Carli Lloyd signs short-term deal with Manchester City

Lloyd becomes the third prominent American to sign with an FAWSL team this offseason.

Carli Lloyd is the third-big name American to head to the FAWSL. Manchester City on Wednesday announced the signing of Lloyd, who will play for the team this spring on a short-term deal.

Lloyd, the two-time reigning world player of the year, will play for the team in the new FAWSL Spring Series, which runs from April 22 to June 3. She is eligible to play in the FA Cup and the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Manchester City will face Fortuna Hjorring in the Champions League quarterfinals next month, with a potential semifinal against Lyon and fellow American Alex Morgan – also in Europe on a short-term deal – looming.

“I’m always looking for different challenges,” Lloyd said in a statement. “I always want to continue to get better and look for ways where I am going to be able to push my game. Coming here and being part of City is going to do that.”

Lloyd joins Americans Heather O’Reilly and Crystal Dunn in making the move to the FAWSL this offseason. O’Reilly joined Arsenal on an 18-month contract – though FC Kansas City remains optimistic that she will return at some point – and Dunn signed with Chelsea through 2018.

Manchester City is the reigning FAWSL champion, and continues to spend on big-name players, from English internationals Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Toni Duggan, to Swedish attacking talent Kosovare Asllani and now Lloyd.

“Seeing the facilities and the organization and dealing with Nick Cushing, [I’ve found] there’s just a great philosophy in place,” Lloyd said. “When you add in Champions League and all of these other unbelievable events, it’s hard not to want to come.”

The Houston Dash say that Lloyd will return in June.

“Carli and I spoke this weekend and she informed me of an opportunity to play for Manchester City as they chase a Champions League trophy,” Dash coach Randy Waldrum said in a statement. “It will involve her missing the first part of the NWSL season with her returning to the Dash in early June. I’m disappointed that she will not be with the team as we start the season, but I wished her all the best with her decision. Our team is not built around any one player, so nothing will change with regards to our goals and expectations for our team.”

NWSL contracts for U.S. internationals are held through the U.S. Soccer Federation and not the individual NWSL teams. U.S. Soccer and the women’s national team players still have not come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, though U.S. co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn told FourFourTwo earlier this month that she’s optimistic a deal will get done before the season begins in mid-April.