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US international Alana Cook joins OL Reign for Challenge Cup

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The centerback will come on a short-term loan from PSG.

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SOCCER: NOV 10 USA v Costa Rica Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The OL Reign roster continues to take shape as the team prepares for the upcoming NWSL Challenge Cup. The Athletic’s Meg Linehan reported Monday that U.S. international centerback Alana Cook will be joining the Reign on loan from Paris Saint-Germain for the duration of the tournament. The signing was confirmed by OL Reign on Tuesday morning.

The move has been made possible in part because of the cancellation of the remainder of the Division 1 Feminine season, as well as the postponement of remaining UEFA Women’s Champions League matches, which are now expected to resume in August.

“Alana is a player we’ve been following for many years. We are excited to have join the squad, if only on a short-term basis,” said OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore. “We very much appreciate PSG allowing Alana to join for the tournament in Utah. Alana will add both depth and quality to the squad, which will be critical given the short rest between matches in the preliminary stage of the NWSL Challenge Cup.”

Cook, a graduate of Stanford University, opted to forgo the 2019 NWSL College Draft and instead signed a three-year deal with PSG. She was a four-year starter at Stanford, two-year team captain, 2018 Pac-12 Defender of the year and a 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. She has made eight D1F appearances and five Champions League appearances over portions of two seasons for PSG, earning just over 1,000 minutes of playing time.

“I’m super excited to join OL Reign for this season and this tournament,” Cook said. “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for myself to continue to develop and get better. I’m super excited to join such a great team environment and a great culture.”

Internationally, Cook has been a mainstay of the US Youth National Team program since 2013. She captained the U-17 YNT, received call-ups to the U-20 and U-23 teams, and was named U-23 team captain in 2019. Cook was also eligible for England and received a call-up to their full national team camp in September 2019 but played in no games, then was invited to a USWNT training camp the following month, where she received her first senior-team cap and played 90 minutes in a 6-0 win over Costa Rica.

NWSL clubs must submit final tournament rosters by June 21. The Challenge Cup allows teams to bring 28 players to Utah. With Cook’s signing, OL Reign has 26 players signed for the tournament — although that total includes the injured Julia Ashley and Megan Rapinoe, who is expected to sit out of the tournament. Several non-rostered players continue to train with the club in Montana in the hopes of securing one of the last remaining roster spots.