Soccer legend Carli Lloyd rejoins Gotham FC as minority owner

Carli Lloyd salutes fans after a soccer match in St. Paul, Minn., on Oct. 26, 2021. (AP File Photo)

New Jersey native Carli Lloyd is returning to pro soccer — this time as a part-owner of her former team.

The two-time FIFA Player of the Year has joined the ownership group of NJ/NY Gotham FC of the National Women's Soccer League, the club announced on Wednesday. 

Lloyd first joined the team as a player in 2018 when it was known as Sky Blue FC. She played for three seasons before retiring. 

"As my home club, Gotham FC has always been close to my heart," she said in a statement. "It's an honor to begin this new chapter of my soccer career surrounded by people who are committed to making this the best club and league in the world."

As a minority owner of Gotham FC, Lloyd joins a group led by Tammy Murphy, the club chair, and Gov. Phil Murphy, her husband. Lloyd will serve as a consultant and adviser to Gotham FC "to help boost the club's profile in local, national and international markets," according to a news release. 

"When Carli retired last season, we always envisioned her remaining a part of Gotham FC and we are thrilled to make that vision a reality," Tammy Murphy said in a statement. "Her unique perspective as a former player and world champion will be a tremendous asset as we continue to push this club forward."

The club, then known as Sky Blue, played its first season in 2007. It rebranded as Gotham FC before the 2021 season. The team plays home games at Red Bull Arena in Harrison.

Lloyd played 316 times for the U.S. women's national team, scoring 134 goals — the third most in its history. During her tenure on the USWNT, the squad won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019 and Olympic gold 2008 and 2012.

Lloyd grew up in Burlington County and attended Rutgers University, where she was a star for the Scarlet Knights. 

With The Associated Press.