(April 3, 2017) – Houston Dash midfielder Carli Lloyd and Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan are set to meet in the semifinals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League when Manchester City and Olympique Lyonnais square off over two legs in late April.
Manchester City reached the semifinals of the competition for the first time with a 1-0 victory over Danish side Fortuna Hjørring that saw the English club advance with a 2-0 aggregate win. Lloyd played all 90 minutes for City after scoring the lone goal in the first leg of the quarterfinal matchup.
Olympique Lyonnais reserved their usual place in the Champs League semifinals with a 2-1 aggregate victory against VfL Wolfsburg despite a 1-0 loss in the second leg Wednesday with Morgan also racking up the full 90 minutes in the match.
The French giants, who won the Champs League for the third time last season, will be playing in the semifinals for the eighth time in the last 10 years when they take the field against Manchester City for the first leg on either April 22 or 23. The second leg will be scheduled for either April 29 or 30.
Only two Americans have previously won the UEFA Women’s Champions League – Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger and Gina Lewandowski, who is now at Bayern Munich. Both were on the FFC Frankfurt side that lifted the cup in 2008.
With Lloyd and Morgan’s teams meeting in the semifinals, it means that at least one NWSL player is guaranteed to reach the 2017 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final on June 1 at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
In the last five years, four Americans have finished as runners-up – with Seattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe playing in the 2013 final for Olympique Lyonnais, while Chicago Red Stars forward Christen Press, Boston Breakers defender Whitney Engen and Portland Thorns defender Megan Klingenberg all starting for Swedish club Tyresö in the 2014 final.
Both Lloyd and Morgan will return to the NWSL after the end of the season for their European clubs – with their 2016 debuts expected sometime in June or early July.
Dash fans will be eager to see Lloyd pair up again with 2016 NWSL Best XI member Kealia Ohai and Pride fans will be anxiously looking forward to watch Morgan team up with fellow U.S. international Ali Krieger, who was added to the team in an offseason trade with the Washington Spirit.