May. 13, 2016
Alex Morgan Makes Move to Play in Lyon, France
European soccer (futbol) is very different than American soccer, it's simple as that. The game is more technical and advanced in Europe. They can move fast and strike the ball quicker than a strike of lightning. The training and competitiveness is more intense than what you would see in American soccer. Look at it like this: American soccer is like a Ford Mustang while European soccer is like a Ferrari. So, it is no surprise that when Alex Morgan got an offer to play for Olympique Lyonnais in France, she would risk everything and take it.
Alex Morgan, a 27 year old, has been playing for the US Women's National Soccer Team since 2010 when she was just 22, being the youngest on that year's roster, though she started her US soccer journey on the U20 team in 2008 when she was also playing for UC Berkeley. In 120 appearances for the USWNT, Morgan has scored 73 goals. She has also played for multiple teams in the NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) such as, the Western New York Flash, the Seattle Sounders, the Portland Thorns, and the Orlando Pride which joined the NWSL as a new team in 2016. As a pioneer player for the Pride, Morgan ended the season there with 4 goals in 15 appearances. Her husband Servando Carrasco, who also played for UC Berkeley, has been playing for Orlando City SC since 2014, a team that was founded in 2013 in the MLS.
It was rumored for weeks that Morgan had been talking with the Olympique Lyonnais and was spotted in France for a while at the end of the USWNT's season ended on November 13, 2016. She actually had her physical examination with her new team before making any announcement that she would be officially moving from Orland to France. The team had been after Morgan for quite some time, because only some of the best players in the world can play for Olympique Lyonnais, and they knew she would make an impact on their team while making an impact on her. She actually tried to get her husband Servando to also make the switch, but in her announcement for The Players Tribune, she wrote that she would be leaving Servando behind for the time being.
In a podcast with Abby Wambach on the day the news broke, Morgan said she was looking at her options for the last few months. She has not actually played overseas yet in her career, so this is big, especially since Alex Morgan is the face of the USWNT. However, as I said earlier, some of the best players play for the Olympique Lyonnais, and when they all go back to play for their other club teams and international teams, you can see their improvements as a player and the skills they developed, separating themselves from their other club and international teammates.
Alex Morgan will leave next month to finish the 2016-2017 season for the Lyonnais and will bring the many great talents she already has, but she will come back to play for Orlando Pride and the USWNT with more skills than ever. Although she is already an amazing player, she will have another side of soccer added to her dynamic moves.
Olympique Lyonnais won all the three major tournaments last season: Champions League, French League and the Coupe de France. It is the most successful club in the history of Division 1 Féminine with 14 league titles. The club has been the female team of Olympique Lyonnais since 2004, but was originally FC Lyon in 1970. USWNT players Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe have also played for Olympique Lyonnais.
It will certainly be exciting to see how the soccer superstar does in France and how she will do when she comes back to the Orlando Pride and the USWNT. It is no doubt that she will help the Olympique Lyonnais tremendously and will draw in lots of attention from around the world, but more importantly, it will be exciting to see the new skills that Alex Morgan will acquire over her time with the Olympique Lyonnais when she comes back as a better player.