TACOMA — After a few days off, OL Reign returned to training Friday afternoon under rainy skies at Bellarmine Preparatory School.
While the club’s contingent of international players are still away on national team duty around the world, two new faces attended their first training session.
Bonjour, bienvenue à Tacoma, Sarah Bouhaddi and Dzsenifer Marozsán!
Goalkeeper Bouhaddi and midfielder Marozsán are on loan from Olympique Lyonnais for the 2021 NWSL season and were full participants at Friday’s training session. While it was the first day of training for them and the first day back for rest of the team after a few days off, the session was not lacking intensity and expectations are high for Bouhaddi and Marozsán to hit the ground running and to be the impact players their prolific resumes say they are. The duo are ready to answer the challenge as much as enjoy the open arms and kind welcome they’ve experienced so far.
“It was really nice to meet the team. The welcoming was really warm, so it was easy to come in. I’m super excited to have done the first training with the girls. It was fun, high intensity, really different from Europe, but I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to (continue) training with them tomorrow,” Marozsán told Ride of the Valkyries after the session.
Bouhaddi followed up with her thoughts. “I’m really excited to be here. We’ve been really welcomed by the team and staff and the first training went really well. There’s quality in this group,” she said in French through a team translator.
After last Saturday’s loss at Gotham FC, OL Reign players dispersed all over the country for a few days of rest and relaxation. Bouhaddi and Marozsán, with their commitments at Lyon also done after last weekend, got to enjoy a few days off in Mexico before they made their journey up to the Pacific Northwest.
“It was good to have a break so we could recharge and give our all for the team this season,” said Bouhaddi. “It was good to relax after the (Division 1 Féminine) season. It was just four days, but it was enough and it’s good to be here now,” added Marozsán.
It will be a full week before OL Reign play another NWSL match, on the road at North Carolina Courage. The players currently away on national team duty are expected to be back in time to prepare for next Saturday’s match and beyond, as Farid Benstiti’s side will face the difficult challenge of three matches over the course of a week. Depth will be tested and all hands will be on deck as the team hopes to claim some serious ground in the standings.
There’s still the impending arrival of defender Alana Cook, forward Eugénie Le Sommer and goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce. Cook is expected to join the team after Wednesday’s USWNT/Nigeria match, while an exact arrival date isn’t yet confirmed for for Le Sommer or Tullis-Joyce, but Reign fans need not worry — they are expected soon.