The Women’s FA Cup has been one hell of a roller coaster, from endless goals to inspiring starlets and now the tournament has reached the semi-finals.
The Manchester City holders welcome Chelsea to the Academy Stadium while Brighton travel to Meadow Park to face Arsenal – both set to be successful clashes.
Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City have won three of the last four women’s FA Cups, with Chelsea winning the other.
And Brighton will seek their first Women’s FA Cup title, while Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal have won the competition a record 14 times.
But who are the stars to watch in this tantalizing tournament?
Here are the five key players to focus your attention on ahead of the semi-finals …
Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)
Originally from the Netherlands, Miedema was already a sensation before joining Arsenal in 2017.
Before becoming Gunner, 39 different clubs learned about Miedema before signing a three-year contract with Bayern Munich.
Miedema was flying high at the German club where she scored 52 goals in 78 appearances in all competitions and played a key role in winning two Bundesliga titles as well as being the league’s top scorer of the 2016-17 season. champions.
After appearing in 110 appearances for Arsenal, Miedema has already taken the incredible milestone of scoring her 100th goal for the Gunners in the Women’s Champions League qualifying – she is certainly prolific!
Not only does the 25-year-old thrive in the forward position, but she believes she can conquer by playing as an attacking midfielder as well.
Miedema said: “I know I have my qualities to score goals, but I like to prepare people. I like to drop and pick up the ball and see if I can send someone to goal.
Sam Kerr (Chelsea)
Australian striker Kerr has definitely made her mark in the football world, having played for five clubs before joining Chelsea in 2019.
The Chicago Red Stars were her former club where she became a proven goalscorer, being named the NWSL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for 2019 after scoring a record 19 goals in 23 games to secure a third shoe. consecutive gold.
Kerr shocked Chelsea spectators by scoring his first goal against Arsenal for the Blue’s just two weeks after joining the club.
The 28-year-old led Chelsea to the 2020-21 FA WSL title, scoring 21 goals in 22 games and winning the Golden Boot, making her the first player to win it in three different leagues.
Many milestones and individual accolades have been marked, including being the first Australian (male or female) to score a hat-trick at a World Cup and being named Confederation Women’s Footballer of the Year 2017. asian football.
The talented forward isn’t just clinical in front of goal, she possesses raw pace, lethal touch and strong leadership qualities.
Inessa Kaagman (Brighton)
Dutch professional Inessa Kaagman has moved to Brighton & Hove Albion with 31 appearances and five goals from her former club, Everton.
Kaagman made a good impression during his two-year stint with the Toffees, especially after winning the goal of the season at Everton for the outstanding long-distance strike in the Merseyside derby.
The 25-year-old has got off to a great start at Brighton as she finished top scorer last season with eight goals, helping Albion to finish in sixth place, their best league result in the Women’s Super League.
And Brighton manager Hope Powell has nothing but praise for her wonderful midfielder.
Powell said: “Inessa made such a big impression in her debut season, not only does she score goals, but she can play in a variety of positions and brings experience and composure to the team.
“She’s a great role model for young players and we think she can have an even bigger impact with us.”
Lauren Hemp (Man City)
After impressing during her outings for the GB team at the Olympics last summer, Lauren Hemp is one of Manchester City’s outstanding wingers.
Hemp joined his Manchester side in 2018 after scoring nine goals in 24 appearances for former club Bristol City.
She has been influential for Man City over the past year, winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the third time in her career for her performances last season.
Hemp is considered one of the most exciting prospects in English women’s football, with its pace and driving races making it a nightmare for full-backs.
Kim Little (Arsenal)
After joining Arsenal from Seattle Reign FC in January 2017, Little returned to the club for which she played between 2008 and 2013.
The Arsenal captain has an incredibly impressive resume, winning a total of twenty-two trophies over an illustrious career, reaching over 200 appearances for Arsenal in 2020, and is a member of Arsenal’s 100 club.
Before stepping down from her international duties, the 31-year-old scored 59 goals in 140 appearances for Scotland and also helped her home country qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, her first appearance in world final.