The experience of celebrating England’s Euro 2022 victory alone in a hotel room 5,500 kilometers away has made Ebony Salmon determined to ensure she is on the pitch for the next big hit. .
Salmon, called up by Sarina Wiegman for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Luxembourg, is not a newcomer to the England squad, but the cap she won in a friendly match against Northern Ireland in February 2021 remains the only one so far.
Now the 21-year-old striker is back in a team looking to make up for the loss of record goalscorer Ellen White, whose retirement has opened the door for Salmon to claim his position as England seek the point they needs to confirm his World Cup. square.
When the Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 after extra time at Wembley to lift the Euro 2022 trophy at Wembley on July 31, Salmon was preparing for the Houston Dash game against Gotham FC in Harrison, New Jersey later in the day.
She had her own quiet celebration before heading to Red Bull Arena, where she scored the last of Houston’s goals in a 4-2 win – but the day heightened her desire to return to the international stage.
“Every footballer wants to be part of those big moments,” she said. “You want to be part of every moment leading up to it, but the end goal is those major tournaments. For me, that makes me so much more want to keep going and be part of those teams in the future.
Salmon’s only England appearance to date was for a few minutes when she came on as an 84th-minute substitute for Rachel Daly in a friendly against Northern Ireland 18 months ago.
Hege Riise was in caretaker charge that day, but Wiegman quickly got in touch after her appointment to give Salmon a clear idea of what she needed to do to return.
Salmon describes himself as a direct and quick attacker, but admits she needs to add consistency to her game. Eight goals in 14 games since joining Houston in June suggests it’s happening and has earned a return to the setup English.
“(Wiegman) told me what I needed to work on, the things she considered my strengths but also what held me back and prevented me from being part of that environment,” Salmon said of their conversation l ‘last year.
“The main thing was to get back to my club, do what I do well but do it consistently. Recently I’ve been in this form which got me this call-up.
Salmon is the only player based outside of Europe on Wiegman’s team. She went through Aston Villa before going through Manchester United, Sheffield United and Bristol City.
She packed her bags for the United States last year to join Racing Louisville, where a frustrating start to the season led to a move to Houston that paid quick dividends.
With White announcing his retirement last week, Salmon now has a chance to claim a regular spot on the national team.
“Ellen obviously did huge things for the game and great things for women’s football and to come out that high was really good for her,” Salmon said. “It leaves an open place in the squad that hasn’t been opened up the way it is now for years.
“It creates more competition. There are a lot of very good players fighting for this place. For me, if I can work on what I need to work on, being around these players at camp is only going to make me a better player.