American defender Samantha Johnson has come out of retirement to join W-League club Melbourne City.
The 29-year-old, who made over 90 appearances for Chicago Red Stars and then Utah Royals, returns to football having not played since June last year.
"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," 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 ... 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."
Johnson is no stranger to the W-League having made 13 appearances for Sydney FC (2014/15) and 23 appearances for Melbourne Victory (2016/17 and 2018/19).
City football director Michael Petrillo said they were delighted to have Johnson on board.
"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," said Petrillo.
Australian Associated Press