Owen Krucoff and Jordan Viener
Boyds, Md., (7/17/2019) – Yesterday the Spirit traded to acquire their third Australian World Cup player in midfielder/defender Elise Kellond-Knight.
At just 28 years old, Kellond-Knight has already earned 109 caps and appeared in three World Cups for the Matildas. She made her national team debut at just 16 in a match against Hong Kong, and it wouldn’t be long before she became one of the top players in Australia and the world.
Her professional club career began in the Australian W-League with the Brisbane Roar, where she won the league’s Young Player of the Year award in 2009. After helping Australia to the 2010 Women’s Asian Cup title, she established herself as a key player for the next two World Cup cycles.
She was one of just three players in the world, along with American goalkeeper Hope Solo and Japanese midfielder Aya Miyama, to be named in the All-Star teams for both the 2011 and 2015 World Cups. She displayed her versatility during those tournaments, as she was designated as a defender in the 2011 All-Star team and midfielder in 2015. She will bring a wealth of experience at a variety of positions to the Spirit this season.
Kellond-Knight remained in the national team picture for a third consecutive World Cup this year. She scored an Olimpico goal in this year’s round of 16 match against Norway that kept her team’s tournament run alive, drawing Australia level in the 83rd minute.
IT'S ALL TIED UP!
Kellond-Knight's corner gets past everyone and into the net for an Olimpico! Are we headed for extra time? #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/bbp5QxxVEL
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 22, 2019
She most recently played with her first North American club, Reign FC. Over the course of her ten professional seasons, Kellond-Knight has earned a reputation as one of the most consistent performers in women’s soccer. Despite playing in six different leagues across the globe for over a decade, Kellond-Knight has started in 90% of her career appearances.
Kellond-Knight will join forces with the Spirit’s other two Australian midfielders, Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison. All three earned playing time in France at the recent World Cup, with Logarzo joining Kellond-Knight in the goalscoring ranks.
The addition of the Australian gives the Spirit increased and flexibility in the midfield as they prepare for the second half of the NWSL season.
“[Kellond-Knight] was brought in to give us flexibility and balance in midfield, but she is quite adept at left-back too and has a very educated left foot,” Spirit coach Richie Burke said. “I can’t wait to integrate her into our squad and hope to get her into the team with immediate effect. This is a fantastic acquisition for our club and bringing a player of this caliber to the Spirit for the second part of the season is a major coup.”