After helping Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon) of France to the UEFA Champions League Final last year, Megan Rapinoe has signed an agreement to return to Lyon for their 2013-14 season. This means she will return to the Reign in mid-June of 2014. Of note, the Reign expect that Rapinoe will be with the team for the entire 2015 and 2016 NWSL seasons. One reason they will want her back promptly: Rapinoe won the team's Golden Boot with 5 goals, despite missing a majority of the season.
Rapinoe on the move:
"I had a fantastic time playing for Reign FC this season and am looking forward to returning to the club next June. I am impressed by the organization that Laura is putting together--it is clear she is building a club that will be very competitive. However, I am at a stage in my career where returning to Lyon and playing in the Champions League is an opportunity that I cannot pass up."
An unstated reason for Rapinoe to return to Lyon is undoubtedly the pay. She was reportedly earning $14,000 a month, a salary that translates to $168,000 a year. Compare that with the $6,000-$30,000 salaries for NWSL players, and there's almost no contest. Lyon might be the biggest women's team in the world, as their CL attendance was over 5,000 for each game, and they drew over 21,000 in their home Semifinal match against rival French club FCF Juvisy. That attendance was greater than the attendance for the CL Final match in London. Certainly understandable why she wants to return, though it also puts the Reign at an immediate disadvantage for next season.
In other news, the Reign announced that Jessica Fishlock won the team MVP award and Lauren Barnes was the team's Defender of the Year.