Apollon Limassol LFC have made what they describe as two "invaluable" signings for the UEFA Women's Champions League with the arrival of English attacker Lianne Sanderson and versatile American midfielder Joanna Lohman on loan from the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), where they have been playing for Boston Breakers.
Sanderson, capped 29 times by England between 2006 and 2010 and reaching the UEFA Women's EURO 2009 final, was named the Breakers' 2013 player of the year for the inaugural NWSL season and also made the division's all-star Second XI. Along with Lohman, who has featured for the United States seven times, Sanderson will link up with Apollon for their UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 tie with Austria's SV Neulengbach on 9/10 and 16/17 October, hoping to earn a last-16 encounter with Konak Belediyesi or RTP Unia Racibórz.
An Apollon statement read: "It is with great pleasure that our club announces that we have signed two of the finest names in women's world football. With this move, the board and coaching staff feel that they have made an invaluable addition to the team ahead of the all-important campaign in the UEFA Women's Champions League."
Cypriot double-winners for the last five years without losing a game, Apollon caused an upset in 2010/11 with a 4-1 qualifying round defeat of two-time European champions Umeå IK, but they have never got beyond the round of 32. Chairman Andreas Marangos, who also announced that Americans Sinead Farrelly and Michelle Betos would also be arriving for a second term in Limassol, has now set his sights on a longer European run.
"This is a good draw for us," Marangos said. "We are happy because this a golden chance for us to make history by not only reaching the round of 16 but also the quarter-finals."
Sanderson began her career at Arsenal LFC, where she scored 40 goals in 41 games as they won a clean sweep of titles in 2006/07 including the UEFA Women's Cup. She joined Chelsea LFC in 2008 before moving to America in 2010 at Philadelphia Independence, where she linked up with Lohman. After the pair's spell at RCD Espanyol, they signed for DC United Women before going to Boston for the start of the new NWSL competition this year.
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