Alex Morgan lasted just 17 minutes into Olympique Lyonnais’ Champions League final clash with Paris Saint-Germain. She was in the starting lineup just weeks after a left hamstring injury against, once again, PSG. Lyon beat PSG in that game 3-0, but Morgan had to go out in the 41’. That was May 13; now, less than three weeks later, Morgan and Lyon took their chances starting her in a front line with Ada Hegerberg and Eugenie Le Sommer.
Lyon were off to a bright start, dominating PSG through the early stages of the first half, but Morgan was forced to sit down in the 18’ and call on the trainers. She gestured to her left thigh, making it almost a certainty her hamstring injury was bothering her once more. Morgan walked off under her own power, but was eventually subbed for Elodie Thomis in the the 23’. She left the field with her thigh wrapped.
This will surely be a bitter disappointment for Morgan, who joins a small group of Americans who have made their way to a Champions League final, including Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe, and Ali Krieger. Thus far Krieger and Gina Lewandowski are the only Americans who have managed to add the UWCL trophy to their accomplishments, winning with FFC Frankfurt in 2008.
Morgan is now expected to return to the Orlando Pride in NWSL, though surely she’ll still be resting her hamstring. Orlando has been struggling a little bit, but seems to be gradually finding their way without her on the roster, thanks in part to the addition of Marta.
This may also affect Morgan’s ability to join the USWNT for their friendlies against Sweden and Norway, to be played June 8 and June 11. Morgan Brian has already been ruled out from that roster with injury; should Morgan also be ruled out, that would leave 19 players going. Ellis declined to replace Brian on the roster due to the short turnaround on these friendlies and lack of evaluation time; perhaps the same will apply to Morgan.
Will this also be further enticement for Morgan to return to Europe in the future, this time hoping to be fully healthy for another go at Champions League? The money is good, and whatever NWSL team she plays for at the time will surely be accommodating. In the meantime, we can all hope for Morgan to get healthy and stay healthy.