about fear but I don’t think we have it, it’s more about excitement.
“It’s always a game that the girls can’t wait to play and get up for.”
Van Egmond is set for an extended stay in the United States after Friday’s friendly, being one of eleven players in Ante Milicic’s 23-player squad about to ply their trade in the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League.
The Novocastrian, who plays for Orlando Pride alongside fellow Westfield Matildas star Alanna Kennedy, believes more and more Australian players are being attracted to the continent by the challenge of testing themselves against the world’s best.
“There’s no shying away from the fact that America is number one for a reason,” van Egmond said.
“Sometimes in the European leagues you can have four top teams rather than have a consistency throughout the league.
“That’s what really attracts our girls to go to American because you know what you’re getting.
“It’s a challenging environment and you’re playing against the best players in the world every day.”
United States of America vs. Westfield Matildas (international friendly)
Date: Friday, 5 April 2019 (AEDT)
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colorado
Kick-off: 12.30pm Friday, 5 April 2019 (AEDT); 7.30pm Thursday, 4 April (local)
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS 503 and SBS Television, streamed on theworldgame.com.au.