Ireland training at the Rose Bowl in California. Sportsfile/FAI

Brighton star Connolly out of Ireland's LA friendly against world champions

The women’s national team trained at the Rose Bowl ahead of Sunday’s game against USA.

IRELAND WILL BE without defender Megan Connolly for Sunday’s showpiece friendly against world champions USA after she sustained an injury playing for Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend.

Connolly has been ruled out of the game at the famous Rose Bowl stadium in California, but the rest of the women’s national team squad is ‘raring to go’ after a week of preparation.

Under interim boss Tom O’Connor, the Ireland squad has spent the week training at Dignity Health Sports Park, the home of LA Galaxy, ahead of the meeting with USA on Sunday night [KO 3.25am Irish time].

Captain Katie McCabe says the players are relishing the opportunity to test themselves against the World Cup winners, in what will be USA’s first outing since their success in France earlier this summer.

“Camp has been really good so far,” McCabe said from America. “Obviously, there are a few new faces but they have blended in very well. Training has been going well too.

Obviously preparing to play the world champions is different, you don’t play the USA every day. But the girls have been great, there’s a real togetherness in the team and we’re just ready to go now for Saturday.

In addition to a number of training sessions, the squad — who are gearing up for the start of the European Championship qualifiers in September — have been able to get out and about to see the sights of Los Angeles in the build-up to the game. 

“I’m really looking forward to it, obviously watching them over the summer at the World Cup, you know who you’re going to be up against and preparing for that is good,” McCabe added.

“I feel fit, obviously I’m in pre-season at the moment with Arsenal, but I feel good and raring to go.”

The game is live on eir Sport 1 from 3am on Sunday night.

Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Eabha O’Mahony (Cork City), Megan Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Lauren Dwyer (Wexford Youths).

Midfielders: Alex Kavanagh (Shelbourne), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Eleanor Ryan-Doyle (Peamount United), Jess Gargan (Shelbourne), Claire Walsh (Peamount United)

Forwards: Amber Barrett (FC Köln), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), Heather Payne (Florida State University).

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