That's right, Dash fans. Get excited because the club announced Thursday that U.S. Women's International and Western New York Flash midfielder extraordinaire Carli Lloyd would be joining the ranks for the 2015 NWSL season.
It's hard to not be aware of who Lloyd is, especially if you follow the NWSL and USWNT. The 32-year-old Delran, New Jersey native had very successful high school and college soccer careers. In college, she started 18 of 20 games with Rutgers and was named the 2004 Big East Midfielder of the Year. She was the first to Rutgers female player to earn First-Team All-Big East honors four times during her time with the team (2001 - 2004). When her college career ended, she finished her senior season with 10 goals and one assist, making her Rutgers' all-time leader in points (117) and goals (50). Her list of college honors also includes being a three-time NSCAA All-American who was also a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy and being ranked first in career shots at Rutgers.
Her debut in professional soccer was in 2009, when she was allocated to the Chicago Red Stars for the first Women's Professional Soccer league season. She played 16 games with Chicago, starting 14 of them, and notching two goals and one assist. In 2010, she went back to her roots and signed with her home state Sky Blue FC during the offseason. However, she would only play five games for Sky Blue after suffering a broken ankle early in the 2010 season. She would return to play in the last two matches.
The Atlanta Beat would acquire Lloyd in 2011. There, she would play 800 minutes in 10 games, starting eight of them. During her time there, she would grab two goals during the season. She was allocated to Western New York Flash in 2013 for the NWSL season. Lloyd would miss a few games due to injury, but came back to finish a great year: scoring eight regular season goals, tying for third in the league with four other players, and netting both goals in the 2-0 playoff semifinal win against Sky Blue FC which would send the Flash to the first NWSL championship game.
During the 2014 season, she started 19 games for the Flash and was ranked in the Top 10 in the NWSL in goals (8), assists (5), shots (61) and shots on goal (33).
Internationally, her list of achievements could keep us here all day. She has a total of 179 cps with the women's team as of today. In 2013, she tied and then passed Julie Foudy to become the top scorer in USWNT history for a player that has played exclusively in the midfield. This year, she has become the ninth player in U.S. history to score 50 or more goals.
We could go on for days talking about her goals and achievements with U.S. Soccer. Some of her highlights include: being on the short list for the FIFA World Player of the Year and being a candidate for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year in 2012; being named to the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2013; U.S. Soccer Player of the Year in 2008 and the Algarve Cup MVP and Top Goal Scorer in 2007.
It's pretty safe to say that Lloyd is one of the best center midfielders in the world. Her passing is lethal, her ability to move the ball through the center of the field is fantastic and her long shots are down right scary amazing. For a team like the Dash, who have been struggling to find the right set up for their midfield, Lloyd could provide that key. Not only in helping to work the ball through the midfield, but to get deadly shots on goal.