U.S. Soccer's Carli Lloyd seals Manchester City move
FIFA World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd has joined Manchester City on a short-term contract.
U.S. national team captain Lloyd will play for the current FA Women's Super League champions in the 2017 Spring Series, FA Women's Cup and UEFA Women's Champions League.
The 34-year-old could stay with City until June 1 if they reach the Champions League final before returning to the National Women's Soccer League in the United States.
The signing is a major coup for City, who remained unbeaten last season as they won their first Super League title as well as the FA Women's Cup. They also reached the Champions League quarterfinals, where they will play Danish side Fortuna Hjorring in March, and Lloyd is eligible for both legs.
"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.
"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 signing of the two-time FIFA Player of the Year is a major statement from City, who have invested heavily in their women's team.
Lloyd, who scored a hat trick for United States in the 2015 World Cup final, will train at City's £200 million ($248m) state-of-the-art Etihad Campus, where Pep Guardiola coaches the men's first team.
City women's head coach Nick Cushing said: "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.
"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."
Lloyd, who has scored 96 goals in 232 appearances for United States, joined Houston Dash after the 2014 season and is expected to return to the Texas club.
As well as European competition, she will play for City in the Spring Series -- a one-off competition created to bridge the gap between seasons -- as the FAWSL moves from being a summer league to the traditional football calendar.
Two other U.S. internationals, Crystal Dunn and Heather O'Reilly, have also moved to England, with Chelsea and Arsenal, respectively.