Former UCLA star midfielder Jessie Fleming signed with Chelsea FC on Wednesday, the club announced.
“I knew I really wanted to play in the WSL, I think the league is doing really well right now and there is a ton of fantastic players in the league so that really excited me,” Fleming said after signing with the English club according to the team site. “For Chelsea it was the players here and I wanted to be in a challenging environment. Having conversations with Emma [Hayes] and learning a bit more about the team, I was just really excited about the environment and what it has to offer.”
Fleming spoke more about how Hayes really drew her to Chelsea.
“A huge part, it’s really important to me that I have a good relationship with the coach and that I’m with someone who I think is going to challenge me and help me reach my goals as an individual,” Fleming said about Hayes to chelseafc.com. “She has those accolades in the league and has a track record but I think she’s also someone who cares about her players as people and that’s really important to me when growing off the field.”
Fleming turned pro after an illustrious four-year career with the Bruins. She played in 75 games and scored 25 goals. She was the MAC Hermann Trophy Finalist in 2017 and 2019. She played in only 11 games in 2018 due to World Cup qualifying. She was just the third Bruin ever to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors all four years.
Fleming played every minute of every game for Canada during the 2019 World Cup in France. She was the Player of the Game in the 2-0 win over New Zealand. She was a starter for Canada at the 2016 Olympics and won the bronze medal. She also made the team for the 2015 World Cup.
Chelsea began preseason training on July 15 for preparation for the 2020/2021 season.