(Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Former player Carli Lloyd is returning to NJ/NY Gotham FC as a minority owner, the NWSL club announced Wednesday.

The USWNT icon ended her professional soccer career with Gotham FC in 2021 after playing with her home New Jersey club since 2018.

“As my home club, Gotham FC has always been close to my heart,” Lloyd said in a team 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.”

Lloyd joins a group of existing Gotham FC minority owners, which includes Ed Nalbandian, Kristin Bernert and Karen Bryant, plus the team’s majority owners, Tammy Murphy and Phil Murphy.

“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. “Her unique perspective as a former player and world champion will be a tremendous asset as we continue to push this club forward.”

In addition to her role as a minority owner, Lloyd will take on an advising position to help boost the club’s profile in local, national and international markets. She will also work will the club to help with initiatives created to promote the club and support its players.

Gotham FC will kick off their 2022 regular season on Sunday against the Orlando Pride.