Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum is upbeat ahead of the start of the Four-Nation invitational tournament tagged Summer Series, following the arrival Tuesday of no fewer than 16 players at team’s Marriot Marquis in Houston, Texas.
Newsmen report that more arrivals are expected in camp today.
The nine home-based players joined seven diaspora players who had earlier arrived in Houston for the mandatory Covid-19 Test at the hotel before the 16 players, backroom staff and members of the delegation were checked into their rooms.
Already on ground before the Nigerian delegation arrived Houston from Lagos via Atlanta, Georgia, were Co-captain Francisca Ordega who plays club football in Spain but who had a valid United States entry visa, Toni Payne and five new overseas-born invitees.
They are Swiss-born defender, Onyinyechi Zogg, Finnish-Nigerian striker Roosa Ariyo; Ifeoma Onumonu, striker of Gotham, an NWSL clubside, who represented USWNT U23 at some point but is still eligible to play for Nigeria through her parents.
Others in camp are Nicole Payne, American-born West Virginia University defender and the younger sister of recently capped Nigeria striker, Toni Payne and Yewande Balogun, former Maryland Terrapin goalkeeper and who is in her third season as UC Davis Assistant Coach. She is eligible to represent Nigeria through her father Tajudeen Balogun.
Following the withdrawal of now fewer than six players from the 25 earlier invited for the 4-Nation Tournament tagged Summer Series in Texas, Super Falcons gaffer has no choice but to hand maiden Nigeria call-up to the above five players.
Prompt News reports that due to various reasons including injuries, Waldrum will miss six key players namely Sweden’s
Eskilstuna United midfielders, Halimatu Ayinde and Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene; defender Patricia George of SC Sand and Linkopings striker Uchenna Kanu.
Others who will not be available are AWCON Winner and Paris FC goalie Chiamaka Nnadozie and reliable defender, Osinachi Ohale, of Madrid CFF.
Meanwhile, sources at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disclosed that Spain-based Falcons led by team captain Asisat Oshoala have been given all clear to head for Houston even as the arrival of the reigning African Best Female Footballer and UEFA Champions League Cup winner will boost the morale of the Nigerian contingent in Texas.
Source: Sahara Reporters.