Carli Lloyd wrote a letter of thanks to the Houston Dash in the wake of a three-team trade in the National Women's Soccer League that sent her to Sky Blue FC.
Sky Blue acquired Lloyd in a draft-day trade Thursday that also sent Christen Press to the Dash and Australian Sam Kerr to the Chicago Red Stars.
Lloyd, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, is returning to her home state of New Jersey. Sky Blue plays its home games at Rutgers, where she played in college.
Lloyd, who is captain of the U.S. national team and scored three goals to lead the Americans to victory in the 2015 Women's World Cup, posted her thanks to the Dash on social media Friday morning.
"While this has been a bittersweet moment at this juncture of my career, I am ready to come home to NJ, be with my husband and live in our home together," she wrote. "I'm super excited to be able to play for Sky Blue and to return back to my Alma Mater."
Houston forward Janine Beckie and Red Stars forward Jen Hoy also went to Sky Blue as part of the deal.
"Change comes with the territory in this profession," said Beckie, who also plays for the Canadian national team. "It's time for a new challenge and a new journey."
Press has made 96 appearances with the national team with 44 goals. She had 11 goals and four assists in 23 games with the Red Stars last season.
"That is like a dream come true for a coach, because she will be the face of the team, we will build everything around here," Dash coach Vera Pauw said in a statement. "For a club like the Houston Dash with the facilities that we have, the professional organization that we have around it, the team needed a star like Christen Press. The fact that we were able to make this trade is fantastic. It's really fantastic and I'm really looking forward to working with her."
The Dash also got the seventh-overall pick in Thursday's draft, midfielder Haley Hanson out of Nebraska, and an international roster spot from the Red Stars.
Kerr set a single-season NWSL record with 17 goals last season for Sky Blue, winning both the league's Most Valuable Player and the Golden Boot award. She also set the single-game record with four goals in a come-from-behind victory over the Seattle Reign.
Chicago also got midfielder Nikki Stanton and the No. 24 pick in the draft, midfielder Megan Buckingham from North Carolina.
"Sam is a player that any team in the league would jump to get," Red Stars coach Rory Dames said. "She is a young and eager forward that has proven to be one of the best in the world. Then we get Nikki, who for us can be a solid 6 or 8 and really push our current mix of players. We couldn't be happier to have both Sam and Nikki in Chicago."
The trade added excitement to the NWSL's draft Thursday. The Washington Spirit selected Andi Sullivan out of Stanford with the first overall pick. Sullivan scored in the 3-2 Stanford victory in the NCAA College Cup championship over UCLA. She also won the Mac Hermann Trophy for the nation's best player.
Sullivan has made seven appearances with the U.S. national team and has been called into January training camp as the team begins to prepare for World Cup qualifying in the fall.
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