In the W-League, a big part of whether or not you play finals comes down to your team’s international signings. With only four spots allocated per squad, striking the right balance and finding the right players to complement the local players really can make or break a season.

Here’s a look at each club’s international signings.

Adelaide United: The Reds have announced the signings of Icelandic duo Fanndís Fridriksdóttir and Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir.

Fridriksdóttir has played in her home country and Norway, and most recently was playing for Olympique de Marseille in France. Playing as a left winger, she has racked up nearly 100 appearances for the national team.

Jónsdóttir played the most recent NWSL season with Utah Royals but has also played in Iceland and Norway. She is also a part of the national team and has played 58 times.

Adelaide has two more spaces available with the season beginning in just under two weeks.

Brisbane Roar: Brisbane has retained premiership winning duo Carson Pickett and Celeste Boureille. Pickett, a full back, is an excellent set piece taker and is sure to do well again after a season with Orlando Pride.

Meanwhile, Boureille re-joins from Portland where she played with Roar teammate Hayley Raso.
Brisbane’s two new signings both join the team after a full NWSL season. Chioma Ubogagu is a teammate of Carson Pickett’s at Orlando Pride and won the U20 World Cup with the USA.

Yuki Nagasato joins from Chicago Red Stars. She is a World Cup winner and has over 130 caps for Japan. She recorded seven assists during the NWSL season – equal second best in the league – and will be a key provider for Mel Andreatta’s women.

Canberra United: Canberra has signed Scottish captain Rachel Corsie who joins from Utah Royals in the NWSL. Corsie is a defender who has already had a mammoth year, helping lead Scotland as they qualified for the World Cup in France next year.

Heather Garriock has also signed South African duo Refiloe Jane and Rhoda Mulaudzi. Jane, a midfielder, has captained her country and represented them at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games. Mulaudzi is a striker who has also played for the Banyana Banyana.

Melbourne City: The connection between Melbourne City and Seattle Reign in the NWSL has strengthened with all but one of the foreign signings plying their trade with the American side.

Lauren Barnes, Jodie Taylor and Rebekah Stott (who holds Australian and New Zealand citizenship) all re-join City following last year’s championship win.

Jasmyne Spencer is the new girl on the block in Melbourne but has plenty of W-League experience, having spent time at Sydney FC and Canberra United.

Thersea Nielsen is 100+ capped Danish international who plays at right back for the Reign. This will be her first venture down under.

Yukari Kinga is the odd one out but is a World Cup winner with Japan. The 34-year-old has spent the past two seasons in Australia, one at Canberra and one at City, and has been exceptional.

Melbourne Victory: The navy side of Melbourne has only announced one international for the moment but Natasha Dowie is a club legend. The English international has spent the past three seasons with Victory and is the team’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Victory still has three international spaces open and some more signings could be announced soon.

Newcastle Jets: Newcastle has announced the re-signing of striker Katie Stengel and the signing of Taylor Smith. This will be Stengel’s third season in Australia having spent 2016-17 with the Western Sydney Wanderers and last season with the Jets. She scored 10 goals in 13 games and will look to be a key scoring option for Craig Deans’ side once again.

Smith joins from the Washington Spirit and is also a new member of the US women’s national team making 10 appearances for the reigning World Cup winners. A defender, Smith’s move to Australia will be her first time playing outside the US.

The Jets have two spaces available with Deans looking to make some announcements in the coming days.

Perth Glory: The Glory has announced their full complement of internationals: a quartet of Americans. Rachel Hill and Nikki Stanton re-join the side after donning the purple last season.

Rachel Hill was outstanding last season and she and Sam Kerr wreaked havoc. The 23-year-old scored nine goals in 12 games.

Stanton was influential when she was on the pitch and spent a large chunk of last season injured but where her absence was noticed.

Alyssa Mautz re-joins the Glory after spending the 2017-18 season with Adelaide United. The Chicago Red Star has played for Perth before in the 2016-17 season and will link up with Red Stars team mates Stanton, Sam Kerr and Katie Naughton.

Naughton is no stranger to the W-League playing the last two seasons with Adelaide United. She has made the move west and will slot in the defence.

Sydney FC: The Sky Blues have announced three American signings. Aubrey Bledsoe signs on for a second season. The shot stopper played with the Washington Spirit in the most recent NWSL season after a strong season with Sydney in 2017-18.

Sofia Huerta returns to the W-League after some time away. The USWNT player had a stint at Adelaide United in 2016-17 and joins from Houston Dash in the NWSL where she recorded eight goals and six assists.

Danielle Colaprico spent two seasons at Adelaide United before making the switch to Sky Blue. The midfielder joins from Chicago Red Stars.

Western Sydney Wanderers: Lo’eau LaBonta returns to Sydney’s west for a second season with the Wanderers. The midfielder played every game last W-League season, scoring one goal. She most recently played with Utah Royals in the NWSL.

Elizabeth Addo joins from Seattle Reign for her first season in the W-League. The 25-year-old has played in Nigeria, the USA, Sweden and Hungary and is also a Ghanaian international.
The Wanderers have two international spots remaining.

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Rick D'Andrea
ricdan85@gmail.com