Alex Morgan feels 'complete' after winning UWCL

Less than three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury that seemed to end her campaign at French club Lyon with the French Cup and UEFA Women's Champions League finals still ahead, U.S. star Alex Morgan returned for the UWCL final -- only to go off after reinjuring her hamstring in the 23rd minute.

Lyon-PSG: Highlights

Still, she tweeted that she felt "overwhelmed and complete” after Lyon prevailed, 7-6, in a shootout after the game ended 0-0.

A crowd of 22,433 fans at Cardiff City Stadium was the second largest for a final since the  Women's Champions League was launched in 2009-10. It included a group of ultras PSG flew in from Paris to cheer on the PSG women playing in their second European final in three years.

Lyon had beaten PSG without Morgan in a shootout in the French Cup final, and it won again in the eighth round of penalty kicks in Cardiff. OL keeper Sarah Bouhaddi scored the decisive penalty in the eighth round after her opposite number, Pole Katarzyna Kiedrzynek, missed from the spot.

The win completed a Lyon sweep of the French league and cup and UWCL. L'Equipe reported that Lyon players earned bonuses of 25,000 euros ($28,000) each for the UWCL and shared an extra 130,000 euros ($145,000) for completing the triple.

Lyon matched German club FFC Frankfurt with its fourth European women's title. It has also won 11 straight Division I Feminine and six straight French Cup titles.

Morgan was recruited by Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas in a much-publicized Twitter campaign. While Aulas has a lot of critics for his outspoken stances, he has done more for women's club soccer in Europe than any other person.

Taking advantage of the French federation's women's development program that has produced a host of talented players -- if not trophies for the French national team -- Lyon has had an abundance of riches on its roster, topped this winter when it signed Morgan for the second half of the season and Hermann Trophy winner Kadeisha Buchanan.

Morgan and Buchanan became the first American and Canadian, respectively, to lift the UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy. Five Americans had played in the UWCL final and failed to win. Ali Krieger and Gina Lewandowski won the old UEFA Women's Cup with FFC Frankfurt in 2008.

Lyon certainly had more than enough to talent to not need Morgan on the field, but Lyon used her star power -- and social-media following -- to promote its brand and women's soccer. On the field, she scored five goals in eight league games but didn't score in five UWCL games.

Her arrival added to the tension on a team loaded with international stars -- 10 Lyonnaises will play for France next month at Euro 2017 in the Netherlands -- and between Aulas and his coach, Gerard Precheur, who coached his last game for Lyon on Thursday. (Aulas has already picked Precheur's successor, former Nantes star Reynald Pedros, who has never coached women's soccer -- let alone pro soccer.)

1 comment about "Alex Morgan feels 'complete' after winning UWCL".
  1. Quarterback TD, June 2, 2017 at 9:20 a.m.

    This decision is her own regardless of what the doctors say. This is what it means being a pro when the championship is on the line. You suck it up and drive this case the hamstring is not fully healed and may have gotten worse causing intense unbearable pain.Clint Eastwood one said "A man gotta know his limits." Alex need to take that advice.

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