Desiree Ellis Slightly Tweaks Banyana Banyana Squad for USA Matches

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis at SABC Sport studio announcing the senior national team squad for international friendly against USA. Photo: gsport

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis announced her 23-member squad for the upcoming international friendly matches against the USA on Wednesday, 6 September 2023.

The match will take place at Chicago’s Soldier Field and will also mark the retirement of football great Megan Rapinoe.

Unfortunately, Refiloe Jane, captain of Banyana Banyana, will be unable to participate due to injury. The team doctor will provide updates on her condition.

In regards to the squad rotation of goalkeepers, Coach Desiree Ellis shed light on the decision to include certain players on the field, saying, “Andile is not injured and played WAFCON, it was a decision taken to play Kaylin at the World Cup.”

Emphasising the importance of having a professional women’s league in South Africa, Coach Ellis remarked, “If we do want to be a step in the right direction, it’s important that we get that professional league done. We need that as of yesterday, otherwise, all the time I’ve done the work, you’re going to be speaking about having a professional who will begin at the next World Cup speaking about some of the things so it’s imperative,” she said. 

Coach Ellis also addressed the inclusion of twins Noxolo and Sinoxolo Cesane in the squad. She highlighted their skill and versatility, noting, “We know the twins are very skillful and very talented… she has done it over a period of time… she is (Noxolo) multifunctional… There’s not many in that position.” She further added, “We’ve had twins before… Not in the same team that we’ve had the one and then the other one.”

Speaking about the highly-anticipated international friendly against the USA, Coach Ellis expressed her admiration for Megan Rapinoe, saying, “I think she’s probably not just as a player but an activist for women’s football. And she’s been used all throughout the world and has done magnificently for the world. Same for us to be part of it. It’s incredible.” 

She added, “We’re really blessed to be part of that send-off of hers and hopefully we can make it not such a good one.”

The match promises to be a memorable event as Banyana Banyana aims to secure a victory against the USA and celebrate Megan Rapinoe’s remarkable career in football.

Banyana Banyana Squad vs USA:

Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini, Kaylin Swart, Katlego Moletsane

Defenders: Karabo Dhlamini, Fikile Magama, Lebohang Ramalepe, Tiisetso Makhubela, Lonathemba Mhlongo, Noko Matlou, Bongeka Gamede

Midfielders: Linda Motlhalo, Kholosa Biyana, Nomvula Kgoale, Sibulele Holweni, Robyn Moodaly, Sinoxolo Cesane

Forwards: Gabriela Salgado, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Noxolo Cesane, Melinda Kgadiete, Wendy Shongwe, Hildah Magaia, Thembi Kgatlana – vice captain

Photo 1 Caption: Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis at SABC Sport studio announcing the senior national team squad for international friendly against USA. Photo: gsport

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