Around 46, according to College Matildas, still play in the top three tiers of NCAA college football, which gives promising young would-be Matildas the best chance to enter the NWSL.

The latest two of these, former Adelaide United midfielder Lara Kirkby and Tasmanian NPL powerhouse Madison Chambers, fresh from 18 goals in her last 20 appearances, only left this month for Alabama and Oregon respectively.


Two young Aussies buck the Euro trend for USA

With all the talk of the 36 and counting Aussie women plying their trade in Europe, it's easy to forget that a huge amount of talented up and comers still play in the US college system.


Mastrantonio on Matildas ambition and 'the skill of Pirlo's pinky toe'

The Maestro herself, Ella Mastrantonio talking about replicating the skill of Andrea Pirlo's toes has to be one of the most egregious understatement of all time. However, it does give you a sense of how the former W-League and Matildas star got so damn good.


Grace Maher's 360: Giants to Iceland and back again

Grace Maher has had a rather peculiar few years to end up back where it all began, at Canberra United for the upcoming W-League season.

Unlike European contracts, the US college system offers talented young women the chance to have the best of both worlds as they balance a sterling academic schedule at some of the world's best universities with the chance for a professional football career.

Moves like these are increasingly against the grain however, with Australian women leaving for Europe younger than ever, many after just a handful of W-League appearances.

With more top talent leaving Australia for Europe, the places at W-League clubs have also never been more open to up-and-coming talent like these two than ever before.

But while the USA may now be a slightly less attractive destination than it once was, the NWSL remains one the second best league in the world, and still only just behind the WSL thanks to the recent departures of several USWNT icons.

It's a reminder that while the W-League has always been crucial, in many ways, the NWSL was the league that spawned the Matildas golden generation and the Sam Kerr phenomenon; the incredible facilities, fans and coaches that have keep the USA on top of the women's football world to this day.

There is clearly a powershift occurring rapidly, to the point where even the Italian Serie A is now preferable for the promising likes of Isobel Dalton and Jacynta Galabadaarachchi to the NWSL.

However, it is interesting to note that while only a few months ago two-thirds of NWSL clubs had an Aussie on their books, not a single Australian will play in the competition this season.

If nothing else, it leaves a huge window for the massive array of Australians still competing in the US college system to spring into.

The US knows, they have big shoes to fill.


Matilda Van Egmond on England's 'unreal facilities' and 'pleasing investment'

Emily van Egmond is beginning to look every part the Matildas superstar we all know in her first Women's Super League season at West Ham United.


England's (other) Aussie trio 'have to embrace' relegation challenge

Women's Super League minnows Brisol City have two Matildas and one of Australia's best female coaches leading the line, but even that may not save them.


Young Matildas star swaps England for Italian giants

Young Matildas star forward Jacynta Galabadaarachchi has signed for Serie A giants Napoli from Women's Super League side West Ham United.


Matildas 'world's best left back' wants to fix Arsenal's weakness

Matildas defender Steph Catley is now widely considered to be the world's best left back, a title she inherited from US star Meghan Klingenberg. With that title comes serious responsibility.