[AMERICANS ABROAD] The new NWSL was launched in part to keep U.S. women's stars from moving abroad, but midfield star Megan Rapinoe will begin 2013 at Lyon, the reigning French, European and unofficial world champion, according to her father.
The former University of Portland star spent the holidays in Australia with her twin sister Rachael, but their father Jim told their hometown Redding (Calif.) Searchlight that Megan was going to sign with Lyon.
"The French team has shown great interest in her and offered her a nice contract," her dad said. "She always wanted to play abroad."
The Searchlight reported that Rapinoe would then likely joined a team in the NWSL for the second half of its season.
She played in WPS for Chicago and Philadelphia and in the W-League in 2012 for the Seattle Sounders Women.
Lyon repeated as the UEFA Women's Champions League champion in 2012 and recently won the unofficial women's world championship at a tournament that also involved two Japanese teams and an Australian team.
Lyon finished the fall campaign in the Division I Feminine with 12 wins in 12 games and a scoring margin of 77-3. It returns to action Sunday at Toulouse.
Lyon features such French stars as Sonia Bompastor, Camille Abily and Louisa Necib. Foreigners include Japanese Ami Otaki, Brazilian Rosana and Swede Lotta Schelin. Frenchwoman Laura Georges and Swiss Lara Dickenmann played at Boston College and Ohio State, respectively.
Lyon also just signed another Japanese star, Shinobu Ohno, from INAC Kobe.