Although neither Nadia Nadim nor Dagny Brynjarsdóttir will be at the Algarve Cup tournament representing Denmark and Iceland respectively, the Matildas recently announced their roster, and Thorns forward Hayley Raso was part of it. Portland’s forward, who didn’t make the Olympic team during the summer despite some experience playing with the Matildas (including in the 2015 World Cup), is part of the 21 player team that coach Alen Stajcic. This is the first year that Australia has been invited to take part on the Algarve Cup
Raso is one of five players who made this squad despite not making the Olympic roster. According to the offical article, Stajcic stated that “these players ...have shown plenty during the W-League season and their performances have been at a good level.” Stajcic continued, saying that the team was moving into “a new cycle,” and as a result “there is an increase on the competition for places and we’re looking for who can provide that extra depth and quality.” He finished by saying that “having positions covered by more players and building that depth is really what we’re looking for.”
Although the Thorns had no official press release, Mark Parsons did tweet his congratulations to Raso:
Raso raso raso. Oi oi oi Proud of u. Keep moving forward https://t.co/CVR1p4G4pG— Mark Parsons (@mparsons_1) February 17, 2017
On the fact that Nadim was not part of the Algarve Roster, Parsons said that he had full faith that this was simply to aid her recovery, and he believes that both she and Brynjarsdóttir (who posted about a back injury on her instagram on February 6th) will be healthy and ready to play for the Thorns Preseason.