Five players to look out for at the Women’s World Cup? Seen it over and over. Every player called Caroline/Carolin/Carolyn/Carolina? Well now, that’s a new one. Featuring some players you’ll know, some you won’t and maybe ones that won’t start, every “Caroline” at the World Cup…
Tayla [Carolina Pereira dos Santos]
Brazil/Benfica – 9 May 1992 – centre-back
Tayla is usually in and around the Brazil squad although is not a traditional starter for Seleção. A league winner with Benfica this season, she comes to the World Cup in good form – although everyone in the Benfica squad is in good form given that they were playing in the Portuguese second tier. How much people get to see of Tayla this summer is a mystery with Vadão still preferring the centre-back paring of Érika and Mônica.
Natalia [Carolina] Campos [Fernández]
Chile/Universidad Católica – 12 January 1992 – goalkeeper
As the first back-up goalkeeper for La Roja, it’s unlikely Natalia Campos will be on the radar of many outside of Chile. With the unenviable task of being an understudy goalkeeper, Campos and fellow deputy, the uncapped and unattached, Ryann Torrero will travel to France knowing only an injury or suspension will see them get any time on the pitch. As unlikely as it is for any team to swap their goalkeepers around during a tournament, José Letelier is even less likely to leave his captain and star-player, Tiane Endler out of the squad.
Germany/Olympique Lyonnais – 24 November 1992 – left-back
Not one in the team to get the plaudits, and not even a confirmed starter – something that’s hard to pin down when a coach has only had four games in change of a team before going to the World Cup – Simon might just be one to watch out for this summer. A confident and composed defender who gets up the left channel well, the German impressed enough at SC Freiburg to earn a move to Lyon at the end of last season and although she hasn’t always started, has continued to develop in France.
An underrated player in a strong squad, I’m not going to tell anyone not to keep have an eye on Simon this summer.
Somehow this streak is still going, 16 apps and counting. https://t.co/zwZ796OWCl— Sophie Lawson (@lawson_sv) June 1, 2019
Sashana [Carolyn] Campbell
Jamaica/Maccabi Kishronot Hadera – 2 March 1991 – right midfield
One of the further flung Reggae Girlz, Sashana Campbell is Ligat Nashim Rishona’s sole representative at the World Cup this summer (a distinction in itself). A former Argonaut, Campbell’s career has been quite the eye into women’s football, taking her from one end of the earth to the other, her experiences rounding her out as a footballer. Not a starter for Hue Menzies, Campbell looks set to be used off of the bench this summer, refreshing the team.
Caroline Graham Hansen
Norway/VfL Wolfsburg – 18 February 1995 – winger
One of the few Caroline’s who will definitely start in France, Graham Hansen is likely to be someone popping up on “to watch” lists around the world for this tournament as people look away from who isn’t there. A tricky winger (who has been tried as a centre-forward by Martin Sjögren), Graham Hansen has, rightly or wrongly, become a more of a focal point for Norway and will look to her bag of tricks this summer.
The key to getting out of the group will be more focused on the midfield working with the attack with players like Guro Reiten, Ingrid Syrstad Engen and even Karina Sævik stepping up and playing in harmony with this particular Caroline.
Caroline [Elspeth Lillias] Weir
Scotland/Manchester City – 20 June 1995 – attacking midfield
Scotland’s number 9 who isn’t a 9, Caroline Weir is simultaneously a star in Shelley Kerr’s team and an off the radar player to most. One to fall out of the conversation when Kim Little and Erin Cuthbert are mentioned, Weir’s creation in midfield has been a vital competent of Manchester City’s successful season. Sometimes a little inconsistent, the 23-year-old looks to have solidified and is likely to pop up at the important moments for Scotland this summer.
[Sara] Caroline Seger
Sweden/Rosengård – 19 March 1985 – midfield
The oldest Caroline at the World Cup, Seger is one of the Swedish old guard and a rock in midfield Peter Gerhardsson will look to stabilise the squad at both ends of the pitch. Having had a vintage 2018 season – after questions that her race had been run. Seger hasn’t quite reached the same heights for Rosengård this year but Blågult’s success in France could hinge on her partnership with Elin Rubensson in midfield. More likely to sit in the middle of the park and sure up the defensive side of things, Seger will allow herself the odd dash forward but it’s entirely likely her contributions will fly below the radar.
Bonus: Carol Anne Chenard
Canada – 17 Feburary 1977 – referee
A tournament veteran, Chenard will be officiating at her third World Cup this summer and as a referee, we can only hope she won’t affect play too much. But, let’s be real, this is women’s football and we can’t have nice things, so she’ll probably affect play a lot.