Melbourne Victory coach Jeff Hopkins is hopeful American star Lynn Williams will be a late inclusion for the A-League Women title favourites' season-opener against Adelaide United.
Victory are closing in on a deal to sign Williams on loan from NWSL club North Carolina Courage, with the 28-year-old striker looming as an ideal replacement for departed goalscorer Lisa De Vanna.
Williams, who started both matches for the United States in their recent series against the Matildas, boasts 14 goals and 10 assists from 44 international appearances.
She previously spent a brief spell with Western Sydney Wanderers, scoring four goals in five games.
If a deal is ticked off in time, Williams could make her ALW return when Victory host the Reds at AAMI Park on Sunday.
"There's interest there, but nothing is done as we speak at this moment," Hopkins said.
"The player you're talking about wasn't at training (on Friday) and I'm very happy going into the game with the 18 players that we had at training.
"But I will confirm we are still trying to sign another couple of players.
"Any player that plays this weekend ... will need to be done (signed) before kick-off on Sunday."
Williams' partner - Australian basketballer and Big Brother reality television series winner Marley Biyendolo - is based in Melbourne, where he plays in the second-tier NBL1.
Williams' signing will increase expectation on a Victory side that won last season's grand final and is eyeing off the premiership-championship double this time around.
The pressure doesn't bother Hopkins, who has urged his players to embrace the hype.
"The girls have been absolutely buzzing this week and they're raring to go," he said.
"We want there to be expectation on us.
"We've come from a place four or five years ago when there was no expectation ... we wanted to move away from that and we definitely have done.
"There's a real desire within the group - from the coaching staff and board down to the players.
"We want to win things and we want to keep winning things, so our aim this year is to win the thing again."
Adelaide are the only team yet to reach the ALW finals in the competition's 13-year history and will be hungry to start well after narrowly missing out on goal difference last season.
Australian Associated Press