Canada only faced a half-fit Sam Kerr at the World Cup back in the summer. They won’t face her at all this time around.
An Australia women’s national team roster update on Monday confirmed that Kerr, her country’s biggest female soccer star by some distance, will not be a part of the group that faces CanWNT twice in BC over the next eight days.
Chelsea stated that their star striker will not feature in the games as she will remain in West London with the WSL club for treatment for a foot injury.
30-year-old Kerr scored a stunning hat-trick for Chelsea in the UEFA Women’s Champions League win over Paris FC last week and added another goal in the 5-2 WSL win over Leicester on Sunday before she was replaced by Canada’s Jessie Fleming with 10 minutes left to play. She will not travel across the Atlantic along with Fleming and fellow Chelsea teammates Ashley Lawrence and Kadeisha Buchanan.
From the perspective of Canadians’ hopes for a win in the two games against the Matildas, it’s good news. But with the actual on-field results of these games already firmly secondary in importance, Kerr’s absence does shear these occasions of some of their intrigue and excitement. It’s a real shame, but given Kerr’s always-heavy workload and the injury issues she struggled with last summer, it’s for the best.
Canada first face Australia on Friday, December 1 at Starlight Stadium before moving to BC Place, which is to be temporarily renamed Christine Sinclair Place, for Sinclair’s final game in a Canada shirt on Tuesday, December 5.
That’s now Kerr, Julia Grosso, and Evelyne Viens who have all dropped out of those BC games in the last 48 hours due to injuries. Canada have called up young striker Latifah Abdu to replace Viens, and Sophie Schmidt will now have a two-game career encore rather than merely being available for the BC Place match. Australia are already missing first-choice goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, defender Charlotte Grant, and young forward Holly McNamara through injury.