Lydia Williams

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Lydia Williams
Lydia-Williams-2017-Algarve (cropped).jpg
Williams playing for Australia at the 2017 Algarve Cup
Personal information
Full name Lydia Grace Yilkari Williams[1]
Date of birth (1988-05-13) 13 May 1988 (age 34)
Place of birth Katanning, Western Australia
Height 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Arsenal
Number 18
Youth career
Tuggeranong
Woden
2004–2008 AIS
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2012 Canberra United 46 (0)
2009 Chicago Red Stars 0 (0)
2012–2013 Piteå IF 24 (0)
2013–2014 Canberra United 12 (0)
2014 Western New York Flash 14 (0)
2015–2016 Canberra United 10 (0)
2016–2017 Houston Dash 15 (0)
2016–2017Melbourne City (loan) 14 (0)
2017–2019 Reign FC 21 (0)
2017–2018Melbourne City (loan) 12 (0)
2018–2019Melbourne City (loan) 12 (0)
2019–2020 Melbourne City 14 (0)
2020– Arsenal 9 (0)
National team
2006–2007 Australia U-20 14 (0)
2005– Australia 97 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 9 May 2021
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 11 April 2020

Lydia Grace Yilkari Williams (born 13 May 1988) is an Australian soccer player who currently plays as a goalkeeper for Arsenal in England's FA Women's Super League (WSL) and the Australia women's national soccer team. She previously played for Melbourne City and Canberra United in Australia's W-League; Reign FC, Houston Dash and the Western New York Flash in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in the United States; and Piteå IF in Sweden's Damallsvenskan.

Williams was twice-named PFA Women's Footballer of the Year for 2011–12 and 2015–16 and to the PFA W-League Team of the Season for 2016–17. She was awarded W-League Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2010–11, 2011–12, and 2016–17 seasons.

Inducted to the Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of Fame, Williams earned for her first cap for the Australian national team, commonly known as the Matildas, at age 16.[2] She is the author of the children's book, Saved!!!, published in 2019.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lydia Williams was born in Katanning, Western Australia, Williams was raised by her Aboriginal father and American mother in the frontier mining town of Kalgoorlie.[3] She spent most of her primary school years in Kalgoorlie where she attended St Joseph's School. Williams' family left Kalgoorlie for Canberra when she was eleven years old.[3][4][5]

In November 2019, Williams authored a children's book called, Saved!!!, which drew on her life experiences, from growing up in the desert to achieving success as an Aboriginal female football player.[6]

Club career[edit]

Williams playing Canberra United in 2009

After playing junior football for Tuggeranong and Woden in the Australian Capital Territory, Williams joined the Australian Institute of Sport Football Program.[7]

Williams joined Australian W-League team Canberra United in 2008 and made 11 appearances for the club as their starting goalkeeper during the 2009 W-League season.[8][9] Canberra finished in fourth place during the regular season with a 4–4–2 record, earning a berth to the Playoffs.[10] Canberra was defeated 3–0 by eventual Grand Final winners, Sydney FC.[11]

During the 2010–11 W-League, Williams was the starting goalkeeper in all eleven matches.[8] Canberra finished in third place with a 5–3–2 record.[12] After advancing to the Playoffs, they faced Brisbane Roar in the semi-finals and tied 2–2 leading to a penalty kick shootout in which Canberra lost 2–4.[13]

Western New York Flash, Canberra United and Houston Dash: 2014–17[edit]

In 2014, Williams signed with the Western New York Flash signed Williams to be their starting goalkeeper following a season-ending injury to Adrianna Franch.[14][15] Williams started 14 games in goal for the Flash. She recorded two shutouts in 2014 prior to suffering a season-ending ACL injury while competing at the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup with the Australian national team.[16] In September 2014, Williams was waived by the Flash and was selected by Washington Spirit for the 2015 season, though she did not play for the team.[17][8]

After returning to Australia, Williams played for Canberra United for the 2015–16 W-League season. She was the starting goalkeeper in the 10 games in which she played and helped Canberra finish second in the regular season with a 8–2–2 record, earning a berth to the Playoffs.[8] Canberra was defeated 1–0 by Sydney FC's controversial goal in the semi-finals.[18]

In January 2016, Williams signed with the Houston Dash.[19] She was the starting goalkeeper in all 15 games that she played.[8] Two of her saves were voted Save of the Week by fans in Week 5 and 19.[20] The Dash finished in eighth place during the regular season with a 6–10–4 record.[21]

Melbourne City (loan): 2016–17[edit]

Following the season, Williams signed on loan with Melbourne City for the 2016–17 W-League.[22] Williams was the starting goalkeeper in 15 games helping Melbourne City finish in fourth place during the regular season with a 6–4–2 record, securing a berth to the Finals.[23] Williams was described as "impenetrable" after holding Canberra United to a 1–0 shutout in extratime during the semi-final.[24] She continued her effective, defensive armor in the 2–0 win over Perth Glory in the Grand Final.[25] Williams was named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year following the season.[26]

Reign FC and Melbourne City: 2017–20[edit]

Williams warming up for Reign FC, April 2017

Returning to Houston for the 2017 season, Williams made 8 starts in goal before traded to Seattle Reign FC on August 31 in exchange for a 2018 2nd-round draft pick.[27][8] She made three starts in goal for the Reign during the remainder of the season.[8] The Reign finished in fifth place during the regular season.[28]

In October 2017, Williams commenced pre-season training with Melbourne City, re-signing with them for the 2017–18 W-League season.[29] She made 12 starts in goal helping lead Melbourne City to a fourth-place season during the regular season and berth to the Finals.[30] After defeating the regular season premiers, Brisbane Roar, in a 2–0 shutout in the semi-final,[31] Melbourne City faced Sydney FC in the Grand Final and won 2–0, clinching the team's third consecutive title.[32]

Williams was the starting goalkeeper for Reign FC in all 17 games that she played during the 2018 NWSL season.[8] The Reign finished in third place during the regular season with a 11–5–8 record.[33] The third place finished earned the team a berth to the Playoffs, though they were defeated 2–1 by local rivals Portland Thorns FC in the semi-finals.[34]

Williams returned to Melbourne City for the 2019–20 W-League season.[35] She was the starting goalkeeper in 14 matches, recording nine shutouts and a .871 save percentage.[36][8] Melbourne City finished in first place during the regular season, claiming the premiership with an undefeated 12–0–1 record.[37] During the playoffs, Williams helped elevate City to a 5–1 win in the team's semi-final match against Western Sydney Wanderers.[38] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grand Final was not open to fans, though broadcast internationally. Williams helped hold Sydney FC to a 1–0 shutout to clinch the championship.[39]

Arsenal: 2020–present[edit]

Williams signed a one-year contract with Arsenal in England's WSL in July 2020.[40] She noted the "recent investment surge in European women's soccer" as a contributing factor to her signing.[40] In late August, it was announced that she would be temporarily be sidelined by ankle surgery due to a pre-season injury.[41] On 18 November 2020 Williams made her debut as she started in the FA Women's League Cup against North London derby rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The game finished 2–2 with Arsenal winning 5–4 on penalties. She made her league debut on 6 December 2020 against Birmingham City.

International career[edit]

Williams playing for Australia at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup

Williams has represented Australia on the senior and under-20 national teams. She earned her first training camp call-up with the senior national team at age 15. It was the first time she'd heard of the Matildas.[42] In 2006, she competed with Australia at the AFC Women's Asian Cup and 2006 FIFA World Under 20 Women's Championship.[43][44]

At age 19, Williams was selected to the Matildas squad for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China, though she did not play.[45] Australia finished second in their group and were knocked out by Brazil during a 3–2 quarterfinal match.[46] She shared the starting goalkeeper role with veteran Matilda Melissa Barbieri at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.[45] During the team's first group stage match against Brazil, Barbieri helped keep the rivals to a 1–0 scoreline.[47] Williams was the starting goalkeeper for Australia's next match against Equatorial Guinea and helped the Matildas win 3–2.[48] Barbieri was in goal for the team's last group stage match: a 2–1 win over Norway.[49] Australia finished second in their group and advanced to the quarterfinals where they were knocked out by Sweden 3–1 with Barbieri in goal.[50]

Williams was the starting goalkeeper in all but one of Australia's matches at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. The team lost 3–1 to the United States during their first group stage match with Barbieri between the posts.[51] Williams helped hold Nigeria to a 2–0 shutout in the team's second group stage match[52] and a 1–1 draw against Sweden.[53] Australia finished second in the "Group of Death"[54] and advanced to the Round of 16 where they faced Brazil. During the match, Williams' save on a long-range shot by Formiga made international headlines as the save of the tournament.[55] In the 90th minute, Williams stopped Christiane's header marking 10th-ranked Australia's first win against Brazil in World Cup history. She finished the match with six saves and a shutout.[56] The Matildas faced 2011 champions, Japan in the quarterfinals and narrowly lost 1–0 after a goal against in the 87th minute.[57]

External video
video icon One Plus One: Lydia Williams, One Plus One, ABC News

After qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics in Japan, the Matildas faced Canada in their first group stage match with Williams in goal.[58] The team tied their next group stage match against Germany 2–2.[59] After defeating Zimbabwe 6–1, the team finished third in Group F and top ranking in the third place teams advancing to the knockout stage. During their "thrilling" quarterfinal match against Brazil, Williams was put to the test in a penalty shootout after a 0–0 draw. Despite saving a penalty from Marta, the Matildas were ultimately edged out 7–6 during the shootout and knocked out of the competition.[60]

Williams was the starting goalkeeper at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France — her fourth World Cup selection.[61] During the team's first group stage match against Italy, a late Italian goal in the 5th minute of extratime resulted in a 2–1 surprising loss for the Matildas.[62] They faced rivals Brazil next and won 3–2.[63] After defeating Jamaica 4–1, Australia finished second in Group C and advanced to the Round of 16 where they faced Norway. After a 1–1 tie, Norway won 4–1 in penalties.[64]

Williams was selected for the Australian women's football Matildas soccer team which qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Matildas advanced to the quarter-finals with one victory and a draw in the group play. In the quarter-finals they beat Great Britain 4-3 after extra time. However, they lost 1-0 to Sweden in the semi-final and were then beaten 4-3 in the bronze medal playoff by USA.[65] Full details.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Canberra United

International[edit]

Australia

Individual[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011 – List of Players: Australia" (PDF). FIFA. 28 July 2014. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b Rayson, Zac (10 June 2020). "Roos, zoos, and no shoes: The incredible story of Matildas' superstar Lydia Williams". Fox Sports. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Pete (31 May 2015). "Lydia Williams's unconventional journey from red dirt to the Women's World Cup". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Lydia Williams – Pride of the Deadlys". Deadly Vibe. Vibe Australia. October 2006. Archived from the original on 28 July 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Inspirational keeper takes road less travelled". FIFA. 18 April 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  6. ^ Lewis, Samantha (7 November 2019). "Indigenous women continue to play key role in development of football in Australia". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Player Profile – Lydia Williams". Canberra United FC. Archived from the original on 11 March 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Lydia Williams". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Lydia Williams". Arsenal. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  10. ^ "2009-10 W-League". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  11. ^ "W-League: 2019-10". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  12. ^ "2010-11 W-League". SoccerWay. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  13. ^ "BRISBANE ROAR VS. CANBERRA UNITED 2 - 2". SoccerWay. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Flash GK Franch tears right ACL, out for season". The Equalizer. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Flash add Aussie GK Williams". Western New York Flash. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  16. ^ "WNY Flash keeper Lydia Williams out for season". Democrat and Chronicle. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  17. ^ "Four players selected off NWSL waiver wire; Souza, Adams, Lohman and Williams all selected by new teams". NWSL. 15 September 2014. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  18. ^ Carter, Brittany (23 January 2016). "Sydney FC beats Canberra United 1-0 in W-League semi-final". ABC. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  19. ^ "Houston Dash sign Australia National Team goalkeeper Lydia Williams". Houston Dash. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  20. ^ ""Congrats to @HoustonDash's @lydsaussie on her save being selected by the fans as #NWSL Save of the Week – Week 5!"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  21. ^ "2016 National Women's Soccer League". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  22. ^ "City signs Matildas Goalkeeper Lydia Williams". Melbourne City. 15 October 2016.
  23. ^ "2016-17 W-League". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  24. ^ "Melbourne City down Canberra United in extra-time to reach W-League final". The Guardian. 5 February 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  25. ^ Grainey, time (12 February 2017). "Melbourne City repeats as W-League Champions". The Equalizer. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Melbourne City FC signs five key W-League players". Melbourne City FC. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  27. ^ Roepken, Corey (31 August 2017). "Dash trade goalkeeper Lydia Williams to Reign FC". Houston Chronicle.
  28. ^ "2017 National Women's Soccer League". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  29. ^ "City re-signs Championship winning stars". Melbourne City. 19 October 2017.
  30. ^ "2017-18 W-League". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  31. ^ "Melbourne City upset premiers Roar to face Sydney in W-League final". The Guardian. 11 February 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  32. ^ "Westfield W-League Grand Final recap: Melbourne City FC wins third straight Championship". Vavel. 18 February 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  33. ^ "2018 National Women's Soccer League". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  34. ^ "Seattle Reign FC season comes to an end with a 1-2 loss at Portland Thorns FC". Sounder at Heart. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  35. ^ Greco, John (30 October 2019). "Westfield Matildas keeper Williams re-signs with Melbourne City". Westfield Matildas. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  36. ^ Negley, Cassandra (20 March 2020). "Coronavirus: W-League soccer Grand Final, featuring NWSL players, rare live sporting event on TV". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  37. ^ "2019-20 W-League". SoccerWay. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  38. ^ "Melbourne City dominate Wanderers to progress to W-League grand final". The Guardian. 15 March 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  39. ^ Reilly, Ella (21 March 2020). "Melbourne City win W-League grand final behind closed doors". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  40. ^ a b "Matildas keeper Lydia Williams joins Arsenal". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  41. ^ "Lydia Williams: Arsenal goalkeeper faces spell out after ankle surgery". BBC Sport. 21 August 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  42. ^ Valentine, Renee (27 April 2020). "A golden era for Matildas kicked off with game-changing achievements". Canberra Times. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  43. ^ "FIFA Player Statistics: Lydia Williams". FIFA. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  44. ^ "Player Profile – Lydia Williams". Football Federation Australia. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  45. ^ a b "From Underdogs to Top Dogs". The Women's Game. 18 June 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  46. ^ "Brazil edges Australia at World Cup". CBC. 23 September 2007. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  47. ^ "Bouncing Brazilian goal tops Matildas". FIFA. Archived from the original on 27 June 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  48. ^ "Australia vs Equatorial New Guinea". Eurosport. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  49. ^ "2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, Group Stage 2011: Australia vs. Norway". ESPN. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  50. ^ "Westfield Matildas bow out of FIFA Women's World Cup". Australia Football Federation. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  51. ^ "USA v Australia: Women's World Cup 2015 – as it happened". The Guardian. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  52. ^ "HIGHLIGHTS: Australia v. Nigeria - FIFA Women's World Cup 2015". FIFATV. Archived from the original on 15 December 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  53. ^ "Australia 1-1 Sweden highlights". FIFA. Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  54. ^ McCarter, Nathan (6 December 2014). "Women's World Cup 2015: USWNT Draws the Group of Death with Sweden, Australia". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  55. ^ "Women's World Cup: Matildas Lydia Williams' save of the tournament stuns Brazil". Sydney Morning Herald. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  56. ^ "Australia shocks Brazil at Women's World Cup, beats powerhouse, 1-0, with late goal". Fox News. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  57. ^ "Women's World Cup: Japan find late flourish to send Australia crashing out". The Guardian. 27 June 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  58. ^ "Canadian women's soccer team wins Olympic opener over Australia". CBC. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  59. ^ "Late goal denies Matildas stunning upset over Germany in Olympic football". The Guardian. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  60. ^ "Rio 2016: Matildas knocked out by Brazil in thrilling quarter-final shootout". The Guardian. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  61. ^ "Ante Milicic confirms Westfield Matildas squad for France 2019". Australia Football Federation. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  62. ^ Das, Andrew (9 June 2019). "Italy Stuns Australia at Women's World Cup With Last-Minute Winner". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  63. ^ Lynch, Michael (14 June 2019). "Matildas stun Brazil 3-2 with dramatic World Cup comeback win". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  64. ^ Pender, Kieran (22 June 2019). "Norway beat Australia on penalties in Women's World Cup last 16 - as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  65. ^ "Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo 2021". The Roar. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  66. ^ "பிரபல பூர்வீக விளையாட்டு வீரர்கள்". SBS. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  67. ^ "Keeper wins prestigious 'Deadly' Award". Australia Football Federation. 22 September 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  68. ^ Odong, Ann (6 December 2016). "LYDIA WILLIAMS NAMED 2016 PFA WOMEN'S FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR". The Women's Game. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  69. ^ "Westfield W-League Award Winners". W-League. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  70. ^ "PFA Jetts W-League Team of the Season Unveiled". Professional Footballers Australia. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  71. ^ "IFFHS WOMAN TEAM - AFC - OF THE DECADE 2011-2020". IFFHS. 30 January 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Grainey, Timothy (2012), Beyond Bend It Like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer, University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0803240368
  • Stay, Shane (2019), The Women's World Cup 2019 Book: Everything You Need to Know About the Soccer World Cup, Books on Demand, ISBN 1782551921
  • Theivam, Keiran and Jeff Kassouf (2019), The Making of the Women's World Cup: Defining stories from a sport's coming of age, Little, ISBN 1472143310
  • Various (2019), Stand Up for the Future, Penguin Random House, ISBN 0143794396
  • Williams, Jean (2007), A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football , A&C Black, ISBN 1845206754
  • Williams, Lydia (2019), Saved!, Allen & Unwin, ISBN 9781760871628

External links[edit]