Manchester City recently announced the departure of both USA internationals Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle after their single season in the Women's Super League. Their stay in England may have been short-lived, but what kind of ripple effect has their presence created?
England's top flight has seen limited talent from the States – the most recent major names to feature in the WSL prior to this new wave were Carli Lloyd (Man City) and Crystal Dunn (Chelsea). The two USWNT icons enjoyed brief stints in the UK before returning to home soil, both making the move across the pond in 2017.
Whilst it's not an alien concept by any means, the 2020/21 season generated a different kind of excitement when a flurry of American talent joined the WSL. Mewis and Lavelle both joined City in August last year in a promising transfer window for the Mancunian side. Not long after these two announcements, arch rivals Man United unveiled their own surprise signings.
Fellow USA internationals Tobin Heath and Christen Press pulled on their red jerseys and the buzz around the Manchester derby grew even larger. The idea of these four World Cup winners locking horns in arguably the most competitive women's football league was the talk of many fans ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
Seemingly sparked by the move of her international teammates, Ballon d'Or nominee Alex Morgan made a shock loan move to Tottenham Hotspur, where she made just four appearances, scoring two goals. But no matter how many games she played, Morgan's presence in the WSL beamed a huge spotlight onto the English league.
The following of football over in the US is one of the biggest in the world. With the national team winning four World Cups and the NWSL featuring some of the hottest talents, there's no grey area around why there's so much hype. Lavelle and Mewis will return to their homeland, joining OL Reign and Washington Spirit respectively, but this won't be the end of Americans venturing over to England.
With the duo helping Man City win the FA Cup and Mewis in particular establishing herself as a powerhouse in midfield, more and more US natives could be tempted to make the move. Abby Dahlkemper is currently still in Manchester, sporting the blue of City, and has become captain Steph Houghton's centre-back partner in the heart of the defence.
Man City pushed Chelsea hard in the 2020/21 title race, which may well entice NWSL players who are looking for a fresh challenge. Across the last five years, the American league has been dominated by the likes of the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns – players may be eager to be involved in a more closely fought competition as they evolve in their careers.
As Lavelle and Mewis return home with an FA Cup medal in their suitcases, they may be blissfully unaware of the huge precedent they have set – showing their fellow US internationals that they can move away from the norm and be victorious.News Now - Sport News