USWNT stars to leave Manchester City

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USWNT stars Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis have left Manchester City and returned to the NWSL, our partners at Sky Sports in the UK have confirmed.

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Following the end of their short-term deals at City, the U.S. stars are heading back to the NWSL.

Lavelle will head to OL Reign after she was traded by her former team the Washington Spirit before moving to City. Mewis will re-join the NC Courage.

Per report, the duo held talks about extending their stays at City beyond this summer, but they have agreed to move on from the FA Women’s Super League.

What about the other USWNT stars in WSL?

Star center back Abby Dahlkemper is now the only USWNT player left at City (she signed a contract until the summer of 2023 when arriving in January) while the future for USWNT attacking duo Tobin Heath and Christen Press at Manchester United remains to be seen.

Reports have suggested that Press and Heath could also head back to the NWSL.

The WSL has been a fun league to watch this season, especially for USWNT fans with Rose, Mewis, Dahlkemper, Heath, Press and briefly Alex Morgan all playing in England’s top-flight.

But with England in a serious lockdown for most of the time these USWNT players were competing in the WSL, they probably didn’t get the full experience of living abroad.

How did USWNT stars get on in WSL?

There’s no doubt that Mewis made the biggest impact, playing regularly for City and scoring some big goals from midfield. Lavelle struggled with injuries, while Dahlkemper has been key since arriving mid-season. Lavelle and Mewis helped City lift the delayed 2020 FA Cup, while Lavelle scored in the 2021 FA Cup in her final appearance for City. That was her first goal for the club.

Morgan’s stint at Tottenham was brief before she moved back to the NWSL, while Press and Heath were very good for Man United before the latter suffered a knee injury to curtail her time in Manchester.

With the 2021 NWSL season kicking off over the weekend and running until Oct. 30, it will be intriguing to see what the future holds for the WSL.

It is conceivable that top USWNT players could move between the U.S. and England each season given that a large chunk of their schedule calendar doesn’t clash, with the WSL campaign running from September to May each year.

This WSL campaign has taught us that it is a rising league in women’s soccer and gives USWNT players a very option to play year-round.