Around the grounds: Matildas unwind after World Cup exit, Sydney FC Grand Final hero joins Kerr in Chicago

Beaches in Nice, FIFA Women’s World Cup excitement and the daily National Women’s Soccer League grind – no off-season is the same for our Westfield W-League stars.

As we eagerly await the return of Australia’s premier division, we thought we’d check in with players around the competition to see what they’ve been up to.

READ: Your complete guide to W-League stars in the NWSL
WRAP: Matildas reflect on World Cup lessons


We start our wrap in Nice, the scene of Australia’s heartbreaking World Cup defeat to Norway.

Hayley Raso is doing her best to get over the Matildas’ exit from France 2019, as the Brisbane Roar attacker enjoys a well-earned break before she returns to National Women’s Soccer League action in the United States.

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Somewhere in France. Unreal ?

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It has not yet been determined when the 24-year-old – nor her teammates Ellie Carpenter and Caitlin Foord – will return to action with their NWSL club Portland Thorns, according to coach Mark Parsons, who was in contact with the three Australians earlier this week.

Also basking in the Nice sunshine following World Cup elimination is Melbourne City defender Rebekah Stott.

Stott’s New Zealand were knocked out at the group stage after defeats to the Netherlands, Canada and – agonisingly, after a 95th-minute winner – Cameroon.

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Exploring nice Nice #punnyas

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Back in the French capital, around 1000km north of Raso and Stott’s beach-side break, Matildas Lydia Williams, Steph Catley, Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison have been taking in sights including the beautiful Eiffel Tower.

The quartet will soon return to club duties in the NWSL with Reign FC (Williams and Catley) and Washington Spirit (Logarzo and Harrison).

It might be holiday time for some, but Sydney FC star Savannah McCaskill certainly isn’t on the beach – she has been traded to Sam Kerr’s Chicago Red Stars.

The Red Stars acquired the 22-year-old forward from Sky Blue FC – Kerr’s former employers – last week, and the USA forward made her club debut in Monday morning’s 1-0 loss to Reign FC.

With coach Rory Dames giving Kerr permission to take ‘as long as she needs’ before returning to the Windy City, Chicago will hope McCaskill can start firing immediately. They have lost three matches without scoring in the time Kerr has been at the World Cup

Kerr’s Perth Glory teammate Lexie Moreno was among the stellar Australian support cheering on the Matildas throughout their World Cup campaign.

The rising teenage star caught up with Canberra United defender Karly Roestbakken before Australia’s clash with Norway.

And finally, Orlando Pride and Brisbane Roar defender Carson Pickett took time out from her busy NWSL schedule to visit an animal shelter in Orange County.

Pickett’s Orlando were impressive in Sunday morning’s 2-1 win over Sky Blue – the club’s first win of the season – and they’ll be looking to adopt the same approach for Monday’s match-up with the Red Stars.