Departures of USWNT Players from American Pro League Continues with Carli Lloyd

First it was Alex Morgan, who signed with French women’s team Lyon in January. Now the departures of United States women’s national team players from the National Women’s Soccer League continues as Carli Lloyd has left as well.

The USWNT member has joined England Women’s Super League side Manchester City – one of the world’s richest football clubs in the men’s game – ahead of the new season. Currently, Lloyd has only signed a short-term contract, meaning she could be back in the NWSL during the summer.

The move and short-term contract comes at a time when USWNT players are fighting for equal pay. It also comes when players have stated they would strike during the NWSL season if they do not see an increase in salaries.

Lloyd will not only play for Manchester City in the spring series of the WSL, but she will compete in the UEFA Women’s Champions League tournament. The team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the competition and will play Danish side Fortuna Hjorring on March 23rd and 3oth. If Manchester City can make it to the final, it will be played on June 1st in Cardiff, Wales. Lloyd would be free to return to NWSL club Houston Dash after the competition.

After signing for Manchester City, Lloyd spoke to CityTV about her excitement of playing in Europe.

“I’m thrilled to be here and I’m looking forward to starting up and meeting teammates. This is a unique opportunity and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the club here in Manchester. I’m looking forward to kicking off.”

With both Morgan and Lloyd leaving for Europe to play their club soccer, it shows that the NWSL can’t expect its players to stick around for substandard wages. Morgan has stated that the women’s team at Lyon is offered the same facilities and opportunities as the men’s team at the club. Which is far different than what the women in the NWSL receive.

For so long, it seems the women in the NWSL and USWNT have been expected to accept whatever has been given to them just so they can play in their home country. It now looks like some of the players will go abroad for the challenge and equal pay. It is also a chance for the women to choose a team to play for rather than being allocated to a side.

Both Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan have been picked for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup. The USWNT kickoff the SheBelieves Cup on Wednesday March 1st against Germany. The team will face off against England and France as well.


Drew Farmer
I am a freelance journalist and author currently living in Manchester, England. Originally from the USA, I have written about sports and travel for years.I have written for Hopeless Football Romantic magazine, The Football Pink magazine, World Soccer Talk, Sports Collectors Daily, Forza Italian Football and many more. My debut book Soccer Travels was released in spring 2016, and details travelling to soccer matches around the globe. It can be purchased on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.