Following Melissa Barbieri's pregnancy announcement last week, two important vacancies have suddenly opened up within the Matildas squad; captain and number one goalkeeper. 
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Barbieri confident in Brianna Davey | TWG

Long serving striker Sarah Walsh and the up and coming Brianna Davey are Barbieri's picks to take on these two crucial roles. 

"At the end of the day it is up to Tommy who he decides but I would love to see Walshy [Sarah Walsh] put the armband on in my absence," said Barbieri. 

Walsh has been a fixture on the national team since her debut in 2004.  While injuries have dogged her in recent years, the last couple of months has seen her return to the national team and in June she moved to third on the all-time goal scoring list with her 30th and 31st goals for the Matildas. 

"She has given up a lot for the team and, on and off the field, I think Walshy is a great person to be wearing the armband." 

Meanwhile in an ironic twist on the goalkeeping front, the custodian will be temporarily passing on the gloves to Davey; the 'keeper who replaced her at the Melbourne Victory in last season's W-League.  However Barbieri is confident the 17 year old Victory shot stopper will be able to step into the breach.

"I am quite chuffed that I get to handball it straight to another Victorian," she smiled. 

"I have a soft spot for Breezer [Brianna Davey] and I am in no doubt whatsoever that she will do a great job against the US." 

The goalkeeping stocks of the Matildas, as with the rest of the squad, have been hit hard in the months following the World Cup.  Number two Lydia Williams ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Pitea in Sweden while number three Casey Dumont has struggled to recover from osteitis pubis.   

Add to that a spate of ACL injuries in the last 12 months to Kate Gill, Sam Kerr, Elise Kellond-Knight, Kim Carroll and, just last week, Leena Khamis and the Matildas have been forced to regenerate once again.   

Ahead of a tough US tour that will see them tackle the World No. 1, gold medal winning US Women's National Team, Barbieri believes the newest national team members will step up to the challenge. 

"We are in a new era at the moment," acknowledges Barbieri. 

"We have a lot of young Matildas coming through the ranks but I think every other player in the team will step up and do a great job."