American-born striker Kyra Carusa (pronounced ‘Key-ra Car-ush-a’) has received FIFA international clearance to link up with the Republic of Ireland Women’s Senior Team.
The 24-year-old will join Vera Pauw’s squad this weekend as they kick-start preparations for two UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifiers against Greece (March 5) and Montenegro (March 11).
Last week Vera Pauw revealed that the FAI were awaiting the international clearance for three players who were given Irish passports.
Carusa is eligible to qualify to play for Ireland through grandparents. On her mother’s side, Tony Lucey and Beryl Lucey are from Cork and Laois respectively. Carusa had been keen to secure her Irish passport to make herself eligible for potential selection at international level.
“I first learned of interest from Ireland when I was about 16 years old. At the time, I had no sense of the process of declaring for Irish citizenship,” Carusa told FAI.ie
“As I played through college, I knew that I wanted to play at the highest national team level. In my graduate year of college, I started the process of attaining Irish citizenship.”
With the help of Dave Nolan, her Irish-born coach at Georgetown University, she was able to reach out to Pauw, who underwent scouting research on the talented forward before issuing a first call-up.
Carusa spent three years at Stanford University, tallying 25 goals and 21 assists in 69 matches before finishing her college eligibility at Georgetown University, scoring 10 goals and 12 assists in 25 games.
Carusa is currently undergoing pre-season with Danish side HB Koge – which included a brace in last Tuesday’s win over FC Nordsjaelland – having previously scored four goals in three games for French club Le Havre.
The San Diego native is excited to meet up with her new team-mates and get the chance to impress Pauw in training in order to do enough to make the final squad.
“It is incredibly humbling,” she revealed. “Not only to be considered for a call-up but to have the opportunity to represent Ireland on a global stage.
“It means the world to both my family and I. I am thankful to my grandparents and proud to play for the country my familial roots began in.
“I hope to be able to play for Ireland and help the team establish a dominance in international play like never before. I believe the players are talented enough to do so and it is our time to showcase this.”
The Ireland players will report into camp on Saturday, February 29 and begin preparations for their two qualifiers, with the squad set to be cut back to 23 players.