The Pac-12 will feature two dual citizen goalkeepers born and raised in North America next season, with American-Australian Talia Grossman announced as a part of USC’s 2020 recruiting class. Grossman joins Washington State’s Canadian-Australian Aly Hay in the league, with both players called up to Young Matildas training camps in recent times. Grossman also becomes the Trojans’ second Australian in the last few years, following 2016 National Champion Lulu Pullar.
“I’ve wanted to attend USC ever since my brother became a Trojan in 2015, and I first visited him in LA,” Grossman explained to USC Athletics. “I love the campus, the Trojan spirit, and the culture of the women’s soccer program.
“And, academically, the blend of courses offered by Roski [School of Art and Design], the School of Cinematic Arts, and Dornsife [College of Letters, Arts and Sciences] perfectly align with my interests.”
A product of MVLA Soccer Club in Northern California, Grossman played both her club and school soccer just a stone’s throw from Stanford University, but will be looking to knock the Cardinal off their perch in the Pac-12. Grossman’s MVLA team sat atop the ECNL Northwest Conference until the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conceding just six goals in seven conference games. At high school level, Grossman was named West Bay Athletic League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2019, having led her Menlo School side to a California Central Coast Section Division I Championship. Grossman finished the 2019 campaign with a 0.50 goals against average, as Menlo finished the season with a 20-2-2 record and the championship trophy.
“Talia is a highly-competitive, multi-sport athlete who is a great leader,” USC head coach Keidane McAlpine told USC Athletics. “Talia’s ability to read the game, positioning and power make her a valuable addition to our already accomplished goalkeeping group.”
Grossman’s success isn’t limited to the soccer pitch, though. A highly successful junior baseball player, the three-time District 52 Little League All-Star even featured in Sports Illustrated for her feats as a switch-hitter, batting .515 as an 11-year-old to lead her team to top spot in the Palo Alto National League. Grossman also pitched, and played shortstop and centre field, demonstrating versatility not only across multiple sports, but also as a baseball player.
USC have continued their success in recent seasons since winning it all in 2016, reaching the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and the Elite Eight in 2019. On both occasions, the Trojans fell to either the eventual champion (Florida State in 2018) or runner-up (North Carolina in 2019). With a recruiting class littered with youth national team call-ups for the US, Australia, and Brazil, the Trojans don’t look to be going away anytime soon as they look to secure a third national championship. Grossman’s commitment gives Australian fans another national contender to follow, whilst being part of the Young Matildas program will help to strengthen the nation’s goalkeeping stocks for the future – after all, the last Australian goalkeeper to play for a Pac-12 team based in Los Angeles, UCLA legend Teagan Micah, ended up going to the World Cup in 2019.