Sinead Farrelly made her debut for Ireland during a friendly against the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) on Saturday.
She played 60 minutes in a friendly against the USWNT.
It marked the latest chapter in Farrelly’s impressive comeback after she was essentially focused on an early retirement in 2016.
“I am so overwhelmed,” the 33-year-old Farrelly told The Athletic after the friendly in Austin, Texas, which Ireland lost 0-2. “Very happy, excited — obviously we wanted to win — but I am just really proud of the team. I am also very tired.”
Members of the USWNT also expressed their excitement at seeing Farrelly compete in Saturday’s match, which was played in front of a sellout crowd of 20,593 fans.
“It was so good to see her on the field,” said U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski, who coached Farrelly when she was a member of the NWSL’s FC Kansas City in 2013.
“Obviously it’s a good opportunity for her to earn a spot for a team that will compete in the World Cup. But also just to see her back on the field because we know she’s a tremendous player. She’s really skillful, total footballer. So when I saw her after the game, I could see that joy in her eyes too.”
USWNT star forward Alex Morgan, who was teammates with Farrelly on the Portland Thorns and helped support her in the process of telling her story, was also ecstatic to play against her.
“She’s the Sinead I remember playing with on the Thorns,” Morgan told the Athletic. “I’m just so impressed with her.”
Serious knee injuries have been an unfortunate theme in the lead-up to the 2023 Women’s World Cup, most recently with Mallory Swanson tearing her left patella tendon in the USWNT’s friendly vs. Ireland on Saturday.
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While Swanson’s recovery is just beginning, Catarina Macario is nearing her return to the pitch after tearing her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) last June.
But how close is that return? And will it happen in time for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which kicks off in just three months?
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski previously said Macario, 23, was expected to resume playing games for club team Lyon in March, but that return was delayed.
Last week, it was announced that she was set to resume training with the club.
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