Hayley Raso: Record crowd shows just how much the women's game has grown

There’ll be ribbons flying down the wing when the Commonwealth Bank Matildas take on the United States in this two-game friendly series.

Hayley Raso returns to the squad, free of injury and back on home soil, as the Aussies look to beat the USWNT for only the second time in history.

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“It's great to be back on home soil. I've missed a few camps because of injuries so it's good to be back amongst the girls and really looking forward to the game.”

The Manchester City attacker was unavailable to take on Brazil in October after sustaining a shoulder injury.

“I'd say I'm back to 100% now. I'm still just in the gym making sure my shoulder and the muscles around it are strong, so just doing exercises for that. But otherwise, I would say I'm 100% and it's not really stopping me at all.”

Raso certainly didn’t look like she could be stopped in her last hit out for her club side. She contributed two goals and an assist as Manchester City defeated Aston Villa 5-0.

Commonwealth Bank Matildas fans can look forward to seeing much of the same attacking intent from Raso, this time in green and gold.

The Australian football public are being urged to turn out in numbers for Saturday’s first clash at Stadium Australia. The attendance record for a Commonwealth Bank Matildas match currently sits at 33,600 which was set back in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics. Current ticket sales show that the number is likely to be exceeded.

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The prospect of a bumper crowd is one that excites Raso and is another indicator of the growth of not only the women’s game but the Commonwealth Bank Matildas’ popularity.

“I think that shows just how much the women's game has grown here in Australia. I hope that we can put on a great performance for them. 

"I think the fans getting behind us is amazing, considering it's been a while since we have played at home,” Raso said.

Fans are sure to be entertained with the last encounter between Australia and the United States ending 4-3 in favour of the Americans in the bronze medal match at Tokyo 2020.

Although it is a new-look squad to the one which won bronze, Raso is still expecting a tough contest.

“They're obviously missing a few of their mainstay players, but the talent in the US is massive. And I think whoever they bring in, whether that's younger players, or less experienced players, you can't really disregard them.

“They're always going to turn up, they're going to put on a good show and they are a talented team. So although a lot of players are missing, I think it's still gonna be a really tough game.”

Match details

Commonwealth Bank Matildas v U.S. Women’s National Team
Saturday, 27 November 2021
Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney
Kick-Off: 3.00pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and free on 10 and simulcast on 10 Play
Ticketing: www.ticketek.com.au

Commonwealth Bank Matildas v U.S. Women’s National Team
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 8.05pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and free on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play
Ticketing: www.ticketmaster.com.au