OL Reign welcome French sister team Olympique Lyonnais
SEATTLE – OL Reign announced a series of American events on Wednesday with sister team Olympique Lyonnais (OL) from Lyon, France.
The clubs are both owned by OL Groupe, which acquired the Reign in 2019. OL arrive in Seattle next month and will be honored at a half-time ceremony in the August 14 match against NJ/NY Gotham F.C.
OL will then travel to Portland where they will face Chelsea FC in the first round of the Women’s International Champions Cup Tournament on August 17. Then, OL Reign will travel to Louisville to compete in the Women’s Cup.
“Bringing these two incredible teams together in Seattle is an opportunity to celebrate our commitment to women’s football and our commitment to gender equality,” said Sophie Sauvage, head of international women’s football at OL.
The OL family includes some of the most famous and awarded players and managers in the world. In 2019, Reign striker Megan Rapinoe won the Ballon d’Or; in 2018, it was awarded to Ada Hegerberg of OL. Lyon head coach Sonia Bompastor is also the only woman to win the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Women’s Champions League as a player and coach.
OL have won 15 league titles since 2004 and this year secured a record eighth victory in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. In his first nine seasons, OL Reign won the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) shield twice and made five playoff appearances.
“These world-class players embody the mission and the will to win that have inspired football fans around the world, from Seattle to Lyon,” said Vincent Berthillot, CEO of OL Reign. “Together, our clubs are playing for future generations of women and girls who will know what it’s like to be a champion: winners on the pitch and advocates for a more inclusive and sustainable world off the pitch.”
Megan Rapinoe #15 of OL Reign controls the ball against Madison Pogarch #15 of Portland Thorns FC in the second half at Lumen Field on August 29, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
The common history between the clubs had already started when Megan Rapinoe played with OL in 2013 and 2014. Several OL Reign players trained in Lyon in 2020, and French top scorer Eugénie Le Sommer spent the season 2021 to play for OL Reign. OL’s latest championship squad also included United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) stars Lindsey Horan and Catarina Macario.
“By joining OL Reign, I was able to bring the experience I had acquired at OL, but also to bring to myself and the team everything that Reign could bring to us,” said Le Sommer. . “Knowledge comes from sharing. By bringing together two of the best teams in the world, OL have developed a unique platform in women’s football. I am very happy to be back in the United States this summer with OL and to have the chance to spend a few days in Seattle and see my teammates.”