USWNT stars Christen Press and Tobin Heath join Manchester United
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Manchester United have today announced that they have signed USWNT internationals Tobin Heath and Christen Press on one-year deals.

Heath, 32, from the Portland Thorns, and Press, 31, from the Utah Royals bring the total of US stars currently playing in the Women's Super League to four.

The news comes after the Red Devils secured an impressive draw against Chelsea at the weekend, United's performance in the second half giving Leah Galton the opportunity to level the scoring.

US additions

With the current situation around the possibility of women's football's return in the USA tenuous at best amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of the country's top stars have opted to move to Europe to play their football this season.

United's rivals, Manchester City, have already signed midfielders Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle and now Casey Stoney's side have brought their own World Cup winning duo to Greater Manchester.

Both of the reds' signings are highly decorated footballers both on the domestic and international stage. Heath has made 168 appearances for her country, Press 138. Both have won the World Cup twice and Heath has also picked up two gold medals at the Olympics.

The arrivals have been highly anticipated since initial reports from Dan Lauletta back in August and now the deals are finally official.

Closing the gap

One consistent theme within the WSL has been the power of the 'top three' of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea at the top of the division, with only Liverpool - who were victors in 2013 and 2014 - the only side who have won the league.

However, the gap between those at the top of the table and the rest of the division looks to be consistently narrowing, with United's latest transfer movement a significant statement of intent into the red half of Manchester's ambition for their women's team which has only been in its current form for three years.

It is not just United who are looking to break the mould in the league, however. Everton are heavily investing in their women's side, Brighton have ambitions for the top, Leicester City have recently launched a professional team and West Ham United have been growing sustainably since their rebrand in 2018.

The latest round of international imports to the division can only act as a positive for commercial growth with the increased focus from the United States having already seen NBC pick up broadcast rights for fifty games this season.

What is certain however, is that with the many big-name additions, this year's FAWSL will be bigger and better than ever, with the consistent growth continuing.

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