Logarzo happy to buck Matildas' Euro trend

Chloe Logarzo is bucking the trend of Matildas making their mark in Europe - turning her back on England in favour of a return to America's NWSL.

CHLOE LOGARZO.
CHLOE LOGARZO. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images

Chloe Logarzo has never been afraid to take her own path - even if it leaves her on a different continent to the rest of her Matildas teammates.

Logarzo was the second Matilda after Sam Kerr to head to England's Women's Super League when she signed for Bristol City on a one-and-a-half year deal in January 2020.

But the COVID-19 pandemic's massive effect on England plus Bristol's struggles as a relegation battler proved debilitating.

So when new NWSL club Kansas City offered the 26-year-old a three-year deal, Logarzo jumped at it.

"I have moved around clubs for so long and I've played in Sweden and Norway and America and I've played one season here and one season there," Logarzo told AAP.

"I've never really been at a club where I've been able to be grounded. When this opportunity came for me to come to the US and have a deal that was longer than a year, it made me think.

"We've got the World Cup in 2023 - to have three years to build up to the World Cup at home, this is an opportunity I can't pass up.

"I'd like to be at a club that's just started and be able to grow with it and mature as a player and feel valued within a club."

Much has been made of the Matildas' "exodus" from the W-League and NWSL to clubs across Europe - especially the FAWSL.

But new Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has encouraged his charges to play in leagues that maximise their skill sets and get the best out of them - provided they're getting the high-quality minutes required to perform at international level.

For hard-running Logarzo, that's the NWSL - especially now the American league's additional Challenge Cup tournament has extended the season through to November.

"Every player's completely different and for me I genuinely think being in a fast-paced league that's just all athletic is exactly what I need and is exactly the player I am," Logarzo said.

"So I'm going to thrive going back to the national team environment like this, knowing that my fitness level will be where it needs to be going into the national team."

While Kerr and Caitlin Foord have flourished at big clubs Chelsea and Arsenal, Logarzo's difficult time at Bristol - she scored four goals in 12 games before departing - contributed to her move.

"In the NWSL every team in the league from the bottom to the top is good - competitive. The UK's getting a lot better but the difference between the bottom half of the table and the top half of the table is so great," Logarzo said.

"But I think my view on the experience I had in the UK is also tarnished which I'm sad about because I won't get to have another experience (there).

"I can't really have an opinion on it because of COVID - everything was completely different - it was shut down and it was an absolute disaster of a season.

"... Would I learn from the decision I made? 100 per cent.

"... Do I regret it? No."

Deciding to make the move was the easy part - leaving was another matter.

Logarzo had to wait two-and-a-half months in England to get her visa sorted and spent time living on friends' couches, training by herself or in one-on-one sessions.

To top it all off, when her visa appointment was finally locked in, it came right in the middle of the Matildas' first camp since March 2020.

It meant she missed out on games against Germany and the Netherlands, and a chance to meet new coach Tony Gustavsson in person.

But now settled in the US - where her partner is from - the June window shapes as Logarzo's first involvement in the Matildas' new era and an opportunity to bring her drive to a team that shipped 10 goals across their first two games in more than a year.

"I'm excited to just get into camp - I've heard a lot about it and I would love to finally be able to pull back on the green and gold and play for my country," Logarzo said.

"It's been so long - so I can't wait."