The best women's player on the planet is heading to Manchester City.
Carli Lloyd, the current FIFA World Player of the Year, on Wednesday signed a deal with the FA Women's Super League club for the 2017 Spring Series, FA Women’s Cup and UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign, becoming the latest U.S. women's national player to leave the NWSL for Europe. Lloyd, however, will return to the Houston Dash at the conclusion of City's season.
“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.”
Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn recently drew headline when they left the United States' top flight for Europe. Morgan inked a half-season contract with French side Olympique Lyonnais, while Dunn reached an 18-month deal with England's Chelsea earlier this year.
Lloyd, 34, scored five goals in seven appearances for Houston in 2016. She had a pair of goals during last year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where the U.S. lost to Sweden in the quarterfinals.
Lloyd will begin training with her new team in early March following the SheBelieves Cup in the United States and will make her debut in Manchester City’s UEFA Women’s Champions League quarterfinal match against Danish side Fortuna Hjorring.
“Carli has had an incredible career and is recognized as one of the best in the world," coach Nick Cushing said. "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.”
Lloyd, a midfielder, has been named the FIFA World Player of the Year in back-to-back years.