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Talk the Talk World Cup Scouting Report: USA vs. Ireland

July 20, 2018, 4:28 p.m. (ET)

In anticipation of tomorrow's Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup match-up, here are a few details you’ll want to review before the starting whistle.

Game Day: Saturday, July 21, 2018

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Live Stream: Click Here

Opponent: Ireland

FIH Hero World Ranking: 16

How they Qualified: Ireland finished seventh at the FIH Hockey World League Semifinal in Johannesburg, South Africa

Last Time USA Played Them: The last time USA played Ireland was during the three-game test series in May 2017 in Lancaster, Pa. The first game of the Citi USWNT vs. Ireland series saw Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach, record her first win as head coach 3-1. Game two saw USA prevail with a 2-0 shutout before match three saw Ireland score a last-minute goal to seal a tie 2-2. Melissa Gonzalez earned MVP of the series.

What You Need to Know: Ireland will be making their first World Cup appearance since 2002, having been assured a ticket to London on the back of a strong FIH Hockey World League campaign and results going their way in the Continental Championship. The Green Army performed well at the FIH Hockey World League Semifinal in Johannesburg, South Africa, claiming seventh place after a 2-1 battling win over India in their final match which left them on the verge of World Cup qualification. Their Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup spot was finalized a few months later when Australia and New Zealand, two teams who already qualified, reached the final of the Oceania Cup Continental Championship, opening the door for Ireland who was next in line.

After a 16-year absence, Ireland will now look forward to competing to their fourth World Cup following appearances at Amsterdam (1986), Dublin (1994) and Perth (2002). Their best finish came on home soil in Dublin 1994, where they finished in 11th place. The team coached by former Ireland men’s international Graham Shaw has more than enough talent to outstrip their previous best performance. With more than 260 international appearances to her name, the influential Shirley McCay commands respect both on and off the field, while quicksilver attacker Anna O’Flanagan has earned a reputation as a feared goal scorer who can turn a game in the blink of an eye.

Ireland Roster:

# Name Caps

1 Grace O’Flanagan (GK) 32

4 Yvonne O’Byrne 111

8 Nicola Evans 161

9 Kathryn Mullan (C) 149

10 Shirley McCay 265

11 Megan Frazer 126

12 Elena Tice 66

13 Naomi Carroll 110

14 Emily Beatty 85

15 Gillian Pinder 135

16 Sinead Loughran 37

18 Roisin Upton 39

19 Ayeisha McFerran (GK) 72

20 Chloe Watkins 192

21 Lizzie Colvin 158

22 Nicola Daly 161

23 Hannah Matthews 106

24 Sarah Torrans 15

26 Anna O’Flanagan 166

27 Zoe Wilson 72

28 Deirde Duke 102

30 Alison Meeke  112

 

Head Coach: Graham Shaw

Assistant Coach: Nigel Henderson

Assistant Coach: Gareth Grundie

Assistant Coach: Colin Stewart

Team Manager: Arlene Boyles