Carli Lloyd signed a contract with Manchester City
Carli Lloyd, the 2015 and 2016 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, became the latest U.S. national team player to head to Europe when she signed a contract with Manchester City through the FA Women’s Super League Spring Series and UEFA Women’s Champions League in June.
The move represents the latest excursion of an American star outside her comfort zone into Europe, where the number of clubs with the ambitions to rival NWSL clubs is growing but still finite. She joins Alex Morgan at French powerhouse Lyon, Crystal Dunn at Chelsea and Heather O’Reilly at Arsenal.
Carli Lloyd was on a quiet English soccer vacation in late December, taking in the sights – a game at Arsenal, two at Liverpool – when Nick Cushing, the coach of Manchester City Women, first reached out in an email.
Since you’re nearby, Cushing asked, would you like to come by for a visit – a chat with the staff, a chance to see what we’re up to here? Lloyd, the American star who has twice won the FIFA Player of the Year Award, knew Cushing had led the club to the English title. Intrigued, she carved out a day.
“Nothing was on the table,” she said. After all, she said, clubs had approached her for years – offers came from China, from Olympique Lyon in France, from other teams – “but sometimes those things don’t end up panning out.”
But these conversations continued, and on Sunday, Lloyd flew back to Manchester to put the finishing touches on a contract. She signed it Tuesday, joining Manchester City for this spring’s abbreviated F.A. Women’s Super League season. She also will represent the club in the women’s F.A. Cup and the UEFA Champions League and then will rejoin her National Women’s Soccer League team, the Houston Dash, in June for the second half of its season.
“I’ve always had the desire to play abroad,” Lloyd, 34, said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “And this is pretty much the year to do it. There’s no World Cup. There’s no Olympics. So it just made sense.”
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