US forward Alex Morgan is set to realise her "dream" of playing in the UEFA Women's Champions League after joining Lyon. She could become only the third American to win the title.
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UEFA Women's Champions League holders Lyon have signed one of the biggest names in the game, with United States forward Alex Morgan arriving on a contract until the end of the season.
Morgan, 27, joins on a temporary deal from Orlando Pride, with an option for a further season. She arrives at Lyon just days after the club's first defeat in more than two years, a 1-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday. OL have won the last ten French titles and are aiming to retain the UEFA Women's Champions League crown as they face Wolfsburg in March's quarter-finals.
Capped 120 times by the US, scoring 73 goals, Morgan follows in the footsteps of her victorious 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup squad-mates Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe, 1999 winner Lorrie Fair and 2004 Olympic champion Aly Wagner in playing for Lyon.
Morgan, joining a club already boasting the likes of UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe 2015/16 Ada Hegerberg in attack, said: "I will 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."
Alex Morgan's honours
United States: 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship, 2012 Olympic gold, 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup
Portland Thorns: 2013 NWSL Championship
Western New York Flash: 2011 WPS Championship
Should Lyon claim a record-equalling fourth European title in Cardiff on 1 June, Morgan will become only the third American to triumph in the competition after Alex Krieger and Gina Lewandowski with FFC Frankfurt in 2008. Lewandowski, now at Bayern München, is one of four other Americans currently in contention for UEFA Women's Champions League glory.
Only one American has ever been in the squad of a men's UEFA Champions League winning club, but Jovan Kirovski did not actually play in Borussia Dortmund's 1996/97 triumph.
- Other Americans in 2016/17 UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals ...
Janelle Cordia – Fortuna Hjørring
Claire Falknor, Gina Lewandowski – Bayern München
Ella Masar – Rosengård
- Americans that have played in UEFA Women's Cup/UEFA Women's Champions League finals ...
Alex Krieger*, Gina Lewandowski – FFC Frankfurt, 2008
Stacey Peterson – Fortuna Hjørring, 2003
Venus James – Djurgården, 2005
Gina Lewandowski – FFC Frankfurt, 2012
Megan Rapinoe* – Lyon, 2013
Whitney Engen*, Meghan Klingenberg*, Christen Press* – Tyresö, 2014
*Member of 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup-winning squad