The Matildas are set to end their 2021 season with a two-game friendly series against world number one side USA with games in Sydney and Newcastle.
Fresh off the back of their recent games against football powerhouses in Brazil, the games against the US Women’s National team are set to be the Matilda’s final games in preparation for the 2022 Asian Cup.
A bumper crowd is anticipated for the two clashes against the USA, with fan’s being urged to turn out in large numbers to support the team after impressive turn outs against Brazil.
Matildas players and staff have been back in the country, training and preparing for the matches and have made note of the immense support in the community by the home supporters.
“First of all, I want to thank you all for the support,” Gustavsson said when speaking to the media this afternoon.
“When I have been on my morning walk, grabbing my coffee, I am meeting people that are excited about the game and wishing us the very best of luck.”
Gustavsson, who has been head coach of the Matildas for just over a year after being appointed in late September 2020 has started to become a very popular figure among the Australian football faithful.
While Australian fans had a lot of big-name players to cheer and chant for, Tony Gustavsson was not left out, with large numbers of the active support chanting and cheering his name.
“I felt from the first day that I have been very welcome, first from the team and also the outside of the team,” Gustavsson said.
“I’m a passionate person, I am never going to shy away from my feeling and I am going to be who I am.
“I am very very passionate about this team, I love working with these players, the staff and also the supporters.”
After losing 4-3 to the USA in their most recent match in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Bronze Medal game, the Matildas and Gustavsson are hoping to turn their poor run of results and their fortunes against the powerhouses around.
Australia has only ever recorded one victory against USA in 31 outings, that being a 1-0 win in 2017 via a Tameka Yallop goal, but Gustavsson believes the fans support could be what helps push his side over the edge tomorrow.
“What I will say tomorrow to all the supporters is that we are going to feed off that energy from the fans.
“Because the way we want to play- with that high octane, high energy, high pressing and fast-forward attack in the game… is going to be based on that energy from the stands.”
Matildas stalwart Steph Catley is no stranger to the USA, not only having faced off against the side several times over the years, but also having spent a number of seasons, plying her trade in the NWSL and has expressed her desire to get a good result against the US and put on a good show for the Matildas faithful.
The Arsenal player has made note about the growing fan engagement and support now that Catley and the national team are back on home soil.
“The amount of people that you walk by and they say ‘good luck’ and the recognise who you are and what a photo, they want to talk about the game, it’s so different and it shows how far we have come as a team.”
And it shows how much the public enjoy watching us and love us as a team, it’s a nice warm feeling to come home and have people support you like that.” (Catley)
The Matildas will face off against the US Women’s National Team on Saturday the 27th of November at 3:00pm AEST at Stadium Australia, Sydney.
Image Source: Football Australia