Carli Lloyd proudly displays her No. 10 jersey that she will wear for Manchester City. (Photo courtesy of Manchester City)
By Michael Lewis
Front Row Soccer Editor
Carli Lloyd became the third high-profile U.S. women’s player to sign with an English club, joining the Manchester City Women’s Football Club Wednesday.
The two-time reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year will play with Man City in its spring season, the F.A. Women’s Cup and UEFA Women’s Champions League matches.
Lloyd, 34, will begin training with the team early next month following the She Believes Cup in the United States and will feature in Manchester City’s UEFA Women’s Champions League quarterfinal against Danish side Fortuna Hjorring.
Current U.S. international Crystal Dunn of Rockville Centre, N.Y. (Chelsea) and ex-national team player Heather O’Reilly (Arsenal) will play in England for the rest of the year. Orlando Pride and U.S. international forward Alex Morgan, who signed with French club Lyon in December, can return to the NWSL this year.
“I’m incredibly excited to be joining Manchester City, a club which is leading the development of women’s football both on and off the pitch,” Lloyd said in a statement. “Having played in the U.S. throughout my career, the chance to fulfil a long-held ambition to test myself in a new footballing environment, as well as playing in the Champions League, is something I am relishing.
“With the challenge of the Spring Series and the F.A. Women’s Cup ahead of us, too, I really can’t wait to pull on my City shirt in front of our fans and make them proud.”
While no announcement was made regarding her future after playing in England, Lloyd can return home to play for the Houston Dynamo of the National Women’s Soccer League in the summer.
But first things first. Lloyd must concentrate on playing for Manchester City, which captured the 2016 Women’s Super League title and FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup. The Blues were so dominant that they finished undefeated in the league and broke domestic women’s soccer attendance records.
“We are a successful team but a young team too, having only entered the Women’s Super League three years ago, so adding players to our squad with substantial experience is crucial to our development,” head coach Nick Cushing said in a statement.
“Carli has had an incredible career and is recognized as one of the best in the world. There is much we can learn from her that will help us to improve as a team. We are all looking forward to working with her over the coming months.”