Ireland WNT train at Rose Bowl ahead of USA tie
The squad have been in LA since Monday and will take on the World Cup winners on Saturday evening, August 3, at 7.25pm (3.25am Irish time) in the Pasadena venue.
Former assistant coach Tom O’Connor is interim manager for the tie, with the FAI currently in the process of recruiting a new Head Coach.
Ireland have been training at Dignity Health Sports Park, home of LA Galaxy, all week in preparation for the game.
Megan Connolly has been ruled out of the tie due to an injury picked up in her game for Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday - otherwise O’Connor has a full squad to select from for the fixture.
Ireland captain Katie McCabe says the squad is “raring to go” and will be seeking to get as much as possible from the playing the World Champions.
McCabe said: “Camp has been really good so far. Obviously, there are a few new faces but they have blended in very well. Training has been going well too. Obviously preparing to play the world champions is different, you don’t play the USA every day. But the girls have been great, there’s a real togetherness in the team and we’re just ready to go now for Saturday.”
And despite having only a few weeks of pre-season with Arsenal behind her, McCabe said she is feeling well prepared physically for the challenge ahead.
“I’m really looking forward to it, obviously watching them over the summer at the World Cup, you know who you’re going to be up against and preparing for that is good. I feel fit, obviously I’m in pre-season at the moment with Arsenal, but I feel good and raring to go,” added McCabe.
And with the first European Championship qualifier only one month away, it is that and not the World Cup winners to the forefront of the players’ minds.
McCabe said: “Playing the World Champions is great, but the most important thing for us is that it’s helping us to prepare for the European Championship qualifiers, which start against Montenegro on September 3.”
Also speaking ahead of the tie, Ireland defender Louise Quinn agreed that while this game is a fantastic opportunity, it is all about what they can learn from the game.
Quinn said: “It's a huge opportunity, they are the best in the world and that’s who you want to be playing against. From our perspective it’s a chance for us as a team to come together, get good training sessions in and get used to being around each other again before we go into the Euro campaign. We’ve got to take in the occasion of course, but not let it get to us, and challenge ourselves and be brave and put ourselves in situations where we feel uncomfortable and that’s only going to better us.”
The game is live in Ireland on eirSport 1 from 3am.
Republic of Ireland WNT squad v USA
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading)
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Eabha O'Mahony (Cork City), Megan Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Lauren Dwyer (Wexford Youths),
Midfielders: Alex Kavanagh (Shelbourne), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Eleanor Ryan-Doyle (Peamount United), Jess Gargan (Shelbourne), Claire Walsh (Peamount United)
Forwards: Amber Barrett (FC Köln), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), Heather Payne (Florida State University)
Fixture - International Friendly
03/08: USA v Republic of Ireland, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, 7.25pm (3.25am Irish time).