By Samuel Ahmadu
Nigeria women’s national team will further miss additional three squad key members ahead of the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, the USA this week, SavidNews can exclusively report.
A week ago, SavidNews had confirmed that Randy Waldrum would be without Eskilstuna United midfielder Halimatu Ayinde and SC Sand defender Patricia George, due to varying degrees of injuries.
With the squad trimmed to 23, Waldrum was faced with a possible late pull out as the NFF raced against time to secure visas for the foreign-based players, hence the latest foreign-borns’ invitations.
The American tactician turned to Swiss-born Nigerian defender Onyinyechi Zogg, who currently turns out for Swiss Women’s Super League outfit FC Zurich.
Despite born and raised in Bern, Switzerland, the 24-year-old right-back is still eligible to represent Nigeria through her parents.
The other late call-up went to Finnish-born Nigerian striker Roosa Funmilayo Ariyo, who plays for Finnish Naisten Liiga side TiPS.
Ariyo, 26-year-old, who has been in fine form, scoring eighth in eight games was born in Finland to a Nigerian father and Finnish mother and is eligible to play for the West African nation.
Meanwhile, Eskilstuna United midfielder Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene, Linkopings FC striker Uchenna Kanu and Paris goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie are the latest to withdraw from the squad.
SavidNews understands the trio withdrawals were due to logistic reasons, leaving Waldrum with a 22-woman squad, comprising 10 home-based and 12 foreign-based professional players.
While those in Europe are expected to arrive in the United States of America, the Nigeria-based delegation will fly out of Lagos to Houston on Monday night for the four-nation tournament.
The delegation led by Honourable Ayo Omidiran, included officials and nine players will join the duo of late invitees Zogg, Ariyo and head coach Waldrum in Houston.
The Super Falcons will begin the invitational tournament against Jamaica at BBVA Stadium in Houston on 10 June, followed by a meeting with Portugal three days later at the same venue.
Before traveling to Austin’s Q2 stadium to face four-time World and Olympics champions USA at the home of new Major League Soccer club, Austin FC, on 16 June.