The season is fast approaching us, so we’re beginning a series of previews to lead up to it.
Here’s our first preview, starting with the defense. The defense might be the strongest part of the Rossonere’s roster, so let’s take a deeper look at it.
What else can we say about Laura? I mean, she’s one of the top seven goalkeepers in the world. She had the most saves at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
And now, she’s officially ours.
Her performances during Milan’s qualifiers show how invaluable he was for the team. Her leadership and reflexive saves kept the Rossonere in the tournament, possibly a lot longer than they should have stayed.
Last season, she conceded only seven goals and kept eight clean sheets. This year, the hope is that she can do more of the same, and possibly even better.
Laura can be the capstone of our defense and help us have a successful season.
Laia Codina was the second biggest signing and a clear sign of intent from Milan. The player is the crown jewel of the La Maisa academy and is one of the most talented, young defenders in the world. Her presence lends prestige to Milan and lends credibility to their women’s project.
The defender also bears the distinction of being a treble-winner with her former club, FC Barcelona. The player is on loan to Milan as there is currently not a lot of space for her at her parent club.
Codina only played ten matches last season and scored a solitary goal. She’ll have more playing time in Milan, so there is a good chance that she can do great things here.
Shortly before Sara was signed, I asked a Danish person to give me some insight into her. Here’s what Katja had to say about her:
“She’s pretty solid. For Denmark, she usually plays a RWB or RB. She plays as a RB for Fortuna HJørring as well, but she can also play in midfield and CB. She didn’t play a lot at first, but she kept working hard and her development the last few years has been really good.”
The hard work has paid off, evident by her fantastic performance against FC Zürich. Thrige has the potential to be one of the breakout stars of the season and here’s to hoping she does just that.
As was noted before, Guðný has experience at the highest level. During the match against Zürich, she showed just how experienced she was.
Last season, Árnadóttir played 16 matches for Valur and assisted one goal. If her performance in the Champions League is anything to go by, then she might be one of the most valuable additions to the team.
Agard is the unsung hero of last season. Her veteran leadership and experience were crucial to Milan securing Champions League qualification.
The French Woman is the undisputed leader of the backline, though Codina might give her a run for her money this season.
Last season, Agard helped Milan keep eleven clean sheets. She also made a small offensive contribution along the way, as she scored a single goal against San Marino.
Though Laura has gotten off to a shaky start in the UWCL, the hope is that she’ll regain her form again as the season progresses.
Laura Fusetti and Linda Tucceri Cimini
Laura and Linda have been fundamental pillars of this team. Linda is the team’s dead-ball specialist and who starts nearly every single game. Milan only conceded 17 goals last season, which was the second-best defensive record in the league.
Like her fellow Laura (Agard), Fusetti also had a shaky start to the pre-season, as it was her error that led to Hoffenheim’s first goal.
However, it must be noted that last season, Fusetti put up good numbers for the team. The defender won the majority of her duels (65.8% of them) and had 145 interceptions throughout the season. She is also the vice-captain of the team, as her leadership is irreplaceable.
If things go well, then Linda, Laia, Sara, Guðný, and all three of our Lauras, should help Milan have a successful campaign.
Question marks remain over the rest of Milan’s roster, but one thing that we can say for certain is that the Rossonere’s defense is absolutely solid.
This is part one of a series of previews leading up to the Serie A Femminile season.
Part II will be posted fairly soon.