Melbourne City FC can today announce the signing of American centre back Samantha Johnson for the upcoming Westfield W-League season.
Johnson has made over 90 appearances in the NWSL for Chicago Red Stars and most recently Utah Royals, but walked away from professional football in June last year.
She has now made the decision to return to the sport, signing with City and returning to the Westfield W-League where she made 13 appearances for Sydney FC (2014/15) and 23 appearances for Melbourne Victory (2016/17 and 2018/19).
Johnson is a strong defender known for her powerful challenges but is also very comfortable on the ball.
She will add some valuable experience to City’s W-League squad and bolster the defence as the Club looks to go back-to-back this season.
City Football Director Michael Petrillo said:
“We are delighted to have Samantha join us for the new season.
“Not only does she bring a wealth of experience to the backline but with her ability to play out from the back and her strength and athleticism; she will suit our distinctive style of play and will be a great addition to our squad.”
Samantha Johnson said:
“Making the decision to return to football came from my agent helping me realise how to align my purpose off the pitch with on the pitch.
“I want to help underprivileged kids that don’t have the same opportunities as others. I’ve worked in that space and when I was playing previously, I knew that’s what I wanted to do but I didn’t really use my football platform to help that notion.
“I felt like the investment I was making in the sport wasn’t giving me that much of a return as I wasn’t aligning those two things but now that I know how to do that, I’m more mentally at ease and more excited about playing.
“Joining City is really exciting because I have a lot of friends and have played with other players in the NWSL and they only ever say good things.
“I really want to help my younger teammates establish themselves in the game as soon as possible. I feel like when I was a younger player I didn’t have as many older players to latch onto so if I could be that for them, it would be great.”