Strong rumors were flying late last leek that Carli Lloyd had signed a deal with Manchester City in the FAWSL, rumors which were confirmed today.
I can confirm that Carli Lloyd will sign a short-term deal with Manchester City and return to Dash in June. She is in England now.— Corey Roepken (@RipSports) February 14, 2017
And the announcement will be tomorrow. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard she turned down offers from China and Lyon. https://t.co/4tzF9W8uBK— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 14, 2017
Lloyd joins players like Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan, and Heather O’Reilly in hopping to Europe, though she and Morgan should be returning to their NWSL teams mid-season.
Manchester City is currently vying for a Champions League title, with quarterfinals to be played late in March. The final will be June 1 at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
With the women’s national team finally relaxing a little bit between World Cup/Olympic cycles and USSF not pushing so hard for NT players to stay domestic, it was to be expected that some of them would stretch their legs. Though some fans may take the departure of Lloyd, Dunn, Morgan, and even O’Reilly as a signal of NWSL’s decline, this day was always going to come. NWSL and its clubs need to be able to stand on their own two feet without having to constantly flog one or two big names. Instead, some teams will now see if they can continue to build a stable, long-term fanbase that won’t depart with one or two specific players.
Meanwhile, FAWSL’s shortened spring series begins April 22. Manchester City will have their first spring game on April 23 against Chelsea, perhaps giving fans across the pond a Lloyd vs Dunn matchup right away.