Sky Blue FC just got Samantha Kerr back, and it looks like she’ll be leaving again soon.
It was announced Sunday, July 3 that Sam Kerr was one of 18 players named to the Australian women’s national team roster for the 2016 Olympics. She is one of six NWSL players named to the roster.
Kerr, who has been a member of the senior national team since 2009 and has 42 caps with the team, will be competing in the Olympics for the first time in her international career since the Matildas have failed to qualify for the tournament since 2004.
Although the team will travel to Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday for their four-week training camp, a number of international players reporting later in the week, it is reported that Kerr will be staying with Sky Blue for an additional two weeks.
This is good news for Sky Blue since it means that Kerr should be available for Sky Blue's July 9 match against the Houston Dash and the July 17 road match against the Boston Breakers. It is beneficial for the Matildas in that the extra time with her club will allow Kerr to get back to match fitness and to get more competition under her belt before facing some of the best teams in the world in the Olympics.
There was some question as to whether Kerr would make the roster since she had to miss the entire Asian Football Confederation Olympic qualifying tournament that began in February as she continued recovering from a foot surgery. The surgery was to repair an injury suffered while playing for Perth Glory during the Australian W-league season.
Despite her absence from her team’s qualifiers, she was still named to the roster based off of her previous contributions to the team and the progress she has made since the surgery to remove the hardware from her foot.
Kerr only recently returned to play for Sky Blue, making her first appearance for her NWSL club team in the June 11 match against FC Kansas City. Two weeks later against the Washington Spirit, Kerr subbed in for Tasha Kai in the 64th minute, only to turn around and score on her very first touch of the match. That goal proved to be the game winner, making Sky Blue the first team to win three points on the road at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Kerr should be joining the Australian national team for the second half of their training camp. The camp will conclude with an international friendly against host country Brazil on July 23 in Fortaleza.
Australia is a part of Group F at the Rio Olympics, a group that also includes Germany, Canada and Zimbabwe. The Matildas first face Canada on August 3 at Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo, followed by Germany on August 6 in Sao Paulo and Zimbabwe on August 9 in Salvador.
Australia Women’s National Team Roster by Position
Goalkeepers: Lydia Williams (Houston Dash/Canberra United), Mackenzie Arnold (Perth Glory)
Defenders: Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Laura Alleway (Orlando Pride/Melbourne City), Alanna Kennedy (Western New York Flash/Sydney FC), Stephanie Catley (Orlando Pride/Melbourne City), Ellie Carpenter (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Midfielders: Elise Kellond-Knight (Potsdam Turbine), Emily van Egmond (FFC Frankfurt), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar), Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar), Caitlin Foord (Perth Glory), Chloe Logarzo (Eskilstuna United/Newcastle Jets)
Forwards: Lisa de Vanna (Melbourne City), Michelle Heyman (Cranberra United), Kyah Simon (Boston Breakers/Sydney FC), Samantha Kerr (Sky Blue FC/Perth Glory), Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City)
Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
Note: This article was edited to reflect that Kerr's first game back with Sky Blue was the June 11 match against FC Kansas City, not the June 19 match against the Seattle Reign FC. Kerr was unavailable against the Reign because of her ongoing surgery recovery.