Manchester City have completed the signing of USWNT and North Carolina Courage center-back Abby Dahlkemper on a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.
Dahlkemper is the third member of the 2019 United States World Cup winning squad to join City in recent months, following the same path from the NWSL as Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle.
Dahlkemper played every minute of the 2019 tournament in France. Nationally, she was also the NWSL Champion with Courage in 2018 and 2019, won the NWSL Defender of the Year award in 2017 and was named in the NWSL Best XI in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The 27-year-old will wear the number 13 shirt for City and has called the club “world class”.
Dahlkemper also praised the Women’s Super League, which is on its way to becoming the best domestic league in the world. His presence will only raise the bar even higher.
“With all the talent in the FA WSL, I know that every game will present a new challenge and the opportunity to grow both as a player and as a person in England will be amazing, besides having the chance to play Champions League football. too, ”she told ManCity.com.
“Sam and Rose haven’t said anything other than brilliant things about the club and hearing them speak so highly of the facilities, staff and players as well as their experience of a new technical and tactical challenge is something that really attracted me. “
It may be some time before Dahlkemper plays for City, as they are currently on the USWNT squad, alongside Mewis and Lavelle, for an ongoing camp and play schedule. There are two friendlies ahead before the end of the month and three Olympic playoffs in late February, all to be played in Florida, and players will not be returning to the club in between.
After that, coronavirus protocols and the need to train could further delay its debut.
So Dahlkemper’s impact at City won’t really be felt until next season, when they’ve settled down properly and adjusted to a whole new environment. But what she will do is ultimately add an extra layer of depth, quality and competition to the squad.
City have been a team in transition this season and have struggled to keep up with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in the title race, despite building up a “Dream Team” equivalent. They struggled to score goals at the same pace as their rivals, which makes it even more important to have a strong defensive base to rack up enough points to compete.
Building a solid base will be crucial, not only in the WSL where the standard is higher than ever, but also in Europe, as City ultimately aim to go all the way in the Champions League. They are still in competition this season and Dahlkemper could even play a role.
In the short term, its impact will be dominated by ifs, corn and maybes. But City have succeeded by getting a longer-term contract and that’s where the difference will really be felt.
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