Manchester City women strike gold, land US national team star Carli Lloyd

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Carli Lloyd /

Carli Lloyd, the best player in the world, will join Manchester City on loan in March for a spell that could last until June.

In April, Carli Lloyd will wear a different shade of blue — the regal blue of Manchester City.

The 34-year-old United States national team talisman joins the City women on loan in March as they prepare for the Spring Series, FA Women’s Cup and continuation of their UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign, according to NBC Sports. She signed a deal with the Blues on Tuesday.

Lloyd could stay until June 1, the date of the UCL final, provided manager Nick Cushing’s squad advances to that stage of the competition.

Related Story: Manchester City women reach UCL quarterfinals

There’s a good shot that they will. City went undefeated in the Super League last season, securing the title. Adding a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and FIFA World Player of the Year recipient in Lloyd only improves the debutante club’s chances.

Furthermore, her accomplishments and accolades don’t stop there. As per NBC, she has 96 goals in more than 232 caps for the U.S. Her six goals in the 2015 World Cup earned her both the Silver Boot and Golden Ball as the tournament’s superlative player. The most memorable of these goals was an unforgettable hat trick in the final against Japan, leading the U.S. to its third World Cup crown. She is the only player to record three goals in a World Cup final since England’s Geoff Hurst’s legendary performance in the 1966 against West Germany.

She boasts a lethal cocktail of power, aggression and ruthlessness that no defense wants to swallow. Lloyd will force them anyway — that’s how dominant she is. And now all that belongs to City for three months.

Thank Cushing for the initiative to reach out to Lloyd while she was vacationing in England. In an email, he invited the attacking midfielder to visit, reports The New York Times. And it worked.

Lloyd, who has been fielding offers from China and France for years, decided she wanted something different as the twilight of her resplendent career draws near.

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“I’ve always had the desire to play abroad,” Lloyd told The Times. “And this is pretty much the year to do it. There’s no World Cup. There’s no Olympics. So it just made sense.

“I have three years left to play, and I just think this is a very unique opportunity for me to take.”

Her decision provides a unique opportunity for City too: Winning a treble to cap a milestone season. Hopefully, Cushing and company take full advantage.

As both The Times and NBC note, Lloyd isn’t the only prominent U.S. women’s player to try her fortunes away from the National Women’s Soccer League. Recently, striker Alex Morgan moved to Olympique Lyon. Other fellow national team players Heather O’Reilly (Arsenal) and Crystal Dunn (Chelsea) will also play in England.

But Lloyd is the supreme catch here. The coup of the Houston Dash’s No. 10 should generate marvelous results for City.

Next: Manchester City Injury Report: Who’s fit for FA Cup action against Hudderfield Town?