American Arin Gilliland will likely replace injured compatriot Caprice Dydasco in the Newcastle Jets midfield after signing with the W-League outfit.
The 24-year-old Chicago Red Stars defender was called up to a US national team training camp last month and has represented her country at under-20 and under-23 level.
She plays predominantly as a fullback, but coach Craig Deans sees her as a direct swap for Dydasco, who suffered a serious knee injury playing for Washington Spirit last month.
“Once we knew we lost Caprice, we needed to replace her with a player who could bring the same attributes to the team as Caprice did, and I am more than confident that Arin will be able to achieve that,” Deans said in a club statement.
“She obviously will bring a lot of quality to the team, having just been a part of the women’s US national squad, and has also come off a successful season with Chicago.
“She will add a lot of versatility to the side as she can play in a number of positions, providing a lot of power, skill and energy.”
The athletic Gilliland arrived in Newcastle on Tuesday, joining Red Stars striker Jen Hoy in the Newcastle squad. Deans is expected to announce two more overseas signings on Wednesday.
The coach also announced on Tuesday that he had re-signed Hunter Sports High and Emerging Jets winger Ash Brodigan, who participated in a Young Matildas camp in October.
“Ash is a younger player but with plenty of potential to develop into a valuable squad member given the experience that surrounds her in the side,” Deans said.
“If she earns the opportunity to get some game time, I am sure the supporters will see her natural ability and creativity on the field.”