Heather Payne In Ireland Squad To Face USA

Heather Payne has been included in the Irish women’s squad to face World Champions USA in the Rose Bowl on August three.

Tom O’Connor assistant coach to former head coaches Colin Bell and Sue Ronan has been placed in interim charge for the game.

There are five changes to the squad that faced Italy in April, with Denise O’Sullivan and Megan Campbell ruled out due to club commitments.

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Heather Payne comes back into the fold having missed the Italy game to bolster the Under-19 squad in the European Elite Round tournament.

The Só Hotels Women’s National League has a strong representation in the line-up, with eight of the squad playing at home.

The tie, which takes place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, will be the USA’s first game since defeating the Netherlands to win the World Cup in early July.

“It has been a quick turnaround, but the offer to play the World Cup winners at the Rose Bowl was one the association couldn’t turn down” explained Interim manager Tom O’Connor.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for the players. It’s set to be a great experience for them and one where they can test themselves against the best in the world.”

“The game will also be a good challenge for the squad ahead of opening match of the European Championship qualifiers against Montenegro in September” added O’Connor.

“It’s a bonus to have the squad back together for an extra game ahead of that important fixture, and to get some extra training sessions in too. It’s all good preparation for the Euro qualifiers.”

“It is very exciting for the players to play the world champions after what was a fantastic and inspiring World Cup” said FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter.

“It’s a big opportunity to play in an excellent environment and a great game to be involved in for both players and staff.

“Tom O’Connor is taking the team as interim manager and as a coach under the previous manager he knows the team very well. We are in the process of appointing a new manager, which we intend to do very soon. We want to have the new manager in position before the European Championship qualifier in September.”

Republic of Ireland WNT squad v USA

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Eabha O’Mahony (Cork City), Megan Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Lauren Dwyer (Wexford Youths),

Midfielders: Tyler Toland (Kildrum Tigers), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Eleanor Ryan-Doyle (Peamount United), Jess Gargan (Shelbourne), Claire Walsh (Peamount United)

Forwards: Amber Barrett (FC Köln), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), Heather Payne (Florida State University)

Fixture – International Friendly

03/08: USA v Republic of Ireland, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, 7pm (3am Irish time)