'I can't wait to get started' – Ireland international Stephanie Roche signs for Sunderland
The WSL 1 side confirmed the capture of the 2014 FIFA Puskas Award runner-up after she was released by the Houston Dash last month.
The 26-year-old arrives on Wearside with ambitions of making her mark in the league after her stint in America ended prematurely.
“It’s great to be at Sunderland Ladies and I can’t wait to get started," she said.
“I know there is a high standard in WSL 1 and it’s something I’m looking forward to being a part of. The team have done really well this season and hopefully I can play my part too.”
The Lady Black Cats voiced their pleasure at the high-profile signing and head coach, Carlton Fairweather believes she will add real value to the side.
“Stephanie is going to be a very good addition to the side," he said.
"The fact she was nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award at the 2014 Ballon d’Or ceremony shows her ability, but it isn’t just about that and she will bring added value to the side.
“From her point of view it is a great opportunity to establish herself in the FAWSL 1 and then push on from there, so her main objective will be to cement her place in the first-team and continue to represent Republic of Ireland at international level.”
“We have had a good start to the season and as we enter the next phase we want to push on and improve.”
Roche will however have to wait to make her first-team debut.
The Lady Black Cats will not resume their WSL 1 campaign until July 12 after the mid-season break, with a home game against Notts County Ladies.