U.S. women’s national team striker Alex Morgan is set to join French outfit Olympique Lyonnais for the opening half of 2017, with the NWSL club announcing Tuesday that its star attacker would miss the beginning of Orlando’s 2016-17 season.
Morgan, 27, is thus set to return to Orlando upon the conclusion of the French season in May.
“My decision to play for Lyon was not an easy one, but it is an important step in my evolution as a player,” Morgan said in a statement issued by the club. “I want to thank the Pride and our incredible fans and community for their continued support.
“I look forward to returning home this summer as a better player and leader to join my teammates at our new stadium as we compete for an NWSL Championship.”
Morgan has spent the last four years playing in the National Women’s Soccer League, joining the Portland Thorns in the 2013 season before being acquired by Orlando at the end of 2015.
“We are obviously disappointed that Alex will miss the beginning of the Pride season but understand her wishes to play in Europe and we look forward to her rejoining her teammates after Lyon’s season,” Orlando City president Phil Rawlins said.
“This in no way affects our plans or commitment to growing Orlando Pride and we will continue providing the team the best available players, training resources, and staff to become a championship contender in the NWSL and a leader in women’s professional soccer.”