Grace Wright
Photo: FAI.ie

Grace Wright called up to Republic of Ireland WNT squad for USA games.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team manager Sue Ronan has added defender Grace Wright to her squad for next week’s games against world champions USA and the USA U23 squad in California.

Wright, who earns a first senior call-up, replaces Chelsea’s Niamh Fahey who withdrew during the week with a knee injury and her addition brings the travelling squad up to 22.

The 20-year-old American-born defender, who qualifies for Ireland through her paternal grandfather, has played at U17 and U19 level for Ireland and was a member of the U19 squad that reached the semi-finals of the European Championship in 2014. She is currently studying and playing at Texas A&M University and helped them reach the NCAA knockout stages this season.

Wright said she was delighted to get the call-up and is looking forward to linking up with five former under-age team-mates – Katie McCabe, Clare Shine, Megan Connolly, Ciara Rossiter and Savannah McCarthy – who are also in the USA bound squad.

“I was extremely excited to learn of my call up with the full national team! I am blessed to have this opportunity and hope I can help contribute in any way,” said Wright. “This game does seem special against the US. I have a lot of old teammates living in California that may be able to come to the game also making the matches more special. I am actually playing against one of my teammates from last year who will be playing with US U23s.”

Ireland manager Sue Ronan said that Wright has been on her radar for some time and was happy to add her to squad when Fahey withdrew.

“Grace caught my eye when she played with the under-age squads and particularly at the European U19 Championship in 2014. I had pencilled her in for the World Students Games in Korea last summer, which are a great stepping stone between the U19s and senior squad, but she wasn’t able to come. She comes in after a good season at Texas A&M and I am looking forward to seeing her training and playing at this level,” said Ronan.

The match against USA will take place in San Diego on Saturday, January 23, with the game against the USA U23 team being played behind closed doors in Carson near Los Angeles on Monday, January 25.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team Squad (v USA)

Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Niamh Reid Burke (Shelbourne)
Defenders: Meabh De Burca (Galway), Megan Campbell (Unattached), Jessica Gleeson (Wexford Youths), Savannah McCarthy (Galway), Aine O’Gorman (UCD Waves), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Ciara Rossiter (Wexford Youths), Grace Wright (Texas A&M).
Midfielders: Diane Caldwell (Unattached), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Siobhan Killeen (Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn (Glasgow City), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves).
Forwards: Megan Connolly (Florida State University), Fiona O’Sullivan (Unattached), Stephanie Roche (Sunderland), Clare Shine (Glasgow City).

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