Talking Points: Siemsen stakes claim in wide open Golden Boot race

Few doubted that Westfield W-League Champions Sydney FC would be flying high this season but few predicted that rising star Remy Siemsen would be the one firing them to glory.

The Sky Blues recorded their fourth victory from five matches on Sunday, bouncing back from their 1-0 loss to table toppers Melbourne City last week, with a 2-0 win against Newcastle Jets.

In a team with the creative spark of Chloe Logarzo and Sophia Huerta, and the attacking force of Caitlin Foord and Princess Ibini, it is 20-year-old Siemsen who has stepped up her game to join the Sky Blues’ posse of internationals and deliver some clutch performances.

The 2015 NAB Young Footballer of Year was on target twice again at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday, hitting her third brace of the season to throw her name to the top of a wide-open Golden Boot race in 2019/20.

Melbourne City’s Kyah Simon (2011/11) and Canberra United’s Leena Khamis (2008/09) are the only active Westfield W-League players who have previously won the Golden Boot.

The 20-year-old is enjoying a comeback season after going through the entire 2018/19 campaign without scoring a goal for rock bottom Western Sydney Wanderers.

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Siemsen had netted 10 goals in 25 games for Sydney FC before crossing the Harbour City in search for regular first-team football, but after that barren spell she has returned with a bang in 2019/20.

Many would have expected Veronica Latsko to lead the line for Ante Juric’s side, after the ex-Adelaide striker scored nine goals last year for the Lady Reds, but a knee injury curtailed the start of her season.

American forward Latsko returned to make her Sky Blues debut from the bench in the 66th minute in the Hunter on Sunday, potentially giving Juric a selection headache in the coming weeks.

After scoring six goals in five matches, Siemsen could have done little more to prove her value to the Champions. How Latsko’s return will effect Siemsen’s chances of claiming what would have been considered an unlikely Golden Boot at the start of the season, will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Her closest  challengers are currently Canberra United’s United States hotshot Simone Charley and her compatriot at Western Sydney Wanderers, Kritsen Hamilton, who are two strikes back on four goals.

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REPORT: Sensational Siemsen spurs Sydney FC to ground the Jets
REACTION: Sydney FC hot-shot rapt with return to winning ways

Sky Blues dominate to get Premiers race back on track

Alanna Kennedy made her return to Sky Blue colours against New South Wales rivals Newcastle on Sunday, to strengthen the Champions bid to improve on their third-place finish last season.

The Westfield Matilda commanded the centre of the Sydney FC defence, while the attack rained in a staggering 34 attempts on goal in a mismatch against the Jets.

Sydney face a more difficult proposition in Round 5; their first ever Derby at Bankwest Stadium against an undefeated, and rested, Western Sydney Wanderers, who come off the bye as second plays third.

Another late show as City edge the Derby

League leaders Melbourne City will have an eye on that Sydney Derby on Friday, 20 December, after they take to the field against Perth Glory on Thursday night.

The three-time Champions produced more late drama to edge rivals Victory last Thursday, as Yukari Kinga’s 89th-minute winner earned them their first Melbourne Derby win in more than two years.

That was the third time in five games Rado Vidosic’s side have grabbed a winning goal in the last 15 minutes of matches this season.

Their quality may shine through late on but City are yet to win a game by more than one goal in 2019/20.

REPORT: Kinga’s winner gives City Melbourne Derby bragging rights over Victory
REACTION: Catley lauds squad depth as unbeaten City lay down another marker

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Glory growing in stature as season goes on

Perth will not want to be on the receiving end if City finally do find their shooting boots, but they have every reason to be confident ahead of their trip to Victoria next week.

Bobby Despotovski’s side got off the mark for the season in a 1-1 draw against Canberra United on Friday, with the returning Kim Carroll coming up big with a 90th-minute equaliser at Dorrien Gardens.

A youthful Glory outfit have been boosted in recent weeks by the integration of senior players, like Spain international Celia, and Carroll, not to mention the inspired form of goalkeeper Eliza Campbell.

Campbell put on another exhibition of top-class shot-stopping against the Green Machine, following her penalty-save in the last match against Newcastle Jets.

Charley strikes again for Canberra

Heather Garriock’s side may have blown hot and cold this season but one constant is the impressive form of American winger Charley.

The former US college triple jumper, who once missed out on qualifying for the World Athletics Championships by a single centimetre, has taken the Westfield W-League by storm in 2019/20.

The 24-year-old has netted four in five games for the capital club, after only previously making six starts in the National Women’s Soccer League.

REPORT: Carroll scores at the death as Perth and Canberra share the spoils
Carroll leading from the back for Glory head coach Despotovski

Raso shines brightly for Brisbane

Quietly gaining ground on the Westfield W-League’s front-runners are last season’s runners-up Brisbane Roar, who registered their first home win with a 3-2 victory against Adelaide United on Saturday.

Hayley Raso was once again the star of the show. The Westfield Matilda is one of the competition’s stand-out performers so far this season and she made others take notice with a double this weekend – including a late winner – against the Lady Reds to take her season tally to three.

Baisden threatens to break through

Any round now we are set to see a breakout performance by attacker Rylee Baisden.

The American lit up the National Premier Leagues in Queensland with 33 goals in 24 matches for Moreton Bay United, and has been posting some sparkling performances so far in the Westfield W-League.

Baisden is yet to open her account for Roar but, after two assists against Adelaide, she sent a message that her time is coming. 

There were some positives for Adelaide’s attack, with Mary Fowler and Mallory Weber’s goals almost earning the South Australian a point, but Ivan Karlovic’s side remain the only team yet to get off the mark.

REPORT: Roar survive Reds fightback to win five-goal thriller
REACTION: Goodship concedes Roar ‘took foot off the gas’