Americans Abroad

USWNT: Alex Morgan And The Great French Adventure

Alex Morgan, Orlando City forward, is now on loan to Olympique Lyonnais Femenin. (Photo courtesy of France 3)
USWNT: Alex Morgan And The Great French Adventure

Perhaps it was the 1-0 shock setback to Paris Saint-Germain at the Camp des Loges in December that forced one of the heroines of American women’s club football to take the next brave step and become enshrined among many esteemed peers who have played in France. Paris Saint-Germain’s men’s team got a big boost with the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Now, Gerard Precheur’s Olympique Lyonnais Femenin have acquired, in all aspects, a worthy equivalent: Orlando Pride and USWNT legend Alex Morgan.

Indeed, Alex Morgan picked the right club to be a heroine for. The club of record in the Division 1 Femenin for years on end. The defending champions of Europe who have other top players in Eugenie Le Sommer, Saki Kumagai, Sarah Bouhhadi and Elodie Thomis.

Where the men (led by the other Alex, the embattled Alexandre Lacazette) have fallen short, Lyon’s women have roared to the occassion, and Morgan believes that her influence on the sport (albeit on loan from Orlando) will ensure that the ruling dynasty of French women’s club football remains in power to make it 15 D1F titles, five more than AS Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1. By the way, l’ASSE also have a women’s side, though they are relative lightweights similar to Marseille, who, unsurprisingly, are also in the top flight.

So far, her impact on the game is already paying dividends. Take a look at this highlight film of the San Dimas, CA native, showing her geste technique. Can LA Galaxy do women’s football a favor and get their NWSL side going already before LAFC gets that done ahead of them, s’il vous plait?

Outside of the game, Alex Morgan’s simple presence has helped win culinary battles on the home from for her American mates ever so decisively. Check this evidence on for size…if you have an appetite for it. Bon Appetit.

“I hope that this change will help push my game to another level,” Morgan said in her explanation for dreaming big at Lyon. (Sorry, PSG.) “I hope that training with these incredible athletes each day, and learning a unique style of play, is exactly what I need, and that it will help me find that next gear. Importantly, I will also be immersed in a soccer culture that I believe is precisely what I need at this point in my career. It has always been a dream of mine to “live” soccer and to compete in the Champions League.”

If Lyon deliver as many will expect in what has been a spirited title fight with Paris and Montpellier, you would imagine that this will be a great, grand blessing for Orlando, who will be opening their new ground soon enough in the hopes of taking the NWSL title away from Western New York in 2017. So, bonne chance, bonne chance, Madame Morgan, in your brand new French Adventure.

(Just not against Les Parisiens; please do be generous and let them earn the crown this season, merci beaucoup, if you so wish.)

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Americans Abroad

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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