A number of players have represented clubs in both the American National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the FA Women’s Super League over the years.
I have taken a look at five forgotten faces from the top level of the English game who are now representing some of the top clubs in the United States.
Rachel Daly – Lincoln Ladies
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Daly has spent her entire professional career with the Houston Dash. However, she first broke onto the scene with her hometown club Leeds United as a teenager between 2008 and 2010. She then made the move south to Lincoln Ladies where she played during the first two seasons of the FA Women’s Super League 1, scoring four goals in 18 appearances. Daly then ventured across the pond to play college football at St John’s University before being snapped up by the Dash when they chose her as the sixth overall pick in the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft. The England international then put down roots in the Lone Star State making over 70 appearances for the Texas-based club.
Rachel Corsie – Notts County
Sandwiched amongst Utah Royals defender Corsie’s spells in Scotland, America, and Australia is a brief stint in England where she donned the black & white of Notts County in 2014. Corsie made the jump across the border from Glasgow City to the Midlands side where she was immediately made captain. In her sole season with The Lady Pies, she was awarded both the Supporters’ and Manager’s Player of the Season. Corsie’s performances caught the eye of Seattle Reign where she played between 2015 and 2017 before making the switch to the Utah Royals in March 2018.
Jess Fishlock – Bristol Academy
It seems a lifetime ago since OL Reign’s Jess Fishlock graced the old FA Women’s Super League 1 and many would be forgiven for forgetting her two spells with Bristol Academy. However, the Wales legend has chalked off destinations such as her homeland, The Netherlands, Australia, Scotland, Germany, France and America so there was no chance that England was going to be omitted from her illustrious resume. Her first foray into the English game came in 2007 before moving to Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar, making her the first foreign player in the history of the Eredivisie Vrouwen. She then returned to Bristol two years later upon the formation of the FA Women’s Super League 1. In her second year in the FA Women’s Super League 1, she was awarded FA Women’s Super League 1 Players’ Player of The Year before joining OL Reign, then called Seattle Reign, after a brief stint with Melbourne Victory.
Desiree Scott – Notts County
Desiree Scott’s road to the FA Women’s Super League 1 was far from smooth compared to the other names on this list. Canadian international Scott began her career with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2006 and then joining FC Kansas City in 2013. She was then set to join Notts County in 2014, however, she was then allocated to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) by the Canadian Soccer Association who believed that Scott was contracted with the NWSL and not The Magpies. Following lengthy discussions between the groups involved and the ensuing legal delays, it was eventually revealed that Scott would be making the move to Nottinghamshire in 2014 after all. Scott spent two seasons in England and then returned to FC Kansas City on her way to her current team, the Utah Royals.
Allie Long – Chelsea
The briefest of spells on this list may raise a few eyebrows amongst readers, but OL Reign’s Allie Long did have a fleeting turn with Emma Hayes’ Chelsea back in 2013. During her time with the Portland Thorns, Long had agreed to join the London side for a brief loan move across the off-season. The future United States senior international midfielder joined up with her new team for the 2013 International Women’s Club Championship in Japan where she made her only two appearances in the famous blue shirt as Chelsea were beaten finalists to INAC Kobe Leonessa. Long swiftly returned to Portland Thorns ahead of the 2014 season without having a run out in the FA Women’s Super League 1 and we are left to wonder how a player of her calibre would have fared in England.
Many more players will feature both in England and in the United States in the coming years and it will be interesting to review some of those names in a decade’s time to see who took similar career paths.