World Cup goalkeeper lands in A-Leagues to replace fan favourite

Western United have signed Denmark international goalkeeper Kathrine Larsen as a replacement for reigning Liberty A-League Goalkeeper of the Year Hillary Beall.

Liberty A-League leaders Western were on the lookout for a new goalkeeper after American star Beall returned to parent club San Diego Wave in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

They have turned to Danish free agent Larsen on a deal until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old, who has eight international appearances to her name, was part of Denmark’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad – watching from the bench as the Matildas triumphed 2-0 in the Round of 16.

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Larsen also played for Swedish powerhouse Hammarby in 2022, teaming up with Matildas trio Kyra Cooney-Cross, Courtney Nevin and Elise Kellond-Knight.

“I’m really excited. It’s been a long time coming for me to find somewhere, and speaking to the coaches this felt like the right opportunity,” Larsen said.

“It’s a big motivator when you come in and the team is on top, you want to make sure we stay there. It’s always fun and it’s always hard.

“I like the pressure and it’s just going to be fun to keep working hard.”

Larsen most recently played for Danish giants Brondby, where she featured in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

In 2022-23, she kept the third most clean sheets as Brondby finished second in the Danish Kvindeliga.

“We are delighted to welcome Kathrine into our squad and I’m extremely excited to begin working with her,” said head coach Kat Smith.

“Coming into a crucial part of the season, her experience at the highest level will be another boost for our group and I am sure she will have an immediate impact.

“Having gone to the recent World Cup and played in elite competitions for club and country, we look forward to seeing her quality on the pitch and having her help drive us towards success this season.”