Rumors are flying that Carli Lloyd has signed a deal with Manchester City in the FAWSL.
Strong possibility that Carli Lloyd, world champion & Fifa Women's Player of Year, will join @ManCityWomen. Great coup for City if she signs— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) February 10, 2017
Done some digging. As I understand it, @CarliLloyd to @ManCityWomen is happening. Deal already done. Huge statement from #MCWFC— Andrew Gibney (@Gibney_A) February 10, 2017
There’s evidently interest and conversations of consequence. But what I’ve heard is no deal as of now. @henrywinter @Gibney_A @RipSports— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 10, 2017
If so, Lloyd would join fellow US women’s national team players Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn in hopping over the pond. Dunn has joined Chelsea in the FAWSL on an 18-month contract while Morgan is more temporarily at Olympique Lyonnais, with her theoretically returning to the Orlando Pride after Champions League is over.
No word yet on whether Lloyd would return to the Dash for part of the NWSL season, but given she and the team haven’t always seen eye to eye, it’s fair to assume she’s out of the United States club scene for 2017 should she sign with Man City.
Man City women have faced some of the same accusations of their men’s counterpart, spending oodles of dosh to gobble up talent. They finished first in the league in 2016 and will soon enter their Spring Series, a short season to help FAWSL transition from a summer to a winter season. The Spring Series runs from April 22 to June 3.
Once again that theoretically leaves Lloyd able to pop back to NWSL for the back half of the season, but with WNT negotiations with USSF over their new collective bargaining agreement (which would also govern their deals with clubs) not on the most solid ground at the moment, perhaps Lloyd sees it as a good time to get paid (and there is no doubt Man City can pay), play with some good talent, and wait for the dust to settle.
NWSL was always going to have to see if it could stand on its own two legs without some big names. Perhaps it feels a bit soon to test out that notion, but with a big multi-year broadcast/sponsorship deal freshly inked, perhaps things aren’t as wobbly as they could be.