Matildas midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight is in football limbo, and it’s all because of a weird “discovery” system that is used in the US.
Kellond-Knight was hopeful of making a smooth transition into America’s National Women’s Soccer League after parting ways with German club Turbine Potsdam late last year.
But her dreams of linking up with Seattle Reign were thrown into disarray when she was told that she had already been “discovered” by North Carolina.
Unbeknown to Kellond-Knight and most of Australia’s other topline talent, America’s professional soccer league uses a “discovery” system that allows clubs to spot talent and effectively “dibs” them.
This can happen with the player having no idea they have been “discovered”.
If that player ever decides to join the American League, they are forced to link up with the team that “discovered” them.
The situation has left Kellond-Knight in limbo, with the 27-year-old still desperate to link up with Seattle, but unsure if it will eventuate.
“I was put on a discovery list without me knowing, without my manager knowing, without anyone knowing really,” Kellond-Knight said.
“And then when I tried to enter the league and sign a contract I was prevented from doing so, because I was on a discovery list with another team.
“It seems a bit strange, but that’s how they run the league. It ended up being a messy circumstance.
“It’s a lesson I’ve learnt. It’s a lesson that Australians have learnt within the team.”
Kellond-Knight hopes the situation will be sorted out within the next few weeks.
If her planned move to Seattle falls through, her plan B will be link up with a European club during the July transfer window.
But for now, Kellond-Knight is putting her focus on leading the Matildas to Asian Cup glory.
Kellond-Knight is set to feature in next Monday’s friendly against Thailand in Perth, before the team flies out to Jordan for the Asian Cup.
If the Matildas finish in the top five at the eight-team Asian Cup, they will also secure qualification for next year’s World Cup.