An hour before the Perth Glory take the field for their final home game of the season in Australia’s W-League, the line to enter the Dorrien Gardens soccer complex stretches to the end of the block. Outside the entrance, volunteers in purple shirts sell tickets to the game at a plastic folding table: $15 for adults, $5 for kids. As fans flow into the venue, they greet their neighbors and post up around the chain-link fence that borders the field.
The 1,212 fans—the most to attend a Glory home game since the league launched in 2008—are here, crammed into this tiny stadium, for their last chance to see their star: Glory captain Samantha Kerr, the most prolific goal scorer on two continents and Perth’s hometown hero. “I don’t think she’ll be back next year,” says Harry Ray, a longtime fan who arrived early with his wife and young son to snag seats in the stands. “I’m just enjoying her being here now. I can’t believe I get to watch someone this good in person. Sam is a level above.”
Kerr, who also plays for the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL, is Australia’s first women’s soccer superstar. She outearns the rest of the Glory roster combined and, including endorsements, is the highest-paid women’s soccer player in the country. When she signed a Nike deal in March, the media dubbed her the “millionaire Matilda,” a nod to the official nickname of Australia’s women&