Manchester City Women’s FC officially announced the signing of Carli Lloyd for the 2017 Spring Series, FA Women’s Cup and UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign on Wednesday.
Formerly known as Manchester City Ladies FC, the club was founded in 1988 by City in the Community. In the 25 years since then, their affiliation with the men’s team has taken various forms, culminating in the statement of a formal partnership with Manchester City in August 2012. The club granted entry to the FA Women’s Super League in April 2013 and subsequently re-launched as Manchester City Women’s Football Club in January 2014.
“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,” said Lloyd in a club press release. “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 FA 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.”
The high-profile signing, reported on last week by SoccerWire.com, marks another U.S. Women’s National Team star testing the waters in Europe. Similar to her U.S. teammate Alex Morgan‘s stint with French side Olympique Lyon, it’s a brief arrangement, however.
With the WSL switching from a spring-fall to the traditional English fall-spring league schedule this year, the next full campaign begins in August, so the league has created the truncated Spring Series as a one-off stopgap. Lloyd is only spending the spring with Man City, and will return to the National Women’s Soccer League’s Houston Dash in the summer.
Manchester City Women celebrated double success by winning the Women’s Super League Title and FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup, in a season where the team remained undefeated throughout the League campaign, and continued to break domestic attendance records in the women’s game.
Lloyd will begin training with her new squad in early March following the She Believes Cup in the United States, and will feature in Manchester City’s UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter final tie against Danish side Fortuna Hjorring.
“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,” Man City Women’s coach Nick Cushing said.
“Carli has had an incredible career and is recognised 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.”