Cast your mind back to early July, 2019. It was post-Women’s World Cup for the Matildas and a significant part of the squad was back in the United States playing for their NWSL club teams.
While having more than 25% of the total number of waived players be Australian may seem like a lot, part of the reason is that most Matildas occupied international player spots, which are extremely valuable.
Each NWSL teams only has a certain amount of these spots for their rosters. Originally it was four per team, although some teams have traded them. Teams must then drop an international roster player should they want to bring in another one.
International players with green cards or dual citizenship do not count as taking one of these spots.
The Matildas were the second largest nation in player numbers represented in the NWSL last season, only after the USA.
Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso had green cards and Lydia Williams has dual citizenship. Their other compatriots, however, as international roster spot players, were therefore under more scrutiny than their counterparts.
It made Matildas more likely to be dropped due to their more precarious position. This is likely to have been a significant factor that led to so many not being renewed or offered new contracts this season.
While some players were dropped, others have left for opportunities abroad, while further still may choose to leave for more playing time.
At present most players kept by their clubs are regular starters. However, two players, Lydia Williams and Makenzie Arnold, are not. The NWSL is a notoriously tough league to break into as a goalkeeper due to the great keeping talent present in the US and Canada.
Both Matildas keepers spent the last season as the backup on their respective NWSL teams. Williams played one game for the Reign, Arnold did not feature at all. It is expected that both their positions will remain the same next season.
Being that Teagan Micah is currently also the backup keeper for the Melbourne Victory and was not drafted into the NWSL, this means that all three Matildas keepers may enter the Olympics without any regular club playing time if their current situation remains the same.
It is unlikely that all three would be satisfied with being the backup act at club level.
It would not be surprising if at least one, especially Matildas' number one, Williams, whose Reign FC already have too many keepers, was also to move abroad to a team that could secure them the number one spot.
So how many Matildas will be left in the NWSL next season?
With three players abroad and five players dropped, this leaves six Matildas left in the NWSL for the 2020 season.