Sam Kerr says she’s ready to play in Australia’s must-win match vs. Canada

Sam Kerr is ready to go, according to Sam Kerr.

The Australian soccer star told reporters Saturday that she is fit to play for the 2023 Women’s World Cup co-host country’s match against Canada on Monday:

“Yeah, I feel good. I mean, the plan has always been the same. Miss the first two games and then reassess … I’m going to be there. I’m going to be ready.”

Kerr went down with a calf injury shortly before the World Cup began, knocking her out for Australia’s first two games of the tournament. The Matildas survived their first match with a 1-0 win over Ireland, but were less lucky in the second, falling to Nigeria in a 3-2 stunner.

Those results leave Australia in dire need of a win against Canada, which is ranked seventh in the world to Australia’s 10th and won gold at the Olympics in 2021. A loss would eliminate Australia on its home soil, while a draw would leave it needing Ireland to beat Nigeria in a way that gives it a leg up in goal differential or total goals scored.

For the greatest player in the host country’s history, that leaves a lot of pressure.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 27: Sam Kerr of Australia is seen prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group B match between Australia and Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium on July 27, 2023 in Brisbane / Meaanjin, Australia. (Photo by Elsa - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Sam Kerr thinks she’s ready to play in Australia’s must-win World Cup match on Monday. (Photo by Elsa – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Kerr stopped short of saying what decision had been made on her playing time, which coach Tony Gustavsson said would be a late call Friday, per The Athletic.

Kerr’s take on it:

“I would love to tell you guys everything, but you know yourself being in sport a long time, that’s a massive thing that the opposition wants to know, and like Tony (Gustavsson) said yesterday, it’s going to go down to the wire. I’m definitely going to be available but how we decide to use that is not to be given to the opposition, I think is the main thing.

If Australia opts to not have Kerr suit up, it will at least have Mary Fowler, Kerr’s fill-in for the Ireland match, back. Fowler missed the loss to Nigeria after sustaining a concussion in practice, but is expected to be available Monday.

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