The American forward is heading to France until the end of Lyon’s season before returning to the Orlando Pride.

Alex Morgan is going to start 2017 playing in Europe. 

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The United States women’s national team forward is set to join French club Olympique Lyonnais in what amounts to a loan deal through the end of Lyon’s season in May. Morgan will then return to the Orlando Pride in NWSL, according to a club release from Orlando. 

“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 SC Founder and 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.”

Morgan says she sees playing in Europe as the next step in her evolution as a player. 

“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. “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 a NWSL Championship.”