National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg will prepare for the women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (July 20 to August 20) with 28 players. The core of the team around captain Alexandra Popp is formed by her teammates from VfL Wolfsburg, who has ten players including Popp. Eintracht Frankfurt (6) and FC Bayern (5) also form a block in the DFB women’s team. Also present is Melanie Leupolz from Chelsea FC, who is active again after her pregnancy and will travel to the World Cup with her little son.
Gwinn and Dallmann are missing
Giulia Gwinn, on the other hand, is not part of the squad. The real regular in external defence, who was voted into the top eleven in the finals at last year’s European Championship, only returned to team training with Bayern the previous week after tearing his second cruciate ligament in October. Participation in the World Cup was the 23-year-old’s major goal during the rehab period, but without match practice it is not enough for Gwinn. “Giulia is very far along with her rehabilitation plan, but she’s missing several weeks of training time,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.
Not at the World Cup after injury: Linda Dallmann (left) and Giulia Gwinn (right)
In addition to Gwinn, her Munich teammate Linda Dallmann is also missing. The midfielder is recovering from a syndesmosis tear. Goalkeeper Almuth Schult is missing due to pregnancy.
According to the plan, the World Cup players will start the first part of the World Cup preparations after a short vacation on June 20th, which will take place on the grounds of the national team sponsor and DFB partner Adidas.
FC Bayern will turn off players later
However, the players from FC Bayern will not be there yet, as their pros will only arrive on June 23, causing trouble. “Unfortunately, contrary to agreements made at the beginning of the year, one club decided not to release its players as agreed on June 20th,” said Joti Chatzialexiou, the sporting director of the national teams: “We were still in talks until yesterday evening, to find a solution in the interests of the team and all the players, without a result that is satisfactory for us. We are disappointed with that as it has a significant impact on preparation.”
“It’s a difficult situation, especially for the players,” said the national coach, who emphasized that those affected would not suffer any disadvantages in terms of the final squad nomination. But still: “Our preparation messes that up. It limits us as a team.”
Last tests against Vietnam and Zambia
On June 24th and July 7th in Offenbach and Furth against Vietnam and Zambia, the World Cup form will be checked in the final friendlies. Only then will the official squad be reduced to 23 players. On July 11th, the runners-up European champions will then travel to the other end of the world – possibly with two or three backup players. So the two-time world champion has enough time to acclimatize in his base camp in Wyong, around 90 kilometers north of Sydney, before the first preliminary round game.
In Group H, the DFB women meet Morocco (July 24), Colombia (July 30) and South Korea (August 3). The German team is the clear favourite, but there could be a duel with France or Brazil in the knockout phase.
The extended squad at a glance:
Goal: Ann-Katrin Berger, Merle Frohms, Stina Johannes, Ena Mahmutovic
Defense: Sara Doorsoun, Marina Hegering, Kathrin Hendrich, Sophia Kleinherne, Sarai Linder, Sjoeke Nusken, Carolin Simon, Felicitas Rauch
Midfield/Attack: Nicole Anyomi, Jule Brand, Klara Buhl, Sara Däbritz, Laura Freigang, Chantal Hagel, Svenja Huth, Paulina Krumbiegel, Lena Lattwein, Melanie Leupolz, Sydney Lohmann, Lina Magull, Lena Oberdorf, Alexandra Popp, Lea Schuller, Tabea Waßmuth
asz/ck (SID, dpa)