Transfer news: American defender links with Canberra United

Canberra United have signed American defender Toni Pressley on loan ahead of the start of the Westfield W-League 2017/18 Season this weekend.

Pressley, a powerful central defender, was an important part of NWSL club Orlando Pride’s run to the playoffs in the US competition in 2017.

Now in the nation’s capital, Pressley says she is thrilled to get to work with her new Canberra teammates.

“I’m just so excited to try something new. I only hope I can influence my new teammates in a positive way,” she said.

“I’m most excited for what I will be able to learn from them as well.

Canberra United boss Heather Garriock believes the defender’s quality will be a huge asset to her side this season.

“I had seen her play throughout the NWSL for Orlando, and her left foot and defensive qualities caught my eye,” Garriock said.

“Her physical ability is outstanding; she is powerful, very good one-on-one and with great technique she will certainly be a crucial part of our defence this season.”

Pressley is the third international signed by Garriock for Westfield W-League Season 10, after the addition of fellow American, goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer and English centre-back Laura Bassett.

This is Pressley’s first stint in the Westfield W-League, while she has also played for Washington Spirit, Houston Dash and the Western New York Flash in the NWSL.

United open their campaign against Melbourne Victory at Epping Stadium on Saturday, with kick-off at 4:30pm (AEDT).