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EXCLUSIVE: According to Asian news reports, the Matildas will be off to Vietnam next month after it finally won the hosting rights for the 2008 Women’s Asian Cup due to kick off in late May.
Thanhnien News reported today that the tournament will be held in Ho Chi Minh City and the draw for the eight Asian Cup qualified nations is due to be held on April 18. The tournament runs May 28 to June 8.
However, there has been no official word from the Asian Football Confederation confirming Vietnam as the host. It will be the first time the tournament is played in Vietnam.
The country was also a co-host of the 2007 Men’s Asian Cup.
The Matildas will prepare for the tournament with a two game series against the strong US later this month. Australia, along with China, North Korea and Japan, are favourites for the tournament.
The Australian team will face the US, the current Olympic champions, on April 27 in Cary, North Carolina, and May 3 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Australia are yet to defeat the United States in 18 encounters losing 16 of those matches, however there have been two draws in the last three meetings between the two nations.
The Matildas squad for their United States tour is:
Goalkeepers – Melissa Barbieri ( Melbourne ), Lydia Williams ( Canberra )
Defenders – Di Alagich (Sydney), Kim Carroll (Brisbane), Lauren Colthorpe (Brisbane), Kate McShea (Brisbane), Karla Reuter (Brisbane), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane)
Midfielders – Joanne Burgess (Brisbane), Amy Chapman (Canberra), Heather Garriock (Sydney), Collette McCallum (Perth), Amber Neilson (Newcastle), Joanne Peters (Newcastle), Sally Shipard (Brisbane)
Forwards – Kate Gill ( Newcastle ), Caitlin Munoz ( Canberra ), Kyah Simon (Sydney), Sarah Walsh ( Sydney )
(current home city)