OL Reign and Olympique Lyonnais announced on Tuesday a partnership with legendary Mexican side Club América, uniting the three women’s teams to strengthen links between the clubs and develop new collaborations to the benefit of all three organizations. The first event to be held as part of the partnership will be a friendly between OL Reign and América, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. A ticket presale begins on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 10 AM PT for OL Reign season ticket holders and members of the Club América supporters group, with general sale commencing on Thursday at 10 AM PT.
Fans can purchase team merchandise at the friendly, including a limited-edition scarf to commemorate the partnership.
“This global partnership with Club América is not only significant for our clubs, but also for our sport,” said OL Reign general manager Nick Perera in a release. “Together, we will be able to elevate the game by creating unique opportunities for our players, academies, and staff. We’re thrilled for this new partnership and the extensive possibilities that will stem from it.”
In addition to the friendly, the clubs plan to collaborate and share best practices around areas such as staff development, recruiting, scouting, and future friendlies and potentially tournaments. Beyond the first teams, the clubs will also pursue collaboration between their academies, including exchanges between the organizations, cross-training, immersion courses, and invitations to youth tournaments.
“Today we are proud to achieve a historic alliance in women’s football, in which three leading teams, from three different regions, come together to advance growth and set the course for women’s football future globally. We are happy to share our work and experience, which will allow us to improve our practices and processes to continue promoting Mexican football in the world,” said Club América Women Football Director, Claudia Carrion, in a release.
This will be the first time OL Reign has played a friendly against a team outside of the NWSL or NCAA since 2016, when they faced Arsenal Women at Memorial Stadium. Prior to that they also hosted the China Women's National Team in a friendly ahead of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and played three Japanese clubs during a tour of Japan before their inaugural season in 2013.
“Women’s football is growing tremendously on a global scale, and we’re delighted to establish this partnership with Club América to innovate the game at the highest level through our experiences and success. As three of the leading clubs in women’s football, we are committed to excellence and eager to begin our collaborations to help influence the development of the sport around the world,” said Sophie Sauvage, Head of International Women’s soccer at OL Groupe.
This is the second official partnership between an NWSL club and a team in Liga MX Femenil, along with Angel City FC and Tigres. Several other NWSL-Liga MX Femenil partnerships are reportedly also in the works.