(Soccer America continues its countdown to the 2015 Women's World Cup with the fourth of 20 profiles of the women to watch in Canada.)
Samantha Kerr grew up playing Australian rules football like her father and brother, both well-known Australian rules football players, before switching to soccer at
the age of 10. Five years later -- five months after her 15th birthday -- she was playing for Australia. At 21, she will represent the Matildas at her second World Cup, opening June 8 against the USA
SAMANTHA KERR: Country: Australia Age: 21.
Position: Forward Club: Sky Blue FC Twitter:@SamKerr1
"[My family used to] kind of laugh at soccer," Kerr told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. "It wasn't as rough [as Australian
football], but it actually got too rough for me. The boys roughed me up."
She was part of the influx of young Matildas into the NWSL for its
first season in 2013 and had six goals and five assists for Western New York. In 2014, she led the Flash with nine goals and four assists in 20 games before being traded to Sky Blue FC.
“Sam is one of the most promising young players in the world and has been at the top of our list of players we have attempted to acquire," said Sky Blue FC coach Jim Gabarra in announcing the deal. "She has great pace combined with incredible and versatile attacking qualities that make her one of the elite forwards in our league.”
A knee injury suffered playing for the Perth Glory in December sidelined her
for four months, but she returned for a friendly against Scotland in April and is in the preliminary Australia squad.