by Kieran Yap
Chloe Logarzo (pictured above via Football Australia) has not played under Australia’s new manager, she has missed recent matches, been replaced by Amy Harrison and a major tournament approaches.
This was the scenario in 2019 before the World Cup and it is eerily similar as the Olympics approach. As it was before France selecting her for a high intensity international tournament might seem risky.
Of course 2021 is a slightly different situation. Logarzo has not only missed games through injury but has not played consistent football since leaving Bristol City in January. Prior to the World Cup she had missed four out of five Matildas games before being selected by then manager Ante Milicic.
In 2019 she was injured playing for Sydney FC in the W-League Grand Final. This time it is combination of factors that have side-lined her.
She had her move to the NWSL stalled by visa issues then suffered a hip injury that has limited her game time for Kansas City.
What is not different is that Australia as in 2019, needs Logarzo. The midfield was overrun in her absence against Germany and The Netherlands. Although there was significantly more control against Denmark and Sweden and even periods of dominance, Logarzo’s momentum altering ability was absent.
Tony Gustavssson has expressed that he values versaility in his squad. He needs his players to be able to perform in a variety of roles and be able to be tactically flexible during a game.
At different stages of her Matildas career, Logarzo has been named as part of as midfield three, on the wing in a five player formation and played in both deep and attacking roles.
She offers tireless running, defensive pressure, control in tight spaces, the eye and technique for a defense splitting pass and can score goals from midfield.
There are other players in the squad that offer some of these qualities, but possibly only the 19 year old Kyra Cooney-Cross has all of them at once and she does not have Logarzo’s experience on the big stage.
There would be few footballing scenario’s that Logarzo has not experieced. She has been part of thumping wins against Brazil and nail biting finishes against China.
She has played in tight 1-0 and 1-1 contests with Olympic opponents the U.S.A and was the catalyst for Australia’s historic comeback against Brazil in Montpellier at the World Cup.
In that game the world saw the very best of Australia’s midfield dynamo. Australia’s number six went about changing the momentum of the game, she has the ability.
She set up one goal and scored another to drag Australia from 2-0 down to a 3-2 win before striking her now iconic “Superwoman pose” to celebrate as tribute to her missing teammate Laura Brock.
Brock missed the World Cup through injury, The Matildas hung her number up in the rooms. “She’s always there with us, we never leave a player behind,” Logarzo told the Matildas website in 2019. Even if her game time is limited, her cultural impact on the squad remains huge.
Chloe Logarzo is a team player who will play any position against any opponent and make an impact. She can turn losing situations into winnable ones as she showed in France.
Gustavsson famously calls members of his squad “Game Changers” and it is a phrase that Logarzo encapsulates.
In 2021, Chloe Logarzo has not played under Australia’s new manager, she has missed recent matches and a major tournament approaches.
Is she worth the risk of taking into high pressure, high profile games?
She was made for it.