(Photo: Stanford celebrate their 2019 College Cup win over North Carolina. Credit: Jim Shorin/isiphotos.com)
Beattie Goad’s career with Stanford may have wrapped up with her recent College Cup success, but the Cardinal will continue to maintain an Aussie presence as Sydney FC and Matildas midfielder Amy Sayer signs with the program. A member of the Young Matildas setup since the age of 14, Sayer has also earned three Matildas caps, and was a member of Sydney FC’s championship-winning W-League squad in 2018/19, albeit in a season hampered by injury.
Primarily an attacking midfielder, Sayer has long been earmarked as part of the future of the national team setup, as evidenced by her selection for the Matildas squad for the 2018 Tournament of Nations as well as the two-game tour to France and England at the age of 17. However, after being selected for the Matildas’ friendlies against Chile in November 2018, Sayer was forced to withdraw from the squad with a stress fracture in her foot, which also cost the young starlet the remainder of the W-League season with Sydney FC after just one appearance for the Sky Blues.
Having moved from Canberra United after the 2017/18 season, Sayer has been restricted to just two appearances for Sydney FC, but the second of those came last week in a win over Newcastle Jets, marking her return to the top level of club football in Australia. However, Sayer did manage 10 NPL NSW appearances for North West Sydney Koalas in 2019, bringing up her 50th appearance in the competition in the process after debuting at the age of 14.
Sayer joins Stanford as one of just two pure midfielders in the signing class of nine, but four others are listed as either defender/midfielder or midfielder/forward. At first glance, this certainly looks to be a class for the future, with the Cardinal returning nine starters from the 2019 College Cup side. However, with recruiting classes as good as those that Stanford put together, there are always freshmen who make an impact from the outset, and Sayer could easily be one of those.
Sayer becomes the second player in recent times to make their Matildas debut prior to heading to college, joining UCLA midfielder Rachel Lowe, who debuted at the 2018 Algarve Cup in a 2-0 victory over China. Teammates at the Young Matildas level, Lowe and Sayer had been rivals at W-League level, with Lowe playing for Western Sydney Wanderers and Sayer on the Sydney FC roster last season. Now, it will be Lowe in blue and Sayer in a shade of red as the next crop continues the UCLA v Stanford storyline built by Teagan Micah and Beattie Goad in recent seasons.