Nick Cushing confirmed City and Republic of Ireland defender Megan Campbell is not in contention to face the North Carolina Courage.

The left-back, who signed a new contract with the Club over the summer, has travelled to the States to compete in the International Champions Cup but manager Cushing revealed she is not yet fully fit to take part in Wednesday’s semi-final clash against the tournament hosts.

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Speaking at a press conference at WakeMed Soccer Park, Cushing also delivered an update on England stars Karen Bardsley and Ellen White, who were unable to travel due to injury.

“Ellen White and Karen Bardsley haven’t travelled,” he stated.

Megan Campbell isn’t ready yet. She’s here but she’s rehabbing.

“Ellen’s was an unfortunate injury but not too bad. It’s one we’ll monitor and we hope she’ll be back as soon as possible.

"Apart from that, everyone else is here and ready, and everyone is excited for the game.”

With Ellie Roebuck the only available goalkeeper in the squad currently, Cushing also explained the Club are assessing back-up options.


                        Team news: Cushing delivers squad update

“We’ve got Ellie Roebuck and our Academy goalkeeper Emma Bradley,” he added. “We’re actively looking to recruit a goalkeeper and we will do for the start of the season.

“We have huge confidence in Ellie and the good thing for the Club is that for the last two seasons, we’ve been exposing her to Champions League football and the high level in the FA Women’s Super League, which means she’s ready to play.

“The squad looks good. We’re happy with the players we’ve brought in.

“We know that we wanted to strengthen the right full-back area and we’ve brought in Matilde Fidalgo to add some real attacking prowess there.

“Over the pre-season, we’ve played Aoife Mannion there too so we have some good options and good competition.

“Lee Geum-min from South Korea also gives us some attacking prowess, and Tyler Toland is a young player.

“We wanted to make sure we have a squad that could compete in the WSL and we know the players we have added can compete in the WSL, like Laura Coombs.”

Previewing City’s WICC opener against the Courage, Cushing asserted he is relishing the chance to test the squad against a team he deems the best in America.


                        Team news: Cushing delivers squad update

With Lyon or Atletico awaiting in either the Final or Third-Place encounter, the City boss also believes the tournament provides excellent preparation for the new season with his side set to face Champions League opposition, who have proved challenging opponents in the past.

“The initial focus is to prepare the team for the start of the WSL,” he said.

“Of course, these are Champions League level games and we had two incredible games against Atletico last year. They are the best team in Spain and Lyon are Lyon – the best team in Europe.

“We came here last year and we didn’t get the opportunity to play the Courage. We’re really keen to play them. Playing US opposition is a new experience for us.

“We’ve watched the league and the Courage and we know their assets – they’re strong and the best team in America currently.

“We’re excited to play them. It’s the pre-season we need. Whoever we play will be a test for us. We have to make sure we prepare well so it’s a positive experience, moving forward.

“Games like this prepare us well. These games are harder than any WSL game we will play.

“It’s fantastic preparation and it gives us an insight. This tournament gives us the opportunity to show and evaluate where we’re at.

"It puts players’ minds onto the Champions League too, especially knowing the draw is on Friday and the first game is coming around the corner.

“It’s essential to have the opportunity to use the facilities here at WakeMed Soccer Park – they’re incredible.

“We have the opportunity to play against two strong teams but we have to be realistic – it’s our second week of pre-season and things will not be perfect. We don’t expect that.

“It’s a lot hotter than it is in Manchester! We’re enjoying the heat and the weather.

“We have to make sure it’s a positive experience for us – no matter what the outcome – and make sure we’re ready."

City kick-off the 2019/20 Super League campaign with a mouth-watering Manchester Derby, hosting Manchester United on Saturday 7 September at 3pm at the Etihad Stadium in the first encounter between the sides since the league was formed. Tickets are available and kids go FREE – don’t miss out!