#WCW: Kelley O’Hara

The World Cup is around the corner with the USWNT looking to defend their title in France. Jill Ellis continues to tinker with her starting XI leading up to the competition and nothing seems to be set in stone. One of the more important positions she’s been unable to fill is right back in large part due to the health of this week’s WCW. As this former Stanford star gets herself back to full fitness, she could be Jill Ellis’ best option as USWNT camp approaches. This week’s WCW is the passionate and fiery Kelley O’Hara.

Kelley O’Hara has been one of the more versatile players for the USWNT since she entered the professional ranks in 2010. During her college days, O’Hara was the best striker in the country for the Stanford Cardinal.

Despite coming up just short against North Carolina at the 2009 College Cup, she was awarded the Hermann Trophy as the best player in college soccer.

O’Hara was a part of the WPS with FC Gold Pride before moving to the Boston Breakers. Eventually, that league would fold and she found a new home with Sky Blue FC.

Although,  O’Hara was originally a striker, her coaches noticed that she’s more than capable of playing multiple positions. During her time with SBFC, she played a little bit each position as a right-back, forward and center midfielder.

Based on the level of versatility that O’Hara has displayed, it’s no surprise she keeps getting included into USWNT camps despite her injuries. After ankle surgery in October, it’s been a long road back for O’Hara but she’s seen the field for at least 30 minutes in some of the USA’s most recently friendlies.

O’Hara has been involved with every single USWNT youth squad, she’s been among the best players from the beginning of her soccer career. Even now, she’s still heavily involved with the team ahead of the World Cup.

The since converted right-back has started to see playing time for the Utah Royals as well which is a great sign ahead of the World Cup. Jill Ellis certainly has options as to who she could play at that right-back position. Crystal Dunn has seen the most amount of time in that spot recently and Ali Krieger seems healthy as well.

However, if Kelley O’Hara can show Jill Ellis that she’s capable of going 60 to 70 minutes in a game with her ankle, her presence on the pitch cannot be understated. O’Hara provides a different kind of leadership and passion at that position, she simply will not allow anyone she’s defending to have anything easy. Her overall toughness and willingness to do whatever is necessary for the team makes her indispensable and it’d be crazy to think she’s not going with the USWNT to the World Cup. Everyone is hoping that O’Hara can get back to full strength because she’s going to have to be a factor if the United States want to defend their title.



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