OL Reign hosts French sister team Olympique Lyonnais
SEATTLE - OL Reign announced on Wednesday a series of U.S. events with its sister team Olympique Lyonnais (OL) from Lyon, France.
The clubs are both owned by OL Groupe, which acquired the Reign in 2019. OL arrives in Seattle next month and will be honored at a halftime ceremony during the Reign’s August 14 match against NJ/NY Gotham FC.
OL then head to Portland, where they will play against Chelsea FC in the first round of the Women's International Champions Cup Tournament on August 17. Next, OL Reign will make their way to Louisville to compete in The Women’s Cup.
"Having these two amazing teams together in Seattle is an opportunity to celebrate our engagement in the women’s game and our commitment to gender equity," said OL Head of International Women’s Football Sophie Sauvage.
The OL family includes some of the most well-known and awarded players and coaches in the world. In 2019, Reign forward Megan Rapinoe won the Ballon d’Or; in 2018, it was awarded to OL’s Ada Hegerberg. Lyon Head Coach Sonia Bompastor is also the only woman to have won the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Women's Champions League as both a player and a coach.
OL has won 15 league titles since 2004 and claimed a record-breaking eighth UEFA Women’s Champions League win this year. In its first nine seasons, OL Reign won the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Shield twice and made five postseason appearances.
"These world-class players embody the mission and drive to win that have inspired soccer fans across the globe, from Seattle to Lyon," said OL Reign CEO Vincent Berthillot. "Together, our clubs play for future generations of women and girls who will know what being a champion looks like: winners on the pitch and defenders of 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 back in 2013 and 2014. Several OL Reign players trained in Lyon in 2020, and France’s #1 goalscorer Eugénie Le Sommer spent the 2021 season playing for OL Reign. OL’s most recent championship squad also featured US Women's National Team (USWNT) stars Lindsey Horan and Catarina Macario.
"When joining OL Reign, I was able to bring the experience that I had acquired at OL, but also to provide myself and the team everything that the Reign could bring us," said Le Sommer. "Knowledge is born from exchange. By uniting two of the best teams in the world, OL has developed a unique platform in the women's game. I'm very excited to be back in the US this summer with OL and to have a chance to spend a couple of days in Seattle and see my teammates."