Dominant Glory swat City aside
Bruno Fornaroli scored against his former club and Tomislav Mrcela grabbed his first Hyundai A-League goal as Glory returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Melbourne City at AAMI Park.
The Uruguayan, facing City for the first time since heading west earlier this year, headed home just before the half-hour mark and Glory's lead was doubled early in the second half when Harrison Delbridge diverted Greg Wuthrich's shot into his own net.
Mrcela duly made it 3-0, heading home Neil Kilkenny's pinpoint cross to add further gloss to a dominant display from the men in black and consign City to their first home defeat in over 12 months.
The win, their second on the road this season, took Glory into the top six of the Hyundai A-League ladder ahead of the rest of the weekend's games.
In-form City striker Jamie Maclaren provided the first goalmouth action of the game when he flicked Javier Cabrera's cross over the crossbar, before Diego Castro was similarly off-target at the other end having latched on to a scuffed clearance from Dean Bouzanis.
Glory were not to be denied in the 27th minute, however, as Fornaroli struck to give them the lead.
Juande's effort from the edge of the box looped into the air after taking a deflection and as it came down, Fornaroli out-muscled Delbridge to nod into the far corner.
James Meredith's cross was then nearly pushed into his own net by the rattled Bouzanis as Glory continued to ask questions of the City defence in the latter stages of the first half.
The visitors began the second half in the same vein and doubled their lead within three minutes of the re-start.
A deft touch from the impressive Neil Kilkenny allowed Castro to pull the ball back to the edge of the box for Wuthrich and the Swiss defender's low, angled drive was deflected into his own net via the post by Delbridge.
19 minutes from time the points were made safe as Mrcela rose highest in a crowded box to head powerfully past Bouzanis.
City could muster little in response in the latter stages, other than a well-struck effort from Connor Metcalfe which found the net but was ruled out for offside.
Melbourne City 0 Perth Glory 3 (Fornaroli 27', Delbridge o.g. 48', Mrcela 71')
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick
Assistant Referee 2: George Lakrindis
Fourth Official: Lachlan Keevers
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Melbourne City: 23.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 2.Scott GALLOWAY (13.Nathaniel ATKINSON 78'), 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 6.Josh BRILLANTE (20.Adrian LUNA 72'), 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Javier CABRERA (19.Lachlan WALES 61'), 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 11.Craig NOONE, 22.Curtis GOOD, 34.Connor METCALFE
Substitutes not used: 1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 17.Denis GENREAU, 40.Richard WINDBICHLER, 49.Stefan COLAKOVSKI
Yellow Cards: Jamieson
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI (20.Jake BRIMMER 87'), 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (7.Joel CHIANESE 73'), 27.JUANDE, 88.Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jacob TRATT, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC
Yellow Cards: Juande
Red Cards: None
Rigby named as new Glory Westfield W-League skipper
Rigby named as new Glory Westfield W-League skipper
Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that Natasha Rigby has been appointed the club's new captain for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season.
The 26-year-old defender takes over the armband from Sam Kerr who confirmed her move to English club Chelsea on Wednesday.
Rigby, who hails originally from Margaret River, has made 39 appearances for Glory since debuting in 2016 and is thrilled by the prospect of leading her home-state side.
"It is an incredible honour and I am still pinching myself," she said.
"We have such a beautiful team and I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for this opportunity.
"It is absolutely heartbreaking to lose Sammy (Kerr), but she has an ocean of opportunities ahead of her and we will be cheering her on from afar.
"They are huge shoes to fill, but I have learned a lot from her over the last few years and I just want to focus on doing my part for the team.
"All I can do is lead by example, wear my heart on my sleeve and motivate the team to come together and do their best.
"We have some amazingly experienced players like Kim Carroll and Shannon May, so it will be vital to draw on their knowledge and expertise as well.
"We have a talented young team, everyone is very respectful, motivated and eager to make their mark and I'm looking forward to the season ahead."
Head Coach Bobby Despotovski, meanwhile, is confident that Rigby will prove to be an inspirational leader for what is a young squad.
"Tash came in as a State League pick-up and has never missed a beat since," he said.
"She's bubbly, team-orientated, takes everything in her stride and will do everything in her powers to lead the team.
"She's a very happy, positive person and we need someone like that to help take our younger players to the next level."
Those sentiments were echoed by Perth Glory CEO, Tony Pignata.
"Natasha has been a key member of our Westfield W-League squad on and off the field ever since she joined the club in 2016," he said.
"She has developed into an accomplished player and leader and someone who represents Glory’s core values superbly through her words and actions.
"She thoroughly deserves this honour and will lead our playing group with pride, distinction and a smile on her face."
Perth Glory Media Release: Romero returns for more Glory
Romero returns for more Glory
Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that defender Arianna Romero has joined the club for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season (subject to international clearance).
The Mexican international is no stranger to Glory members and fans having spent the 2016/17 season with the club, during which she made 14 appearances as Bobby Despotovski's side reached the Grand Final.
A resolute, ball-playing centre-back, Romero boasts extensive experience in the US National Women's Soccer League with both Washington Spirit and Houston Dash and has also plied her trade in Iceland and Norway.
Now 27, she cannot wait to return to Glory and help the club in its efforts to emulate last year's successful campaign.
"When I was in Perth two years ago, I felt as though we made a lot of strides as a team and I evolved as a defender," she said.
"I’m looking forward to getting back to work, reuniting with my teammates, coaches and fans and working towards our goal of bringing a championship to Perth.
"With a lot of new talent coming through the W-League this season, I personally can’t wait to compete and work everyday to reach our goals.
"I’ve been itching to get back to soccer after a short off-season, so I can’t wait to meet the squad and to get the season started."
Glory Head Coach Bobby Despotovski is thrilled to have a player of Romero's experience and ability at his disposal once again.
"Ari knows our system, the majority of our players and absolutely loves Perth," he said, "so she is a great fit.
"She is second to none in the stability she brings at centre-back and we know what she can deliver in terms of passing out from the back.
"Ari is also a natural leader, which will be especially important in what is a young group this year."
Perth Glory Media Release: Kerr departure confirmed
Kerr departure confirmed
Perth Glory would like to confirm that Sam Kerr will not be returning to the club for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season.
The 26-year-old, who skippered the side to last season’s Grand Final and claimed the W-League Golden Boot for a second successive year, has opted to sign for English FA Women's Super League club, Chelsea.
Since debuting in 2008, the Fremantle local has played 71 W-League games in the famous purple and scored a remarkable 57 goals.
Glory Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata was quick to acknowledge the huge contribution made by Kerr to the club and wish her all the very best for the future.
“Sam has been an incredible player for Glory on the field and a superb ambassador off it,” he said.
“She has played a huge role in lifting the profile of women’s football to an unprecedented level both here in WA and across Australia.
“We hope that she may return to the club at some point in the future, but for now would like to thank her sincerely for all efforts and wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.
“I’m sure that everyone associated with Perth Glory will continue to follow Sam’s career closely and celebrate her remarkable achievements.”
Kerr herself, meanwhile, expressed her gratitude to Glory on Twitter.
"It's been amazing to represent my home town for so long and a huge honour to captain the club," she said.
"The support from Perth has always been unbelievable.
"Thank you to Tony Sage and his family for believing in me and the team.
"Bobby (Despotovski) has been a huge support to me and I will miss our friendship more than anything.
"To my Glory teammates, we share a special bond and I will miss you girls tremendously!"
Glory land versatile forward Thomas
Glory land versatile forward Thomas
Perth Glory is delighted to confirm that American striker Crystal Thomas has joined the club for the Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season (subject to international clearance).
The versatile 25-year-old made 13 appearances for Washington Spirit in the US National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) last season, scoring three goals as the D.C. side recorded a fifth-place finish.
Originally from Illinois, Thomas is a Georgetown University graduate who has previously tasted European football with Valur in Iceland and Medkila II in Norway.
And the former US Under-20 and Under-23 international cannot wait to make her Westfield W-League debut in the famous purple.
"I think this move to Perth Glory will allow me to play for a club that is dedicated to success," she said.
"The players, staff and fans are all committed and I am looking forward to playing with the team and for Head Coach Bobby Despotovski and interacting with our fans.
"I’m excited to work to score goals and help the team win; my objective is to help the team win in every way possible.
"I know other players that have competed for Perth Glory and they hold the club in high esteem.
"I am excited to follow in their footsteps as we compete this season.
"I’m extremely excited to join the team and get the season started!"
Despotovski, meanwhile, is confident that Thomas will help provide a cutting edge to his side's attack this year.
"Crystal is a forward who will really suit whichever system we play," he said.
"She can operate as a target and hold the ball up, or play off the shoulder and get in behind and is the kind of player who can help educate the younger players that we have in our squad this season."
Further player signing announcements will be made in the very near future.