Fresh after a historic World Cup campaign, and not too long after EA announced this would be the first FIFA game to include women's football, Steph Catley has been announced as our new local cover athlete. She'll appear alongside Lionel Messi.
This year's cover athlete was decided by popular vote, and the Matildas Left Back was chosen after a stellar defensive result against Brazil, which led an Australian team to the furthest point we've ever reached in World Cup football.
In a major addition to the amount of licensed teams, players will be able to play FIFA 16 as a slew of women's squads on release, though women's teams vs men's teams won't be allowed. The announcement comes at a time when women's football is clearly growing, with spectator figures for the World Cup beating any other sporting event at the time.
To quote Variety on US ratings:
Nielsen estimates that Sunday’s game averaged a whopping 26.7 million viewers, with 25.4 million watching the English-language telecast on Fox and another 1.3 million checking out the Spanish-language airing on Telemundo. The total audience is larger than that for every NBA Finals basketball game since 2010 and every World Series baseball game since 2004.
There's no rest for the wicked, though — after leading Melbourne Victory to a championship win and representing the Green & Gold in Canada, Catley is straight back into it and currently playing for the Portland Thorns.